Back to her cottage

She went home.

It was the only place she could go, she could not continue her day after what just happened. She was shivering by the time she closed and bolted the great oak door, the journey had been drenching, cold, tiring and as usual, long. The inside of the cottage was pitch black and just as cold only drier, not like it made any difference. She listened to the rain pattering outside and painfully removed her mud caked boots, she then carefully felt her way to the box of matches on the table and lit the candle next to it, the room illuminated dimly and orange, it was a simple home, four walls, bed in one corner, table, a simple hearth, a storage cupboard and a trapdoor for keeping dried meats and other foods cool in a small compartment. Shakily, she placed several logs in the hearth, stuffed kindling underneath and lit it. She unpeeled the soaking wet coat and hung it on a rack next to the fire. She hadn't thought about what she saw on the journey, she didn't want to, but she knew she would have to face it now that she was home.

With the door reinforced and her shotgun beside the bed with a few extra shells beside it, she lay in bed, thawing in the warmth. That face, there was something about his face, as if the only thing you could distinguish about it was that... it was a face. The age was impossible to determine, and the clothes that he wore were nothing that she had ever seen, kind of like... a brown shelling? As if he had boiled leather into oblivion until it was as hard as rock, it did look like rock with all of the scratches and chips in it. Then there were his eyes, there was something wrong with the whites, it was more of a grey than a white, and how those eyes had looked at her, her nerves crawled and she shivered, then that smile, why did he smile, why did he smile! There is no explaining how he disappeared, she thought, but she wished he disappeared before he looked into her. There was no point worrying about it any more tonight, she thought, if it wasn't real then she will just have to suffer the doubt and carry on with life, always looking over her shoulder, if it was real, all she could do was wait to see what happened, it might not be tomorrow or ever, she hoped.

A shiver curled around her spine again, she grabbed her shotgun and held it close, it was going to be hard to sleep that night.

She awoke, cold and groggy, the fire had gone out, she looked around, yawned and stood up.

The End

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