What stands before me this night is unexpected, yet I feel the rails upon which my arms reside. They are real, tangible. I peer toward the cottage that lurks in the night, it's subtle glow homey from the fires that reside within. I can almost feel the warmth from its hearth upon my skin which is now kissed only by the cool night airs. The shroud that envelopes the night gives way to this amber glow.
The wood skims my back as I slide beneath the upper rail and take a first step toward this mirage. It shimmers in the night airs as a palm beneath the desert sun. Could this be some magic that reaches north from the wastelands themselves? What trickery plays upon my eyes? Yet, I know it has substance as the wispy trail that lingers above tickles my nose. My nose also tells me the hearth doubles as a cooking fire. The aroma is feint but it stirs my hunger. Lunch is long since past and my legs are weary.
The distance to the nearest wall is but a short walk. The grounds are flat with seemingly little fanfare. A practical caretaker it would seem inhabits this house on the edge of nowhere. A clank echoes from within; life. I become the night itself as I sneak to the outer wall and press my ear against the clapboard. The echoes from within set my thoughts in motion. My mind's eye sees what my ear takes in. My host works diligently as plates and utensils clank and knock against table and kettle. My stomach growls at the thought alone.
"I wouldn't move, if'n I were you."
The implement that now presses against the side of my neck pins me to the walls. I inhale sharply as fear clamps my feet to the earth. I have been discovered!