Ember sat at the old drop-leaf table, her laptop in front of her. She had been writing, actually getting somewhere with the ongoing novel, but inspiration had run its course and now her mind was blank, her thoughts fleeing elsewhere like wayward kittens.
Rising from her chair, she stretched her unused muscles and crossed to the door. Pulling it open, she stared out into darkness as black as a void. She knew if she removed herself from the light and let her eyes adjust, she would see the silhouettes of trees and brush, the sparkle of froth in the rapids, the twinkle of a million stars—but from where she stood in the well-lit room, she could have been blind. Someone could be standing a few feet away from her and she would never have known.
The thought sent a prickle across her skin. Quickly she shut the door and threw the bolt. The snap as it shot into place was comforting, but nothing could completely dispel the knowledge that a life had been snatched in those murky woods not so very long ago. By whom? she wondered. And why?