They’d gotten to the cottage just after dark, and after unpacking the car and having a quick dinner, they built a fire. It took a couple of tries to get the wood to catch in the damp pit. It must have rained earlier.

Clouds covered the sky. Pressing in.

Later, a bearded old man arrived carrying an armful of logs. “Got to keep that burning,” he said. Then he dropped the load and stood staring at the flames and warming his hands.

“Make a bigger fire,” he said. “And stay close. Whatever you do, don’t let it get you too.”



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