Tom moved to take the lead and Father Michael followed, nearly at his side. They cautiously moved down the slope under the shadow of bare trees whose branches rose above them like the hands of desperate petitioners imploring the moon. The footprints were closer together, and it appeared to Tom as if the left leg of the woman had been somehow injured, for it drug in the snow. He was surprised not to find a trail of blood. No blood. No blood. It seemed so odd to him. The whole night seemed steeped in a dream, a nonsensical play that had no rhyme or reason. What had happened to the woman? Why had she not simply rung the doorbell? Why had she turned away from the barn? Why run into the night, away from warmth and safety? Why didn't she answer their calls? And why, for all that was holy, did she turn down this darkened path out of the meager light of the moon toward the cold depths where the Old Maid ran like an artery through the heart of the ancient prairie? It made Tom angry. It made him scared. He began swearing at regular intervals under his breath.
About the Author
Daniel B. Hunt graduated from the University of Kansas with a BGS in Creative Writing.