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The Shadow

Under the trees just out of range of the lights there was a patch of shadow, deeper than the rest which moved independently of the surrounding breeze disturbed foliage. It was the early hours on a dark still night punctuated only by nocturnal sounds. The snuffling hedgehog out on it’s nightly forage, A distant dog baying at the waning cloud shrouded moon and closer an owl hooting and a twig snapping with a sharp crack.

Suddenly there was a rasping sound as a match spluttered into life and then was equally quickly extinguished to be replaced by a small red glow marking clearly the location of the deepened shadow. The glow glimmered dimly but every few seconds brightened briefly. Did the glow’s trembling show cold or fear or anticipation or excitement?

After a few minutes the glimmering light arced through the air and landed in a burst of sparks on the concrete path. The dark shadow lightened as it moved from the trees across the path and in through the back entrance of the nurses home.

Along the dimly lit corridor silently climbing the staircase and making it’s way along the upper hallway. The shadow eventually chose a door. The door was tried and found to be unlocked. Swiftly the shadow entered and closed the door. The light was switched on revealing the back of a person clad in a hooded black overcoat. The overcoat unbuttoned the hood flung back to reveal long flowing locks of titian hair.

And only then did the nurse say “this ban on smoking in the home will be the bloody death of me”.

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