“The loudest sound was my breathing, it outplayed the crunch of my feet on the gravel. It was like driving on a dark road with only the short space ahead of you lit up by the headlights. Beyond that was a disorientating void of dark matter; the ground could sway to vertical and I would still be running. The lonely dark made its own terror. Should I have rather faced the intruder in the warm light of the cottage? Out here, I was an isolated speck in the black night, vulnerable and traceable as a firefly.
I pulled into the bank of trees to the side of the road and switched off the torch. There was a dank silence. The smell of damp soil and autumnal leaves was overlaid by the sharp tang of resin. In daylight this would have been a green wood, patched by the skylight shafts of sunlight. Now it exuded a deathly hush. Trees were defined in crooked black lines in navy depths, branches stretched in spidery ambush; all the mystery of the woods after dark: the legends of Sleepy Hollow, the werewolf and the vampire.”