As night drew in over the land, the shadows that seemed to grow upon the thinning grass grew thicker. They began at a tight epicenter and crept out in ripples across the fertile land. They were crooked, like the tips of long gnarled fingers or broken branches.
The tree trunk that sprung up from the ground was thick and heavy with emerald green moss. The knotted trunk grew upwards to the sky as a herald to the heavens snaking higher and higher until it broke into so many long, thin, withered branches which themselves had very few leaves, most of them laying copper crisp on the floor, obscuring the shadows that hid in view.
The sky was darkening now. The cloud had disappeared over the rolling hills and beyond the horizon until it had vanished from view. Night would soon fall upon this strange place. At least when the place was plummeted into total blackness, the shadows that seemed to somehow threaten the unwary watcher of their scene would be gone. There were no stars in the sky. Though, the moon’s faded form shimmered in and out of view from time to time.
The sickly branches of the trees made a perfect clearing in the forest. A large white manor house gleamed in what little light remained. Four white pillars swept up from the earth and held up a grey slatted roof that slanted beautifully, half silhouetted against the trees and the skyline. All of the many windows were shut, though not a single one had any light or sign of movement from the inside. Hedgerow grew up from the double doored entrance to the manor, though they too were growing a little yellow. The cause of their sickly form was unclear as the month was September and there had been plenty of rainfall. The doors to the manor were shut.
Night drew in a little further and an unnatural chill hovered in the air.
The moon swam into view one last time as the two shutters of the topmost window of the manor were flung open. A curved silhouette was exposed within.