A smudge of blue stained the horizon surrounding the scene, a contrast to the black of the sky overhead. A weak, bored river, guided to the sea by its arrow-straight course, sat still and silent in the gloom; it was surrounded by bare black fields, vast and wide as the sky, unfurling forever into the blue tinge of the distance, broken by occasional low, lone trees. Starless and dense, the sky crumpled heavy over a man as he walked, following the weather-beaten track. A small animal rustled in the scrub by the path, scurrying away home from the approaching figure.
The distance between towns in this area meant that journeys between them were long and tiring, and in this case had progressed late into the autumn night. The stony track, dry after a summer without rain, was rough and rutted, and the figure had difficulty progressing at any reasonable speed. With a sigh, he dropped his bag and slumped to the ground, exhausted and beaten by the day’s travelling, whilst the darkness seemed to creep up to him now he was still, like animals approaching a campfire. Another sigh lifted the silence, and he stared down the track, trying to make out the slightest dart of light from the village he knew to be in that direction. His destination was an engagement party held for a friend, and it promised to be an event that would be remembered in the area for some time; the last party held in Shadwick had been a great success, and had gone on into the early hours of the morning. He would be lucky, now, to get to the village in time to see it end. He spat, the only moisture the road had known for months, and once again rose to his feet, determined to reach the party before the kegs of ale were drained by over-zealous revellers. As he began to walk - a little faster than before - the blue smudge on the horizon faded until it was gone. The night had finally gained possession of the entire scene. The traveller found himself in a binding blackness and, cursing the lack of a moon, he once again sat on the rough track, contemplating his options.