The bridge was here when I bought the place arching slightly ever so slightly enough to rise above the fall rains. The path to the back of my property gets steeper every year eroded over time and rainfall. The cows won’t quit complaining tonight, every night the crickets never let up hissrattleshatterscreachbuzz my lantern bobs its light ahead of me golden light reminding me of my younger sister’s hair reaching into my skirt pocket I grab my wooden pipe, some wooden matches I heard panting beside me it was coming from the right of me, close north east to me close enough to prey on me (heavy breathing; sweaty, wet, gnarly) The breath had teeth. I showed the darkness my lantern, shoving it ahead of me "I have fire", I warned the darkness. I stayed a while lingering in the shadows waving my lantern across the ground ahead of me. The fear of the dead of winter frosted over my breath lingering in the air, just there. I swatted at it like I would a fly. I turned around and walked back over the creek determined not to let fear get a hold of me.