He followed the line of sight. There it was, at the edge of the forest – beckoning him. The translucent, emaciated figure. Same garbled speech but more desperate this time. Pleading. Beckoning.
Suddenly dragged away by his whimpering, flat-eared companion. Lead tight. Bounding.
In the candle-lit croft, the man looked around at his life.
I'm sorry old friend, the old man thought, But if it should happen again...