Another drop of crimson wax plopped on the shabby, wooden table. The candle was almost finished, and it sputtered and flickered whenever the cold winter wind whipped through the broken shutters. The large yet plain candleholder, covered in wax, stood at the center of the little table. In front of it lay a half-eaten meal of stale bread, moldy cheese and meat. How long ago had the owner left in such a hurry that he left his supper to the rats and mead to curdle? Judging from the cobwebs that adorned the wooden rafters and corners, the size the once-huge candle had been reduced to, and the cold fireplace ashes that scattered and danced in the angry, sharp wind, it was quite a while ago. For what reason, no one shall ever know.

The candle sputtered again, and the room grew one shade darker. The shadows of the rotting chair and table threw themselves onto a cracked mud wall. In it’s center, a small, cold fireplace was bathed in darkness, which masked the intricate carvings of a hunting scene etched into the frame. Beside the fireplace a cupboard stood, it’s wood also decaying and crumbling. The shelves were almost empty, save for a stone chalice, three plates, and a pair of cutlery. There was some more spoiled food among the lower shelves, where some rats were enjoying their grisly feast. Near the corner a small bed lay, the ancient covers worn and frayed. No one would sleep there that night. Evidently, whoever lived there once upon a time was a poor man.

The wick was drowning in liquid wax now, it’s flame growing dimmer and smaller with each passing moment. A breeze crept through the window; the flame flickered, and went out.