Madelaine hears a sound and pauses, swinging the flashlight around to see.
“What is it?” Clive asks, pausing next to her.
“I heard something.”
He shines his light up and down the path they are following.
The light splashes through the darkness, pushing it away momentarily and moving on.
The trees and bushes seem to be pressing in, the path narrowing.
Madelaine has the image suddenly of the forest closing together, swallowing up both them and the path cutting through the trees.
Clive listens to the forest. He shines his light through the trees surrounding them.
The forest is silent except for the sound of the breeze in the trees.
Even the nocturnal forest animals are quiet, as if they too heard it and are listening.
“Mocha!” he calls, cupping his hands to his mouth in an effort to make the sound carry further.
He moves his flashlight beam steadily, sweeping a path of light through the trees. “Mocha! Here girl!”
He stops calling and listens for the sound of the dog. For any sound.
They are met with silence.
“Probably just a raccoon,” he says, referring to whatever it is Madelaine thought she heard. He didn’t hear anything. “Let’s keep going.”
They move on, their flashlights cutting through the dark ahead, the darkness closing in again behind them.
To be continued...