The ice was perched in the corner of the window. The panes rattled from the wind. The candle's flame danced in the reflection. Yet, there was stillness outside that only the cold brings. Nothing moving, not a stir, just the glow of the predator's stare from the shadows. He could see me just as well as I could see him. Mother's cough perforated the silence. This was a bad one; you could tell by the sound it was down deep. She had barely moved in the last couple days. Her skin had become a ghastly pale shade. The Doctor had stopped by earlier in the day we lived on his to town. His expression didn't look good, but remarks were hopeful. Mother was tough and had made it through some of the toughest times life had to offer. I just hoped she could find a bit rest in her sleep. I pulled my blanket tight as the window's rattle and the wind's howl served as a lullaby.
With a nudge from Butchy, a well seasoned mix breed, woke me. His tired bloodshot eyes looked like I felt. It was time to let him out to stretch his legs. He had been on guard all night by Mother's side. I opened the door and he was on his way. There was a chill in the room. The fire had burned down. I put some wood on the fire and stirred things up. I stood silently staring into Mother's room. I just waited to see if there any movements. She lay there so still. I started towards the room when turned onto her side. I exhaled slowly and headed to the stove to make some coffee. Than I heard a single bark from Butchy and a scratch at the door. Butchy only scratched at the door when there was trouble. I looked out the door to a car coming towards the house. It would be hear pretty quick, it was just enough time to get the scatter gun and gather some rounds.