VIII – The Doctor

The doctor came to see an ailing girl in a town called Dacia. He didn’t want to stay the night there, not after he was warned to be cautious, but he couldn’t leave the girl without seeing her improve a bit. By the time the girl got better it was getting late. The doctor packed up his satchel and walked down stairs, onto the porch where the man who had brought him was standing.

“The sun is going down,” the man observed. “It’s best you stay the night until morning. Not safe to be traveling in the night. I can prepare the barn for you. If that’s all right?”

“Much oblige,” the doctor was staring out into the landscape, noticing there was no other houses in sight. “Did you say there were others that still lived here?”

“Yes, sir, there are,” said the man.

“How far do they live?”

“Not far.”

“Do you see them often?”

“Sometimes. Farm work keeps us busy, especially during crop season. I better get the stables ready for you,” the man lowered his hat and walked off.

The doctor was getting the sense that the man was trying to evade more questions about the town and its people. There was something eerie about the place. He kept looking out into the landscape when a flickering lantern appeared in a distance. Another one came on after and then another. It was followed by a succession of them in a straight line. It was probably about twenty lanterns or more that lined up against the landscape. A small figure of a man came into sight and raised his lantern in a greeting.

The doctor was about to wave back when he realized the man wasn’t waving at him, but the man that brought him there. It was then the doctor noticed the many lanterns that surrounded the siblings farmhouse. The man was also lighting them one by one as the sun sunk deeper in the horizon. The sight made the doctors skin crawl.

VII – The Doctor

The doctor had come a long way from the city to see a patient in Dacia, a town most people avoided. He didn’t know much about the town or its history. The man who brought him here his sister was ill and no other doctor was willing to travel to Dacia to see her. He couldn’t understand why other doctors had refused, but then he wondered what lay in Dacia because even Archibal, his mentor, warned him about the place. He told him to never go out at night, no matter what he heard or saw. The doctor was getting the sense that there was more than darkness to it and he didn’t like it at all.

When he and the man reached the farm house the man didn’t waste any time and took him to his ailing sister. She lay unconscious on the bed, suffering to what seem to be a cold. She looked feverish and pale. The doctor placed his hand on her forehead. She had a high fever.

“We need to lower her fever,” the doctor said urgently as he pulled up his sleeves. “Get me a basin with cold water and a rag.”

The man did as he was told. The doctor instructed him to soak the rag in the water and lay it across her forehead while he rummaged through his bag. He took out a needle and a vial. He filled the needle and injected the girl with the serum. He then began examining her arms and legs, searching for traces of anything abnormal, a bite, a rash, even a cut, but she had none. Though, the doctor practiced man’s medicine, sometimes he did relied on magic. The girl hadn’t improved much while he was there. He knew he couldn’t just leave her. For now, he had to wait. He sat in the corner of the room and watched. The man waited with him sitting silently beside his sisters bed.