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By the Campfire

by Thomas Durbin 3 months ago in Mystery · updated 3 months ago
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The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window.

The robbers approached cautiously. It had been a long march through the woods after they escaped with the money. No movement. No sound except water dripping from the eaves and the leaves of nearby trees. They checked the windows before they crept closer to the door. Bill opened the door slowly and peered in. Seeing nothing, he moved back slowly then pushed the door open quickly. Stillness. Nothing moved. There were no tracks in the soft ground near any of the windows or the door from whoever had lit the candle. Another storm approached. Lightning flashed. Thunder boomed. The rain would erase their tracks, so whoever followed them would lose their trail soon. The cabin was empty. Whoever lit the candle was nowhere to be seen. They decided to take shelter in the cabin for the night.

They entered the small, one-room cabin quietly, finding no living thing in the place. There were no spent matches and no matchbooks to be found, either. No lamps. No more candles. Whoever lit that lone candle left no other evidence of their presence.

They sat on a couple of log benches and began to talk.

The first one said, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told...

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

"One dark, stormy night, three robbers sitting in a cave. One said to the other, "Bill, tell me a story." and this is the story he told."

They repeated the old gag story line until the candle was spent and darkness enveloped them. Lightning flashed and life-like shadows danced on the walls. Thunder boomed, muting muffled screams in the mysterious cabin. The robbers were nowhere to be found. The cabin was empty again and rain began to fall onto the roof in the darkness.

Another candle appeared in the window burning brightly in the traces of wax remaining from the spent candle that had drawn the robbers to the cabin.

The end...or is it?

Mystery

About the author

Thomas Durbin

Raised in rural east-central Illinois, I appreciate nature and the environment. I'm a father, grandfather, professional engineer, leader, researcher, coach, scouts leader, stoic, minimalist, costumer, historian, traveler, and writer.

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