A mist clung to the air, thick and heavy, licking at the mossy boughs of the trees and shimmering on the dewy grass. Hanging over the green pond was a darkness thicker than the night surrounding it, like a shapeless blot in the air. A lightning flash barely illuminated the undergrowth, but the rumble of thunder shuddered through, bringing with it three shady figures, short and barely more defined than the shadow over the pond. They shimmied out of the trees and bowed before the pond.
“Master,” one of them said, it’s voice a breath on the wind, “We have come. Is it time?”
“Yes,” said the shapeless shadow over the pond, shimmering with what could be taken as excitement, “The time is nearly upon us. You all understand what needs to be done?”
The three figures bowed their heads.
“Then go,” the shadow commanded, “If you succeed then you know the reward that awaits you. But if you should fail…”
“We shan’t fail you, Master,” said one of the minions, and with a fetid breeze they were swept away, dissolving into the night.
The shadow was alone once again. It slowly rose to take its place in the shade of a tree’s canopy. And there it stayed. Waiting.