Outside the house, clouds hurtled across the sky as though in a hurry to be elsewhere. They slid across the full moon, giving rise to flickering shadow plays across the fields and pastures that surrounded the building. A few dogs barked as the night grew cool and the mist rose. Now the house seemed adrift on an ocean of swirling fog, only a couple of bright lights blazing away like lighthouses on the top floor. Like two eyes, they winked as the candles that provided the flames of illumination guttered in the draughts that seeped into the building as though seeking refuge. At three minutes past midnight, the lights went out and with them, a pulse.