“What good is a lantern that doesn’t light?”

“I already told you, it’ll light when we get to the right place.”

“How are we bloody well going to find it in the dark?”

I didn’t respond, just pressed onward past the long grasses and into the tree line. The moon was out, we had that much in our favor, and the spring buds on the branches above had not yet exploded into canopy, so that same moon could be glimpsed through the treetops. We went on raucously, and the snapping of twigs and crunching of last fall’s detritus woke the animals, sending fawns scampering and various day birds aflight.

“Look,” said Caleb, his voice hushed with awe. It was dim, but undeniable; the lantern was aglow, its violet flame stretching out like it was yawning after a long nap. “The ghosts,” he continued,” they’re here.”

“Let’s press on.”

We walked more carefully now, stepping lightly.

Notes: In this exercise, I followed a prompt to write about an unusual object.

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