Night settled around the old manor house pushing down upon the roof causing the creaks to ripple across the rooms giving the residents the impression that the dwelling, like them, was ready to stretch its bones at rest. Right around now the air got real thin as one half of the world breathed deep with the setting of the sun and the other half gasped with the beauty of the coming dusk. Ricard looked out the window to the dimming light running up and down the street jumping shadows to find a lasting hold in spaces it no longer had right to call its own. It was better at night he told himself, the patrols only went out at night if the sirens came, and tonight he hoped there would only be silence in the wind.
The view from the top floor of the four story manor house could be off putting to some, but for Ricard at this height he could see each end of the block. A vantage point like this was not worth giving up unless it was by necessity or force. His life, the life of his family may be one of constant readiness even while sleeping though on a night like this the world seemed to accept him in peace rather than refuse him like riot. Ricard reached down for the canteen of water by his foot noticing how dry his mouth had become. The watch took precedent over all other needs and so he tended to forget himself as a person so that he could remember what was lurking behind the now present shadow.
The air had chilled the canteen causing the metal part of the container not covered by the leather straps to sting at Ricard’s finger tips. This lone bite was enough to rouse his mind back to the now, making his eyes focus back to the task at hand and away from the thoughts of might be. Tonight there would be no sirens he resolved, tonight there would be only a bed, his family, and dreams of nights no longer needing a watch. Those dreams were the best, those dreams were the ones he wished he could record and share with his family.
“One day old man, one day we will watch only the dying of the sun for enjoyment that after some darkness the light would once again be there…,” Ricard spoke softly to himself. A wiry smile hung like an old picture moved to often to ever sit right upon any wall. He gathered his senses about him again and tilted forward in his chair. He took two small drinks fo water nd placed the canteen back upon the wooden floor. His eyes never breaking from the horizon. For now there was only the watch, a place too real for smiles or dreams.