He stepped out into the cold, dark night. The air smelled fresh after the storm. He gasped as the cold air sliced through his throat, his breath dissipating from a cloud of steam. He wrapped himself more tightly into his black cape, and ventured forward into the night. The sounds of his feet crushing the pebbles underneath, the ravens spilling out their haunting call, his own breath quivering in the icy atmosphere - these noises chilled him even further. Shook his spine and froze his heart. He stopped suddenly. As if he could take no more, as if the world's conspiracy against him on this dark night had taken its final toll on his vulnerable soul. A distant sheet of lightning cracked through the sky, briefly lighting a tortured, hallowed face floating directly in front of him, mirroring his own. He leapt back in fright and nearly lost his balance, but his cold, slowed brain caught him on the edge of the abyss.
He knelt down, perhaps for balance, perhaps for warmth, and faced that awful visage that had accosted him. His mouth twisted into a smile as, by the very faint light of the stars, he recognised the face of his pumpkin, lovingly carved by his own hand earlier that day. He reached that same hand, now numbed, into his pocket, and groped around for the small candle and the box of matches he had brought.
Eventually, his breath almost freezing in the crisp air, he emptied the contents of his pocket onto the floor. He reached up for the pumpkin, which was lying atop a small stone column, like an altar, hidden by a holly bush, and grabbed at it with his enfeebled hands.
The sky was riven by another vicious bolt of lightning, accompanied by...