The storm was thunderous. His cottage was barely holding up. He sat on an old rocking chair. A glass of beer kept him warm. Thunder was the only source of light that night.
Suddenly the door jerked open. A manly figure stood there. With no light falling on him, he seemed like a shadow.
"Who's there?" He asked, irritated.
"I know." said a blank voice.
"What do you know? Is this some kind of joke? What do you want? Who are you?" His annoyance increased.
"I know you were responsible for that fire." the voice boomed, with no movement in the figure.
"Wh..wh..what? What fire?! Who are you?" He stammered, getting scared.
"I was there, when you lit that match."
"What do you want to shut up? I'll pay you whatever you quote. Just name it." He spoke hurriedly, sitting up straight.
"Are you sure? You'll pay whatever I ask?" Asked the man in the shadows.
"Yes! Take it and be gone. Let me get my chequebook." He replied, relieved.
"I don't think that would be required." The voice echoed with hatred.
"What do you mean? Do you want cash? I just have 50 thousand in hand. I'll get you the rest tomorrow. So how much do you want?" He said, waiting for the other man to reply.
"I want what I lost. Nothing more."
"Fine! How much do I owe you?" He was irritated, again.
"You cost me my life. It's time to pay back." Snapped back the shadow and disappeared.
Headlines next day-
"Lightning struck a cottage. Burned to ashes."