Imagine that you came to California for the gold. Maybe you’re a merchant most days, or maybe you’re a soldier, but today you’re a prospector. Everyone gets excited when the rivers gleam. You’ve been down at the water’s edge for some time now, pan in hand, and are now making your way back toward town with a fist-sized bag full of gold in hand.
You get a sudden sensation of being followed and turn to see who it is. From the corner of your eye you see something, but it’s gone again before you can prove it was there. You pull your knife and look closer, trying to find whoever is stalking your find, but there’s no one to be found. When you turn back to see a silhouette against the moonlit sky. Suddenly there’s movement all around as the very shadows seem to envelop you. You attempt to scream but there’s no noise to be had. The shadows close in and the silhouette moves toward you inhumanly fast – you’re certain you’re going to die, and you clutch your purse with the last of your breath.
Suddenly you shake yourself awake slumped over a saloon table. You feel chill and your skin looks pale, even to yourself. A friend from town slaps you on the back with a hearty laugh and you smile half-heartedly, searching yourself for your find. The one that doesn’t seem to be on you. Was it all a dream caused by drink, or did something really happen? The bar girl taps you on the shoulder and hands you a drink “This came fully paid.” – can you ever be entirely sure?