Today's prompt comes from my Schott's Miscellany 2009 calendar: ely.
I can't actually find an online reference to the definition shown on the calendar, so here's the definition for you - to fall away one by one.
The group of six men moved through the woods in single file, each alone with his own thoughts. The sun had set many hours before and the shadows watched their steady progress with hungry eyes.
So preoccupied were they with their own troubles, none noticed the disturbance at the back of the group which trimmed their numbers to five. Likewise the reduction to four went unheeded.
By the time the moonlit meadow appeared over the crest of a hill they were only three in number, and none the wiser. However when the man leading the way disappeared in a rush of shadows, the final two looked up in alarm.
"Where did everyone go?" the second man asked in a nervous whisper as he looked over his shoulder. Hearing no reply, his head swiveled back toward their destination only to find that he was wholly alone.
And then, with a final silent swoop of shadows, the path was emptied of trespassers. And the woods were once again content.