Go back to previous chapter


By Sarah Hapgood

Ransey suggested that, due to Kieran and Joby’s disgraceful behaviour, it would probably be best if they all kept a low profile at the Old Mill-House for a few days. No one contradicted this suggestion, and a surprisingly quiet few days followed, in which the most startling event was that the long-awaited thaw really did seem to be starting. Julian had started about being angry about the evening at the First Man’s house, but then burst out laughing when he heard about Joby head-butting Piers, and said he wished he had been there to see it. Adam said he didn’t regard that remark as being terribly helpful.

Tamaz had been very miffed indeed that he had now been missed out of not just one, but TWO suppers out, and became quite a cross-patch about it, trotting out his oft-repeated phrase that he was “treated like a worm”. Toppy irritated the clowns by saying that Tamaz was feeling unappreciated and unadored. Bardin retaliated by putting on an act of being Tamaz’s besotted swain. This involved him going into adoring raptures whenever he found himself in close proximity to Tamaz. No amount of Tamaz shrieking “moron!” “fool!” and “buffoon!” could put Bardin off his stroke, and Adam marvelled at how well he managed to stay in character.

“But perhaps you should ease off now, old love”, said Adam, one afternoon “I’m starting to feel sorry for poor old Freaky”.

“Feel sorry for him?!” said Bardin, who was sitting at the kitchen table, thrusting his leg into the air to improve his muscle tone.

“Well he is a good sport when all’s said and done”, said Adam “He does put up with an awful lot”.

“With all respect Adam, you’re getting as bad as Toppy!” said Bardin “I should point out that we put up with an awful lot from him!”

“There’s a robin outside”, said Lonts, standing at the glass doors, with Snowy under his arm “Isn’t he cute?”

“Vicious little bastards, robins”, said Joby.

“Oh Joby, how can you say that?” said Lonts.

“’Cos it’s true”, said Joby “That’s why you never see ‘em in twos, they’re always on their own. You’ve just seen too many cards and pictures with ‘em on wearing woolly scraves and hats, and smiling!”

Tamaz came downstairs. He looked suspiciously at Bardin, who continued to do his leg exercises.

“Can you wrap your leg round the back of your head, Bardin?” asked Lonts.

“He could try wrapping it round his throat!” said Tamaz.

Bengo and Farnol, who were washing-up in the pantry, overheard this and went into fits of giggles.

“Let’s stop this little joke now, you two”, Adam said to Bardin and Tamaz “Or I shall lock you both in one of the out-houses”.

“But it’s freezing down there!” Tamaz protested.

“Yes it is isn’t it”, said Adam “Funny that!”

“Did you put the hot-water bottle in the bed exactly 30 minutes ago?” Bardin asked Bengo.

“Yes”, Bengo sighed, sitting on the edge of their bed cutting his toe-nails with a pair of Finia’s tapestry scissors “Although you could have done it yourself, you have much less than me to do around here!”

“I don’t know why I bother doing anything”, Bardin grumbled “There seems no point at all to me being Captain”.

“You’d never be able to cope with NOT being Captain”, said Bengo “Not after all this time”.

“Yes but I might as well step down”, said Bardin “You heard the way Adam spoke to us earlier”.

“You didn’t have to take it”, said Bengo.

“Oh yeah right!” said Bardin, getting into bed “And you know exactly what would have happened if I hadn’t”.

“Yes”, said Bengo, looking very pleased at the thought going through his mind “He’d have taken your trousers down and given you a right good spanking!”

Bardin turned the lamp right down, plunging them into darkness. Bengo sighed and slammed the scissors onto his bedside table.

“Your feet are cold”, said Bardin, when Bengo got into bed “Why aren’t you wearing bed-socks?”

“Because I was in the middle of cutting my toe-nails”, said Bengo, crossly “Before you turned the light out!”

“Go to sleep”, Bardin snapped.

Bengo muttered something under his breath and turned over onto his side.

The sound of a woman screaming and wailing came from out in the forest.

“What the hell is happening now?” said Bardin.

They both struggled out of bed and across the room, pulling at the shutters to open them.

“Oh this damn place!” said Bengo, when they ascertained that nothing could be seen outside “I’m sick of it, things always going on. I can’t ever get used to it”.

“I should think the last thing ‘They’ want is for you to get used to it!” said Bardin.

“Why can’t we move away from here?” said Bengo “Ransey was talking about Wolf Castle earlier. We could try living up there for a while, I don’t expect any of Tamaz’s children are still there”.

“Well we know for a fact one of them isn’t!” said Bardin, grimly “Anyway Kieran won’t leave here whilst there’s all this going on”.

“A banshee”, said Kieran, at breakfast-time the next day “What you heard sounded like a banshee”.

“What’s a banshee, Kieran?” asked Lonts, and Kieran explained, even though Adam was grimacing at him to stop the conversation right now.

“But don’t worry”, said Kieran, when he had finished explaining about the ghostly portent of death “It won’t affect us, she only affects those with Celtic blood in their veins”.

“Er … Kieran”, said Joby “This probably ent the best time to remind you but …”

“You are positively unreal at times, Tinkerbell!” said Julian.

“At least you didn’t hear any ghostly fingernails tapping on the window”, Kieran continued, undaunted “That’s another of her trademarks”.

“Was there anything like that where you came from, Joby?” said Lonts.

“Only when me Dad forgot his key to the front-door!” said Joby “He used to tap quietly, hoping that me Mum wouldn’t hear”.

“From what I’ve heard about your mother, Joby”, said Adam “I’m amazed he wanted to be let in!”

“Poor old sod had nowhere else to go”, said Joby.

“You make him sound like a homing dog!” said Julian.

“Well he certainly had a dog’s life!” said Joby “Makes me feel quite sad when I think about him. Makes you wonder what was the point of him being born really”.

“To sire you, old love!” said Adam.

“Great”, said Joby “I bet that’d be a great comfort to him that would!”

“Anyway”, said Julian “Thinking of him should make you feel grateful for the lot that has been granted you in life”.

“Oh Julian, really!” said Adam “You sound like some poisonous old squire telling his peasants to be thankful for their place!”

“He always sounds like that!” said Joby.

“I heard a tale once”, said Kieran “Of a man in a village round our way who claimed to keep a comb on his mantelpiece that he said had belonged to a banshee”.

“A comb?” said Ransey “How the hell did he get a comb off her?”

“Perhaps she loaned it to him!” said Julian “Windy day and all that”.

“The tale was that he met her out in the countryside”, said Kieran “And she was combing her hair, and well I don’t quite know how the comb came to be in his possession, but there it was”.

“Sounds more like a variation on the old mermaid legends to me”, said Adam.

“Have you got anymore of that bacon, Adam?” said Ransey.

“I don’t know where you put it all”, said Adam, taking his plate from him “You must have hollow feet”.

Bengo suddenly sprang up and seized the hand-bell by which they all summoned each other at moments of great event, and swung it urgently.

“What’s come over him?” said Joby.

“Bengo, what are you playing at?” said Bardin.

“What are we all doing here?” Bengo cried.

“Is this some great philosophical question?” said Julian.

“I doubt it”, said Joby.

“Eighteen of us trying to live in a three-roomed house, it’s crazy!” said Bengo.

“It’ll be easier when the renovations start”, said Adam.

“Why don’t we go up to Wolf Castle?” said Bengo.

“Oh we had all this last night”, said Bardin “I explained it to you then …”

“We can’t leave here now”, said Kieran “If we abandon this place then Marlsblad will be plunged back into the bad old days, living in the shadow of the Winter Palace”.

“Then let’s get it sorted out!” said Bengo.

“What plan of campaign do you suggest?” Ransey snapped.

“Sit down and stop making an arse of yourself!” Bardin hissed.

“I’m a clown, I’m supposed to make an arse of myself”, Bengo retorted “You told me that the very first time I ever got pied, and I’ve never forgotten it! Why don’t you go over there and bang on their door and have it out with them?”

“Bang on their door and have it out with them?” said Ransey “This isn’t a dispute between neighbours you know!”

“Bengo, I won’t tell you again”, said Bardin “Sit down”.

Bengo pouted and sat down.

“Drink your tea, old love”, said Adam “Or it’ll get cold”.

After breakfast, and everyone had dispersed in different directions, Bengo sought out Tamaz, who had been set to work by Mieps sorting out balls of wool, which he was unravelling and wrapping round the legs of an upturned chair.

“This is a stupid job”, said Tamaz.

“Tamaz”, Bengo came up to him “I’m sorry if I upset you with what I said about Wolf Castle, I don’t mean to disturb you by mentioning it”.

“You haven’t”, said Tamaz.

“I-I know it’s got associations for you”, said Bengo.

Tamaz shrugged.

“It’s just that I do think it’d be a great place to live”, said Bengo “It’s very big by all accounts isn’t it?”

“It’s huge”, said Tamaz “It’s also got big gates on it, I suppose you like that idea more than any”.

“I can’t settle to this place at all”, said Bengo “I think we should just sort it out, and go”.

“You’re not the only one”, said Tamaz “I don’t know why I’m not allowed to just go in there and gorgonise the lot of them. He”, referring to Kieran “Was quite happy for me to do that to Vanod at the castle in the rainforest. I don’t see what the difference is here”.

“He’s concerned for your safety, that’s all”, said Bengo “Look what happened to your mother in the end”.

“He thinks they might chop my head off?” said Tamaz “That’s o.k, get Finia to sew it back on!”

Bengo laughed. Joby came in through the glass doors, clutching a bowl of eggs to his chest, and a coat over his head. Bengo hastened to help him.

“What’s going on between you two?” said Joby “Are you hatching something?”

“Eggs?” said Bengo, indicating the bowl.

“Very funny”, said Joby.

“Hey”, Dobley came in, the same way “I’ve just remembered a great joke”.

“Oh no!” said Bengo.

“Have you heard it then?” said Dobley.

“How can I have?” said Bengo “You haven’t said it yet! I was just groaning … well … because it’s one of yours”.

“Two cannibals are eating a clown out in the woods”, said Dobley.

“Nice”, said Bengo.

“And one says to the other”, said Dobley “Is it me or does this taste funny to you!”

“I’ve a feeling I’ve heard that before somewhere”, said Joby “Back in me own time I think”.

“Hah!” said Bengo “One of Dobley’s jokes being over 2000 years old, yeah that makes sense!”

“You could have been a talent-scout, do you know that?” Dobley snapped back “You have a real good way of putting people down!”

“That’s cobblers, Dobley!” said Bengo “I’ve been fighting your corner all along, even when all the other clowns were dissing you. No wonder you’ve got no friends left in showbusiness with an attitude like that!”

And he flounced into the pantry in high dudgeon.

“Weird”, said Bardin, walking with Dobley through a nearby part of the forest a short time later “Normally it’s Bengo who does all the smoothing of the ruffled feathers after I’VE upset someone. Strange bit of role-reversal this”.

“Oh I just think it was a misunderstanding”, said Dobley, although he still looked upset “That’s the trouble with bust-ups, half the time you can’t remember how or why they started”.

“Bengo hates it here, that’s what’s getting on his nerves”, said Bardin “He wants us to clear out. He never wanted to come here in the first place. I’ll have to drag him out here and show him the signs of the thaw”.

“I’ve got money-worries on my mind”, said Dobley, never one to keep the conversation off himself for too long.

“Money running out?” said Bardin.

“It’s run!” said Dobley “Not that I suppose I should worry about it too much. If I have to get a job as a stable-hand I will, I’m not as proud as you all seem to think”.

“Still it’s hard going back to no money when you’ve had some”, said Bardin.

“Not that you’ve got to worry about that now”, said Dobley, not unpleasantly.

“Well until some other spiteful bastard comes along and takes it from us again!” said Bardin.

“It’s too cold out here”, Dobley shivered “Coming back to the house?”

“In a moment”, said Bardin “I’m going to walk around a bit first, there’s a lot of thinking needs to be done”.

Bardin wandered over to a wild mass of nettles and holly-bush, all of which were beginning to thrust more and more greenness against the dwindling snow. He selected a twig, stripped it down and thrashed at the holly with it in a distracted fashion. Suddenly a creature tore round the side of the bush at him. It was the shape of a bulky, broad-shouldered man, except that it had no head, none whatsoever. It’s body was covered in holly, as though it was wearing a body-stocking made out of the foliage, all except a large penis which wagged between its legs, and which seemed to be covered in some kind of black, cobwebby stuff.

“What the hell …?” said Bardin, hoarsely.

The creature seemed to be surrounded by some kind of horrendously loud buzzing noise, which thrummed louder and louder. It pursued Bardin round the bush until it had him backed into a corner. There was no hope of fighting it off, not covered in all that stuff. The only way was to distract it or cause it some temporary pain, just enough to make a get-away. Bardin grabbed the penis, intending to yank it savagely and thus stun the creature in its tracks. To his unspeakable horror though, this only excited the creature even more, and the penis began to slowly telescope.

“I’m arousing it!” Bardin cried.

The penis was now monstrously erect and throbbing like a dynamo. The buzzing noise was incredible. Bardin slammed the penis into the holly viciously. The creature’s buzzing grew frantic, so it had clearly felt pain. Bardin took his brief moment of opportunity and hurtled back through the forest towards the Old Mill-House. When he finally collapsed on the steps running up out of the yard, he was sobbing hysterically like a child.

“What happened, Bengo?” said Bardin, lying in bed as the twilight deepened outside “What was that thing?”

“That’s what the others are trying to find out”, said Bengo, who had brought him up some soup and was trying to feed it to him “They’ve gone out for a good look round”.

“Not now?” Bardin yelped “It’s getting dark!”

“They’ll come back in”, said Bengo “They won’t push it”.

“It had no head”, said Bardin “And that buzzing”.

“You must try and lie quietly, Bardy”, said Bengo “You were in a terrible state when Hillyard brought you in. Whatever it was it can’t get you in here. This is what happens you go off by yourself, you were never meant to be a solo performer”.

Bardin began to cry and found he couldn’t stop. Bengo put the tray on the floor and then held him in his arms, soothing him as best he could. It was some while before Bardin was anywhere near coherent again.

The others took turns to sit with him all night. By the following day Bardin was feeling much calmer, although frustrated that he wasn’t allowed to get out of bed. The others even went so far as to confiscate his clothes, leaving him only his nightshirt.

“Now I know how Kieran feels when he’s put under house-arrest!” said Bardin.

“It’s for your own good”, said Bengo “You really were very ill yesterday. A shock like that needs time to get over”.

“I’ve been sent up with more logs for your fire”, said Tamaz, carrying a log-basket into the room “If I was you I’d lie there and keep quiet”.

“You?” said Bardin “Keep quiet? That’d be the day!”

“I’m gonna go down and fetch you some more tea”, said Bengo “Tamaz, sit with him until I get back”.

Tamaz perched on the end of the bed.

“That creature you saw”, he said “The others saw something like that years ago when they were hot-air ballooning over the mountains”.

“Yes, Lonts said something like that”, said Bardin “Not covered in holly though”.

“I expect it’s a Mutant”, said Tamaz, casually.

“What do you mean?” said Bardin, leaning forward eagerly.

“It was common knowledge in the Ghoomer colonies”, said Tamaz “The mountain areas often had them, they were the areas to avoid”.

“B-but what are they?” said Bardin.

“Word was they were experiments the Ministry had done that had gone drastically wrong”, said Tamaz “So they were flown out and dumped in the mountains. I don’t know why they didn’t just kill them, like they wanted to do to me”.

“What kind of experiments?” said Bardin.

“You must have heard the rumours”, said Tamaz “They were always doing experiments of some kind or another, like trying to find a way of creating women, or getting a new generation. Ransey knows all about it. Remember that weird creature who came looking for him in Toondor Lanpin?”

“Well I remember it”, said Bardin “But I wasn’t with you lot then”.

“Some botched attempt to make a woman out of a man”, said Tamaz “And all they ended up with was a sort of sub-hermaphrodite that was nothing like a real hermaphrodite”.

“Nothing could be”, Bardin smiled.

Bengo returned to the room, carrying a cup of tea in one hand and Bardin’s pink nightdress in the other.

“Toppy’s washed it for you”, said Bengo “I think he thought it might cheer you up”.

“Sit down and listen to what Tamaz has just told me”, said Bardin.

“Maybe”, said Bengo, when Tamaz had finished “But I still wonder if it was an elemental or a demon of some kind, like the one that killed the poacher”.

“We shall see”, said Tamaz, curtly, as he got up and left the room.

“What’s he got a bee in his bonnet about?” said Bengo.

“I think he’s just chewing over the idea”, said Bardin.

His enforced incarceration was getting Bardin down. He complained that he would get bed-sores if he had to lie down much longer, but Bengo merely bustled and said that the rest was doing him good. The next day Bardin heard most of the others outside taking advantage of the thaw to play a game with the dogs. Bardin bridled at his isolation, and resolutely got out of bed and went downstairs, where he found Adam alone, sitting at the kitchen table writing out a recipe.

“I don’t think you should be up and around, old love”, he said “The exertion won’t do you any good”.

“Exertion?” said Bardin, sitting down at the table “I’ve only come down the stairs! I wish everyone would stop carrying on as though I was an invalid on his way out!”

“I saw you when Hillyard brought you into the house”, said Adam, pulling a blanket off the back of the sofa and wrapping it round Bardin “You were in a terrible state. A frightening experience such as you had could kill some people”.

“Only if they had a weak heart”, said Bardin “And I haven’t … well at least I don’t think I have anyway”.

“Would you like some tea?” said Adam.

“No, not more tea”, said Bardin “I’m amazed I haven’t got it coming out of my ears!”

Adam made coffee instead. Bengo espied Bardin through a window, and came into the house.

“Don’t start”, said Bardin “I’m not going back up to bed and that is my final word on the subject! I don’t know how you think I’m going to get over what happened lying up there thinking about it all the time!”

“He has got a point there, old love”, said Adam to Bengo.

“None of this would have happened if we had gone to Wolf Castle”, said Bengo, miserably, sitting down at the table too.

“Oh I don’t know”, said Adam “Frightening things happened up there as well you know. There was the time we had to wall up Freaky’s mother in the larder, and the terrifying thing was that she broke out!”

Bengo sat stabbing a knife into the heal of loaf in a sulky fashion.

“Bengo!” Bardin barked at him.

“Shouldn’t you go back to bed, Bardy?” Bengo pleaded.

“I’ve only just got up!” said Bardin, pulling the blanket around his shoulders self-righteously “I’m going to sit by the fire”.

There was a commotion outside. A witch-like old woman had suddenly emerged from the forest and had run at Julian, who had been returning from the stables at the time. The hag was brandishing a horse-whip, which she proceeded to lash about her dementedly. Julian had received a stinging cut across his face, before he succeeded in grabbing her skinny wrist and holding it in such a vice-like grip that she had no choice but to release her hold on the whip. He flung the whip contemptuously into the snow, and would have been quite happy to have left it lying there, in order to show the hag precisely what he thought of her attack, but Farnol and Hoowie ran to collect it, in case she had any ideas about grabbing it again and returning to the fray.

Julian dragged the old woman by her wrist into the house. Once inside he shoved her backwards into a pile of coats and other outdoor clothing which was banked up just inside the front door. The old woman was incredibly ugly. She looked half-starved for one thing, and her wrinkled skin was stretched across her bones like old parchment. Wielding the whip must have cost her an excess of physical energy she could ill afford. By now she was panting and whimpering, rubbing her wrist as though she had received the harshest treatment, even though the lurid mark on Julian’s face said otherwise.

“What the bloody hell was all that about?” he demanded to know, feeling the mark throbbing “Fortunately for you I am not such a swine as to go beating up old women, even if they do try to beat up me! Now suppose you at least have the civility to tell me why you did it?”

The old woman looked him up and down in a furtive fashion.

“You’re not afraid”, she said, more as a statement of fact than a question.

“Of such a pathetic specimen as you?” said Julian “Why on earth should I be?”

“They told me you would be shamed and frightened if I did that”, the old woman blubbed.

“Who are They?” said Julian.

“Ghoomer!” said Tamaz, appearing beside Julian and pointing vengefully at the old woman.

“Are you sure, Freaky?” said Adam.

Tamaz gave a tut of impatience, and curled his lip disdainfully at the old woman.

“Are you?” Julian asked the old woman.

“Let me go”, the old woman sobbed.

“Only when you’ve told me who ordered you to carry out this attack”, said Julian “From what you’ve let slip it plainly wasn’t your own idea”.

The old woman was clearly terrified of Tamaz though, and flung her arm across her eyes as though fearing imminent gorgonisation. She was so frightened it began to seem as though she might literally die from fright. The Indigo-ites silently cleared a path for her to leave the house.

“Does she want her whip back?” said Hoowie.

Adam bustled him over to the kitchen area out of the way.

“You certainly put the wind up her didn’t you!” Hoowie remarked to Tamaz, when the extraordinary old woman had gone.

“She was pathetic”, Tamaz spat.

“Oh have a bit of compassion, old love”, said Adam “She looked emaciated! Julian, come and sit down and let Finia attend to your wound”.

Finia was hovering around impatiently, clutching the First Aid box.

“Stop fussing”, Julian grumbled, sitting down at the kitchen table.

“But why did she do that?” said Lonts, who had been appalled by the whole thing.

“I’m guessing”, said Julian “But whoever it was who set her to do that was hoping I would shamed by it. Being horsewhipped in front of you all by an old woman. They were clearly hoping fear would show and I would lose all credibility. It’s quite an old trick actually. Used to be done a lot in the old days, Victorian times I mean, but usually as one man wanting to show up another one in front of his peers. To try and expose him as a cowardly cad with no honour and all that jazz”.

“The crazy thing was she was plainly more scared of you”, said Adam.

“Which leads me to suppose more clearly than ever that she was coerced into doing it”, said Julian “By someone who’s got a lot of power over her”.

“And who doesn’t give her enough to eat, obviously”, said Adam.

“Someone at the Winter Palace”, Lonts boomed.

“Could be”, said Julian “Or it could be something to do with our friend Hanzi”.

“But what power would he have over an old Ghoomer?” said Adam.

“You tell me”, Julian sighed “Until we unravel some of the mystery that he’s wrapped in all we’ve got is guesswork”.

Rumble ran into the house.

“She didn’t go to the village”, he said “She went in that direction”.

He pointed in the vague direction of the Winter Palace.

“Rumble, you genius!” said Adam “We were so busy fretting about Jules, that we didn’t think to follow her”.

“Good job I thought of it then”, said Rumble, with a smirk.

“Yes it was”, said Adam “Wasn’t it Bardin?”

Bardin grunted an acknowledgement.

“It’s been quite a day hasn’t it, Bardy?” said Bengo, as he soaped Bardin’s back in the bath-tub later.

“What did Dobley want earlier?” said Bardin.

“How do you mean?”

“Apparently you and he were closeted in our room for quite some time”.

“Oh who told you that?” said Bengo “It must have been Farnol, he came in at one point. How could he have told you?”

“You know what a bloody old gasbag Farnol is! Nobody would need to torture him to get any truth out of him, all they’d have to do is promise him a good gossip!” said Bardin “What was Dobley going on about this time, and why were there loads of chairs in the room?”

“Dobley set them up”, said Bengo, in dismay “He wanted to try out his new jokes on us, us clowns I mean. But when I heard I kept it a secret, because otherwise you’d have gone in there spitting venom. Oh Bardy, it was awful!”

“You didn’t sit there and listen to one of his dismal routines, all by yourself?!” Bardin exclaimed.

“No I stopped it getting that far”, said Bengo “I put my foot down once and for all, and told him that he had to get over it, that there are far worse things in life than quitting showbusiness, and that we’ve never regretted it”.

“What did he say then?” said Bardin.

“He burst into tears”, said Bengo.

Bardin gave a ‘harrumph’ of exasperation.

“He said it was the public humiliation he couldn’t get over”, said Bengo “And that I didn’t understand. And I said that was rubbish, no one understands humiliation better than me, except perhaps Kieran. I've’been humiliated so many times on stage I'm surprised I’m not in any record books! But I think he might be coming round, Bardy”.

“About bloody time!” said Bardin.

“He said he’d go to the ‘Moon and Stars’ and see about any jobs going, ordinary jobs I mean”, said Bengo “But I told him there was no need for that, not with Hillyard being rich again. We can pay for his keep”.

“I’d pay to send him away!” said Bardin “Except he’d only come back again when he’d used up the money!”

Bengo helped him out of the bath and towelled him dry.

“You haven’t mentioned moving to Wolf Castle for all of about half-an-hour!” said Bardin, sarcastically.

“I hate this area, Bardy”, said Bengo “I think they should have evacuated the place when the vampires were destroyed”.

“There probably didn’t seem much point once the vampires were out of the way!” said Bardin.

“But you heard what Tamaz said”, said Bengo “There are still strange things in this area, the Mutants …”

“There are strange things everywhere”, said Bardin “I’m not snapping at you, I agree this place is weird, even weirder than I was expecting. Perhaps it’s because it’s so isolated from the rest of the world, and knee-deep in snow for a lot of the year”.

“I just feel …” said Bengo, awkwardly “As though something’s about to happen, I mean something big, not just all these different incidents, and we need to confront it”.

“We’ve got a lot to lose”, said Bardin “That’s why Kieran’s taking it slowly”.

“I know”, said Bengo “But it’s getting beyond all that. It’s just a feeling I have that’s all”.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 England & Wales License.

Go forward to next chapter

Return to Sarah Hapgood's Strange Tales and Strange Places web site