The lake.

DSC_0339

The lake looked inviting, the sun was breaking through the clouds and the water was still. Gentle ripples from the slight breeze disturbed the surface.

No one else was around. She had been sitting on the sun terrace and had fallen asleep in the hot sun. Now she was awake and hot. A paddle in the water would be nice and cooling. There was a sloping beach at one end of the lake. She put on her sandles and walked round the edge of the lake.

Walking over pebbles the water rose round her ankles then her knees. Blissful cool water lapped around her.

She stood quietly for a while then started to splash the water up to cool her face, arms and body. It felt so good that she slipped down into the water. Kicking off her sandles she started a slow breast stroke out towards a wooded island a few meters off in the distance. She knew there was a bench in the shade there. Her thin skirt billowed out behind her and she felt relaxed and like she was floating in space.

Then it happened. The skirt snagged on something, weeds? She was a strong swimmer and didn’t think it was a problem. She swung round to pull at her skirt. A hand grasped her wrist and she felt herself being pulled down…..

Light through clouds

DSC_2252

In the forest it was gloomy, rain had been falling all day, and a grey swirling cap of clouds seemed to sit just above the treetops.

As she walked into the clearing she looked up. No sign of sunshine. It was almost as dark there as under the trees. At least there was a pool which looked clear. She had got a camping stove and would soon be able to make a hot drink. This then would be her camping spot for the night. Only another 20 miles to her destination.

Then as she prepared her evening meal, the clouds started to part and light streamed into the glade.

The light seemed to trigger movement. All around her the ground seemed to lift up into humps which turned into writhing figures in human form. They had been held down by green tendrils of leaves. The green men. An ancient myth. She screamed as she realised they were surrounding her, mirroring the surrounding trees. Tendrils reaching out and pinning her to the ground. She had realised too late that they were carnivorous plants.

Remember, the witch has bright green eyes…

sketch-1558015815990it was late when she arrived. The rain had been pelting down all day, flooding the lanes. The car had struggled through the murk. But the hotel looked warm and inviting. She signed in and opted for a quick visit to the bar.

Soon she was chatting with the hotel owner. He told her how quirky it was. Wait till you see it in daylight. He said. It’s got a lovely feeling to it, ancient yet beautiful. She smiled as she chatted. Just what she needed, a quiet scenic stay in a plush hotel. Pampering and relaxing.

It’s  a few hundred years old, he told her. Some parts are ancient. You can see the timbers. Old oak beams, even some wattle and daub in the older parts.

That’s great, really interesting. I bet you could tell some tales? She only asked with the expectation of some story for the tourist trade.

The hotel owner smiled. Well there is one story about the witch, he said. Oh, not a ghost? She replied.

No, it happened in the room next to where you are tonight. An old woman, they decided she was a witch simply because she had bright green eyes. The story goes they didn’t want to hang her so they walled her up in a cupboard in the wall. We’ve never seen anything, he reassured her. Just one of those spooky stories you get in old buildings.

Still, she felt a little nervous on the way up to her bedroom. The lighting was very low, making every shadow ghostly puddles of blackness. I can’t wait for morning, she thought.

Up two flights of stairs, the porter showed her into the bedroom. It was en suite with a four poster bed! Satin drapes to keep the damp breeze out. A tray full of goodies and proper coffee. The bathroom had a roll top bath, gold taps, luxurious. Soon she was feeling relaxed and calm. She drank a gin and tonic and read her book for a little while.

She decided to turn in about midnight, with the drapes round the bed pulled tight it was too dark so she put the side table light on and settled down.

She was very tired and soon fell asleep. She was only a light sleeper and something woke her.

A hand was pulling the drapes aside, a face appeared at the bottom of the bed. Two bright green, glowing eyes stared at her.

Spooky tap

sketch-1556475890657

I went to use the ladies in the hotel where we just held a craft fair. I walked in and the lights were off, no one else was in there. The lights came on automatically. As I used the facilities I heard the tap go on (but no one was in there with me). And when I opened the door the tap (which was one of the push down types) was still running, it was just spooky. I know the building is old. But why would a tap switch on?

I pulled up the top of the tap and it shut off. I didn’t feel scared, just surprised.

Howling

FB_IMG_1555114052029

The building was old. You could tell that by the wooden shutters over the windows, more like prison bars than anything else. Not a scary place to walk past in the daylight, but on the odd occasion that she walked past it at night she made sure she walked fast, just in case.

In case of what? No one knew much about the building, but it was attached to an old windmill and there was a tall wall leading off into the distance where the building ended. Just one gate, made of old and rotting wood, that was half way down the length of the wall..

When she had walked past before she could swear she had heard snuffling  like a dog, and something scratching at the gate. As she walked past her clicking heels would speed up to get her past. A rush of adrenalin enough to make her heart pound.

Tonight the alleyway was lit by a dim street lamp at either end. Slipping from behind the clouds a full bright moon gave extra illumination. Tonight the cobbles were wet, with a gleam in the light of small puddles reflecting back the moon.

No choice really, walk along the alley and cross the road to the car park, or walk half a mile round the one way system. At that moment a dreary drizzle started. It was the alleyway tonight. The quicker to get home and get warm. Her feet clicked and splashed as she walked along, she almost twisted her ankle on the cobbles. She passed the old shuttered window and heard, what exactly? Snuffling? Panting? She hurried on. Almost at the gate, just over halfway along the alley, point of no return. A sudden rushing sound, like a dog running, then a howl. She froze, there was the sound of something large hitting the old gate. She pulled off her shoes and ran….. The howl followed her…..

Monster?

IMG_20181014_211217_984

The Sun had set half an hour ago, there was still a glow of light in the western sky. My car had broken down on the road out of town, in among the hills. I knew there was a village about half a mile a way with a pub, maybe some hot food, and at least somewhere to sit while I waited for the repair van to arrive.

so I started out, walking on the grass verge, hedges on either side, too tall to see over. On one side were farmers feilds and on the other an old graveyard with huge yew trees at the entrance to its gravelled drive. I could hear movement in the field,  snuffling and soft snorting, probably cows.

I decided to walk on the other side of the road, past the cemetry. Its grass verge was wider and tidily cut. Someone had mowed recently and the grass smelled sweet. In a short time I had walked half way to the village. It was now fully dark, and I could not see very much. There were street lights a few hundred yards in front of me but not enough to light my way.

Suddenly I stumbled, my foot had gone into a hole in the verge. I didn’t have any way of stopping myself and I toppled over onto the grass. Thud, my ankle was twisted and I was shaken. I lay there getting the breath back that had been knocked out if me. Then as I started to sit up I felt a presence, something not right.  I heard the snuffling noise again, this time it was much closer. Something loomed over me. Looking down at me, its eyes, its four? eyes gleaming in the street lights distant glow. As I squinted I thought I saw more than one mouth, several noses? What was this? It shuffled towards me, its clothes were grey and badly fitting, the four legs wearing two pairs of trousers. In that slow motion way that happens when you are in fear my brain was noticing too many details, and I was thinking “monster”……

The mouths opened and it uttered four words….”can I help you?”

I RAN……….concussion can do funny things to your sight….