1) Tell us about your book (s) (or short story)
My short story is based on a local myth and Legend of the area I grew up in.
2) Who is your main character? Tell us about them.
My story centres around a group of boys who inadvertently wander into the territory of the Fae on Easter Eve, when as per the local legend she is able to come through and claim her prize of the life force of young men.
3) What is your favourite Fae myth or story?
Growing up in High Peak Derbyshire I was always intrigued by a local Myth and Legend of “The Mermaids Pool”. I could never fathom why a local landlocked body of water miles from the ocean would be inhabited by a mermaid, that once a year on Easter eve would come out and take any unlucky and unsuspecting males near the waters edge. As a adult it still has it’s mysteries but the more I look into it the more I find out that the mermaid was more likely to be a old water spirit once worshipped and given offerings by the local people. This is the reason why I wrote Kinder Downfall.
4) The Fae. Helpful magical creatures? Or mischievous tricksters?
I believe that the Fae fall in to varies categories:
Group 1 dislike us with a vengeance and wouldn’t think twice about wiping us off the face of the earth.
Group 2 who are interested in us and what makes us tick biologically and emotionally.
Group 3 who see us as a humorous play toy, and like to play about with our day to day lives almost like we are pets to them.
5) What is your Fae elemental? Salamander (Fire) Undine (Water) Brownie (Earth) or Sylph (Air)
I’m not sure about my favourite Fae elemental as I believe that we should give them a wide berth as possible and not seek them out as we may just find ourselves in a whole heap of trouble. But I had to choose one or would be a Undine as I’m from an area that has lots of water based myths and legends.
“Just admit it, we’re fucking lost,” snapped Jason, looking more angry than usual.
Staring down at the map and compass in his hands, looking confused and flustered, Martin mumbled, “It’s not possible, it’s just not possible.”
“Yeah, well this is what we get letting an idiot who still needs help tying his shoes like you guide us,” quipped Nathan.
James stepped in. “Come on guys, leave him alone, You all know he’s better at reading maps and orienteering than all of us combined.”
“He can’t be all that hot at it as we’ve come past this place three times today already,” snarled Luke.
“For Fucks Sake!” Pushing past, almost shoulder barging James, Jason grabbed the map and compass out of Martin’s hands and stared down at it trying to make sense of it.
“Erm Ja-ja-ja-ss-son, you’ve g-g-g-g got it upside down,” stuttered Martin not daring to make eye contact with a now enraged Jason. Jason went a crimson red in the face that indicated a dangerous mix between embarrassment and rage. Martin realised the danger and stepped behind James.
“B-b-b-but, I’m sh-sh-sh-sure, it w-w-w-will b-b-be fine.” Turning and putting his hand on Martin’s shoulder and steering him away.
“Not helping buddy, let’s go over here for a while”.
Walking away from the group with Martin, James couldn’t help but feel a little annoyed with Martin and the way he had to wind Jason up by saying everything that came into his head. Rebuking himself for feeling this way towards his cousin as he knew he couldn’t help it, as it was just who he was and would always be this way, no matter how many times he was told. Ever since Martin got diagnosed with Autism his whole family looked to him to keep his cousin on track and safe even though James was nearly eighteen months younger than Martin. He found himself wishing that he could just once, be a normal teenager and do things without his cousin having to tag along.
Feeling instantly bad, he put his arm around Martin’s shoulders and gently whispered, “Listen buddy, you need to remember what we talked about, how we will only manage to get through this weekend if you keep your head down and try not to piss Jason and Nathan off.”
Martin's face screwed up into his look of confusion which James knew meant he just simply didn’t understand. “But he did have the map upside down, so he wouldn’t have been able to read it, and that makes no sense”.
“Martin, I’ve told you time and time again, with people like Jason its best not to point out their mistakes in front of others and let them figure it out for themselves. Jason has enough going on with his Dad being a dick with him and always telling him he is useless and a waste of oxygen.”
Martin’s face relaxed and James took this as a sign that Martin was starting to understand but just to make doubly sure, he said, “Martin, do you remember last sports day, when Jason’s dad lost his shit with him in front of everyone, over him coming second in the 1500 meters after Charlie. Then the next day Jason came in with a black eye and a fractured wrist, his dad did that to him all because he lost a race to a regional champion”.
Martin looked shocked at this disclosure and muttered, “But he told everyone he had gotten into a fight with the Parkwood gang and they had done it to him. But if he had told the truth, the teachers would have helped him get away from his dad so he wouldn’t be able to hurt him anymore.”
James sighed at his cousin in frustration but admired his innocence at the same time. “Look Martin, life sometimes isn’t as simple as that, and even though Jason can be a complete tool, he has his reasons of wanting to stay at home with his mum and his younger brothers, so just leave it. Don’t mention it and act as if you don’t know, for your and my sake, please just drop it.” Martin looked at his cousin’s face and realised it was time to be quiet, as Martin could read James as much as James could read him. Glancing back over at the other group who were now sat eating and throwing stones into a large pool, James gauged that they had calmed down enough to head back over.
“Let’s go back over to the others and make a plan of what we should do next, and Martin remember keep quiet about Jason.”
Reaching the others, Martin sat down and began rummaging inside his back pack. So James took the opportunity, “Hey guys we need to make a decision on what we are going to do.”
Turning away from the pond, Nathan was the first to speak, “We would all be fine if it wasn’t for your idiot cousin and his inability to function as a normal human being!” Seeing red, James took a step forward ready for a fight.
“Fuck you Nathan; Martin’s got more intelligence in his little finger than you will ever have!” “Okay guys enough is enough, this aint getting us anywhere,” pleaded Thomas, trying to defuse the situation.
Backing down James had just begun to turn and check on Martin to find he was still completely engrossed in rummaging in his bag muttering away to himself completely oblivious, when Nathan charged at him, rugby tackling him. As Nathan made contact James realised what was happening and managed to turn in the air so Nathan landed first and James on top of him. Quickly manoeuvring one arm across Nathan’s throat and the other on his left shoulder James pinned him and growled “Enough dickhead!”
Nathan tried to buck James off but soon realised it was useless, but unwilling to admit defeat still struggled under him.
“GOT, IT, HERE IT IS” yelled Martin holding a well battered exercise book in the air, looking up at the two writhing figures in front of him completely oblivious to what had just happened.
“Got what, your science geek porn collection?” sniggered Luke sarcastically.
“Erm no, the reason why it’s not possible, and why we shouldn’t be here right now” he said not recognising the sarcasm in Luke’s tone.
“We all know why we are here you tool, it’s because you got us lost” snapped Nathan taking the opportunity to pull himself out from under James and slink off to a safe distance by Luke. Martin seemed to ignore Nathan’s comment as if he didn’t hear it, and carried on happily regardless.
“When I found out where the DoE was sending us for our trial expedition, I began to research the area and the terrain, calculating our average traveling speed with the factors of weather and the load we would be carrying, eating, toilet breaks and so forth.”
Laughing hysterically Luke and Nathan began to mimic Martin.
“Calculating our speed of shit breaks, really dude you need to get a life”
Shooting a stern glance at them both James was just about to put them both in their place when Thomas piped up, “What do you mean? Let’s have a look”
“Oi Thomas ya arse licker, what ya doing? You’re seriously not listening to the shit timer?” laughed Luke and Nathan.
“Shut the fuck up, you two, I wanna listen to what he has to say!” growled Jason. Looking surprised and affronted they both started to move over towards the group Nathan mumbling “I was just saying working out our shit times is a bit weird.”
“Right now I don’t care about weird, I just can’t fucking fail this, so let’s listen to what he has to say OK!” Jason snapped as he sat on the floor with Martin and Thomas. Nathan and Luke seemed to know they had better not push Jason any further and plonked themselves down in an half assed attempt of defiance. Seeing the situation diffuse and feeling satisfied James sat in the remaining gap of the circle turned to Martin and asked, “What do you mean Martin? Show us.”
Martin opened the book and placed it in the middle of the group.
“This is day 1 and day 2 route plans, this is where we started, and the course we needed to take, the longitude and latitude, the compass direction, the check points we needed to hit at what time etc. We made each and every one, before the other group and reached our campsite for the second night by only fifteen minutes off our projected arrival time as we started out late,” The group looked at Martin for the first time with a new found admiration and respect, “You worked all this out by yourself” said Jason quizzically.
“Erm yeah, it’s easy enough if you know how” Martin said casually.
“Well what happened today then, as we are well off these?” said Thomas puzzled.
“This is why it’s impossible for us to be here. We should be 30 miles east over here.” said Martin, flustered, pointing at the map. “I just don’t understand it, I’ve followed the route plan each time we arrived back at this pond, using the correct compass directions and everything, so we really shouldn’t be here, it’s like something is messing with the compass bringing us back to this spot over and over again.” Looking at the map and his notebook with disgust.
“Or you could have just got it wrong, and are trying to cover your tracks.” hissed Nathan. Martin turned quickly towards Nathan with annoyance as he hated being called a liar or deceitful.
“See for yourself, that ridge and waterfall over there is Kinder Downfall, on the map is in a south east direction from that pond which is Mermaids Pool, but look at what it says on the compass.” Thrusting the map and compass in Nathans face. Nathan looked down at the compass and map and then over to the ridgeline, “So it’s says that the waterfall is in the north east, so that just means you’ve broken the fucking compass!” Going red and pushing the map and compass back at Martin scowling. Jason looked at Martin and almost choked out the words as if it was something very difficult for him to say.
“Look, I don’t know what’s going on, or why. but I don’t think its Martin doing it as he is usually never wrong, but we need to come up with a plan.”
“Maybe we could try using our phones to find a way off this hill, I know we’re not meant to use them but desperate times calls for desperate measures”, suggested Thomas
Pulling their phones out of their rucksacks and turning them on in the hope of finding a signal to the outside world.
“Bollocks!” snarled Nathan. “No signal.”
“Me neither!” exclaimed Luke,
“No luck with mine either, what about you guys?” said Thomas looking over at Jason, James and Martin who all shook their heads looking downhearted.
“FUCK!” shouted Jason, getting upset. “I need to be at home, not stuck out here in the middle of fucking nowhere, with you twat heads.”
Martin then piped up, “Look I know it’s not ideal but it’s getting late, it’s going to be dusk soon and completely dark in just over an hour. We don’t want to be wandering these hills at night, as they are dangerous we should camp here tonight and try again tomorrow. As soon as we don’t reach the check in point they will realise and come and find us. If they don’t find us by morning we could try walking back on ourselves towards Hayfield or Chapel-en-le-frith and find a phone to call home, and you can tell your dad it was my fault we didn’t complete it”
“WHAT THE FUCKS THAT MEANT TO MEAN? WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY DAD? FUCK YOU AND FUCK YOUR STUPID ASS SHIT TIMING CALCULATIONS!” yelled Jason as he threw Martin’s book into the pond.
Martin and James made quick work of putting up their tents and collecting firewood, while Nathan, Luke and Thomas began a game of Frisbee that closely resembled who could throw the plastic disc hard and fast enough to inflict maximum pain on each other. They set about making a campfire, while Jason sat sulking outside his tent. Just as he lit the fire an almighty crash echoed through the camp as Nathan, diving to catch the Frisbee, crashed into the water canisters spilling the contents everywhere.
“Ya fucking numpty,” chorused Luke and Thomas laughing hysterically. Martin shook his head and sighed, at the trio who were now rolling around the floor in fits of laughter. Turning his direction back towards the fire he thought he felt the ground ripple and shift slightly under his hand. Looking around the group to see if anyone else had noticed but everyone seemed oblivious to it.
“We’re gonna need more water, said James who was crouched by the water canisters inspecting their remaining contents.
“Yeah I’ll just pull some out of my elbow” quipped Luke while still laughing about Nathan’s epic fail.
“Or you could just go up to the waterfall and collect some,“ snapped James at the trio.
“Urgh, not a chance! You want it, you walk up there and get it,” growled Nathan.
“Just fucking get your arses up there and get the water and be quick about it, it’s gonna be dark soon” ordered Jason who was now walking over to Martin and the fireplace. Not wanting to argue or suffer the wrath of Jason all three walked over to the canisters grabbed them up and began their trek up the hill to the waterfall. Sitting down at the campfire Jason looked worried but neither James nor Martin wanted to ask what was up, just in case he lost his temper with either of them. Just then Martin felt the ground ripple again but more strongly, it was like the ground was pulsating or vibrating and this time there was a low almost inaudible humming noise, like an engine running in the distance. Looking towards Jason and James to see if they had noticed it this time, but it seemed not.
“Do you hear or feel that” Martin nervously asked.
“Feel what dipshit? I don’t feel anything apart from that I’m starving” snarled Jason.
“Feel and hear what?” asked James, looking at his cousin in concern, wondering if his cousin was about to have another episode like in the past. He knew how to deal with the situation at home, with other people around and a working phone to get help. But out here in the middle of nowhere with no help at hand it made him feel nervous. Before he had chance to quiz Martin further Nathan’s voice drifted down the hill.
“YOU GUYS NEED TO SEE THIS SHIT, ITS FUCKING OUT OF THIS WORLD”
“Nice try dickhead, were not coming up to see shit, just so we can help you carry the water back down,” bellowed back Jason.
“NO, really you need to see this, the fucking waterfall is flowing backwards” shouted Luke.
Standing up Martin and James looked up the hill to see the boys with their phones out like they were videoing something. They decided to take the risk and began to walk up the hill towards the others.
“Are you shitting me, where are you going?” Jason snapped sounding concerned.
“Up to see, what’s going on just in case there not pulling our chains, come with us if you like, if not stay and watch the fire doesn’t go out.” answered James.
“Fuck, if they are having us on I’m gonna kick them into next week” exclaimed Jason as he got up and hurried to catch up with the two boys, not wanting to be left by himself.
As he began to walk up the hill Martin could feel the vibration getting stronger and the humming beginning to get louder. Not to an uncomfortable level it just made him feel strange. But remembering how James and Jason reacted to him mentioning it the first time he didn’t dare to say anything more on the subject. Reaching the top of the hill, all three looked on in amazement at the water.
“See, we fucking told you, see it’s running uphill” squealed Thomas while almost hopping up and down on one leg.
“Fuck this shit! Fuck this stupid place that we can’t get away from, and fuck you guys” shouted Jason, his voice sounding scared.
Looking at his watch Martin said, “Look, it’s starting to get dark, we had better head back down and get some food organised before we can’t see anything to cook”
“Sounds like a plan Batman, and while you’re here you can make yourselves useful and take one of these with you” laughed Thomas.
“If it makes it quicker, for us to eat I’m in” exclaimed James as each of the boys grabbed a canister and made their way down the hill.
It didn’t take long to cook what little remaining food they had left as none of them had planned to be camping out another night and they should have been tucking into a well-deserved MacDonald’s about now on their journey home. It was only Martin that had packed two emergency rations of baked beans and tinned hotdogs, the snacks and junk the group had left had been pooled into one pile next to the fire for afters.
“Who the fuck packed muesli bars, yogurt covered strawberries and rice cakes? Let me guess, it was you Martin” said Nathan looking disgusted at the offending snack items in the pile, and, picking up a muesli bar threw it at Martin.
Martin looked up from the fire, looking pale and confused “Huh what was that? What did you say”
Jason picked up the muesli bar off the floor and hurled it back at Nathan “If you must know I brought them, if you dunna like it, don’t fucking eat it”
“Jesus alright chill dude I was just saying they’re not exactly taste central are they?” sulked Nathan lobbing the offending bar back into the pile.
James turned towards his cousin who looked milk white and pale in the darkness that surrounded them, “Martin you ok?” he whispered.
“I don’t feel right, can none of you feel or hear it? It’s getting stronger and louder and all around us” whimpered Martin beginning to shake uncontrollably.
“Fuck me what’s he whittling on about now” smirked Nathan while poking the fire making the embers fly up.
“Shut the fuck up Nathan, I’ve had about enough of you this weekend” snapped James kicking his leg towards Nathan and knocking him backwards away from the fire so he landed with a thump on the floor almost hitting his head on a rock.
“Fuck, what the hell did you do that for I was just saying he is getting weirder than fucking usual” protested Nathan
“Give it rest you two, Just take him to your tent and get him to chill the hell out before he chucks a fit, it’s the last thing we need” said Jason looking slightly concerned at the two.
Pulling Martin to his feet and half walking him half dragging him over towards their tent, just before they reached it Martin began to nosily retch and emptied the contents of his stomach down James’s top and leg. Hastily pushing Martin through the open doorway and dumping him down on his sleeping bag he looked down at his trousers to see half-digested baked beans and hotdog beginning to snake its way down his trousers. Turning back to his cousin who had curled up into the foetal position with him hands over his ears shaking. Reaching over and grabbing the cleanest top and pair of trousers he could see, he looked again at Martin. He reached out to touch his leg to get his attention. Martin almost jumped out of his skin, turned wide eyed and stared at James.
Holding his hands up, like some sort of character from an old western James smiled and said “Whoa dude, it’s just me. I just wanted to see if you were ok if I went to clean myself up a little so I don’t cover the tent with puke”. Martin nodded still with his hands over his ears and still looking terrified.
Backing out of the tent he tried to comfort his terrified cousin.
“Look it’s going to be ok, just try and get some sleep and we will get out of here first thing in the morning.”
As James moved away, Martin curled back up with his ears covered and murmured to himself “It’s never gonna be ok, and we’re never gonna get out of here”
Walking over towards the fire, James could here laughter as the group around the fire was making jokes. He wasn’t sure if they were directed at Martin or not but knowing these guys they probably were. Reaching the fire he could see that Jason was sat away from the others on his own not joining in with the trio.
“Martin okay?” He asked with concern in his voice, taken aback by this new found concern he saw in Jason’s voice he muttered “I think he’s good but I think it’s a good idea for us to get out of dodge, at first light”
“Fuck you stink, and bollocks if you think I’m getting up a dawn just so you can play nursemaid, I didn’t sign up for that” complained Luke.
Ignoring his peer James looked at Jason “Well I’m going to get cleaned up at the pond and get some sleep, Martin and I are out of here first thing if you want to come”
Jason nodded and said “Too right, as soon as it’s light I’m gone”
It was only a short distance from the group to the pond but it felt like he was walking through treacle the closer he got to the pond he could feel the little hairs on the back of his arms and neck start to rise, and a fear begin to rise in his chest like he needed to run back in the other direction and hide in his tent like a three year old scared of the dark. He rebuked himself and carried on, thinking “For fuck sake, you’re not that far from the group, and you’ve got a head torch so it’s not like you can’t see anything” Reaching the edge of the pond he checked to see none of the group had followed him or was watching and, feeling satisfied, he pulled off his top and vomit soaked trousers. Crouching down by the watered edge he began scooping up the water and trying to wash off the vomit that had already got stuck in his leg hairs. After briefly contemplating getting into the water and swimming to wash it off was short lived in his mind, as even though it was an unusually mild spring evening, and the water felt unusually warm for a U.K pond at Easter. He knew it was a recipe for disaster as he would probably get hyperthermia very quickly from the water that would most definitely be colder closer to the middle. He was just about to give up and pull his clean trousers on when he got side swiped by Nathan who had snuck up on him and pushed him into the pool. James had little time to react but he was certainly not going into the water alone so he grabbed as much of Nathan as he could as he fell. His plan worked and as gravity and his body weight worked for him they both tumbled into the water. However it didn’t quite go to plan as Nathan’s body slammed down on top of him winding him and pushing him far down under the water. The two desperately tried to untwist themselves from each other and the weed bed that was hidden from view just under the surface of the water. James thought that out of the corner of his eye he saw a white mist like shape swimming fast towards the pair. His eyes must be playing tricks on him he thought or his body was going into shock, due to the sudden submersion in the pond. The water didn’t feel cold though, maybe his body was tricking him as a self defence mechanism and protecting itself form the cold. Reaching down to pull his legs free from the weeds that were still restricting his legs, he turned to see Nathan still desperately struggling to free himself. He knew he had to help but his lungs were burning with pain from holding his breath for so long. He knew to be any help he would have to surface and take a breath before coming back down.
Pushing up towards the surface he glanced back at Nathan who was wide eyed and terrified reaching towards him for help. Making hand movements to signal he would be back, he thought he saw the a white ball of light surrounded in that mist again but brighter this time swimming back towards Nathan.
Breaking the surface of the water, and coughing up water that he had took in on his ascent, he could see the worried faces of his peers staring back at him at the water’s edge.
“Where’s Nathan? What the fuck is going on? Where the hell is that light coming from?” screamed Luke hysterically
It took James a second or two to process what was going on around him, and what the group was screaming at him. Looking down at the water underneath him he could see the water was illuminated from underneath in a pulsating, glowing light. Taking a deep breath that stung his lungs, he dived back down to help Nathan. Tool or not he didn’t deserve to drown tonight. He headed back towards the spot he had left him struggling, but he could not see him. Turning around in the water to see if he could see him in the water, the pulsating light began to hurt his eyes, and his lungs began to protest again. Just as he was going back up he spotted Nathan on his far left he seemed to be free of the weeds but struggling with what looked like a female form in a long flowing nightgown of some kind. Each time he seemed to break free the material seemed to envelop him again holding him back. Then the figure seemed to turn and look at him. James couldn’t understand what he was seeing as the face seemed to be of a beautiful girl, and then contorted with a grimace of an ancient withered creature, with a drawn face and dark circles for eyes, then back to the beautiful girl, in time with the pulsating light. But it couldn’t be real, surely not. Were his senses playing tricks on him, making him see what could not be there, and was it the lack of oxygen, the cold and exhaustion taking its toll.
Pushing for the surface again, he broke with such force, coughing and spitting out what tasted like sea water, inadvertently scaring the living daylights of the now sobbing, hysterical trio who were on their knees at the water’s edge desperately looking for James and Nathan. Trying to make sense of why the water tasted like he had just taken in a gob full of sea water. James could hear a high pitched screaming and wailing coming from Martin who was now stood by the entrance of the tent watching the scene play out. He looked and the group on the bank and screamed “He’s stuck down here guys, Nathan’s stuck I can’t find him, you need to get in here and help us, he’s gonna fucking drown”. The group began to wave at James pointing behind him looking terrified and all began to shout at him once,
“JAMES FOR FUCK SAKE MOVE YOUR ASS”
“FUCK MOVE SHE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!”
The din of them all shouting at once made it difficult to understand what they were saying especially since Martin’s screams had now reached a blood curdling pitch that seemed to echo around the hills. He realised he was in danger and turned as the creature he saw under the water had also left Nathan and was now coming for him. He could only see her head and those eyes and mouth that seemed to faze in and out of serene beauty to abject horror. Turning as quick as he could he began to swim for the water’s edge where Jason and Thomas had their hands outstretched, reaching to help him in as soon as he got close enough, while Luke had his head in his hands, screaming on his knees between the two.
“It’s gaining on you! Come on, move! Get over here!” screamed Jason
Not daring to look behind him, James powered on. He was almost at the bank. “Please God let me reach the bank, just let me reach the bank” a voice inside his head screamed at him.
He was just close enough to touch Jason and Thomas’ outreached arms and he tried desperately to take them, but realised he couldn’t swim and try to take hold of them. Just when he thought all was lost two hands grabbed onto his outstretched wrists. Looking up he saw they were Jason and Thomas trying to pull him out of the water, a sigh of relief passed his lips but it was short lived as what felt like two bony hands with fingers that felt so long and distorted to be human, grasped his ankles and tugged with a force that seemed to have more power than a human could ever muster. He was then being pulled backwards by a force more powerful than could be possible from the hands that held him. He then heard and felt something big and heavy hit the water, landing on top off him and pinning him down into the soft mud of the bank. He was still being pulled backwards towards the water as the weight on top of him seemed to shift and beginning to scramble away from him. Glancing up he realised that the weight that had been on him, was Jason, Luke and Thomas who had been took off guard by the creature pulling him back and had toppled into the water. Jason, Luke and Thomas all seemed to be desperately trying to free themselves from the weed bed he and Nathan were stuck in but not having much luck. Kicking desperately he hoped to make contact with the creature in a bid to get away. Suddenly the creature let go of him and he broke away, turning to see the creature swim off hurriedly towards Jason who had managed to free himself and was making a break for it. The creature swooped in on him with a speed he had never seen before and wrapped itself around the terrified boy and began to effortlessly swim down and down into the darkness. Not wanting to stick around James turned back and smashed his head into a rock that was cunningly submerged in the water. Red flooded his eyes and he felt sick and dizzy, he could taste metal in his mouth and a burning erupted on his face. He needed to keep swimming and get out, but the collision had disoriented him and by the time he surfaced to take a breath he realised he was swimming in the wrong direction towards the middle of the pond. Trying to turn and head for the bank to where Martin stood, white faced and screaming that scream, watching in horror. When those familiar hands entwined around his legs and pulled him back under the surface coming face to face with the creature that now was just the horrifying, withered skeletal like creature with dark holes for eyes. The creature features seem to contort as if it was trying to smile as its bony arms and legs wrapped around his whole body pinning his arms to his sides so he couldn’t move. This was then James realised it wasn’t a smile, as her mouth locked onto his, in some kind of horrific first kiss as she dragged him down into the darkness. Reaching a stone ledge the creature, turned him slightly he could see the withered skeletal form of his friends, all that was left of them was an empty husk like shell as if they had been completely drained of everything. James knew this was it, he was going to die here, and he had no more fight left in him.
Walking into the deathly quiet camp, the Mountain rescue team was on edge. There was no sign of life around the camp. Praying the boys were just sleeping heavily they checked each tent in turn for any sleeping occupants but they found none. Looking fearfully at each other the group began to cluster around the fire unspeaking. They had all thought when they received the call on Easter Eve; about six boys missing last known location Kinder Down fall/ Mermaids pool area and hoped they would find them. Tired, cold and scared but they all deep down knew it had been years since she had claimed her last victims, and would be angry and ravenous. Smokey the recovery dog began to bark incessantly running backwards and forwards between the pool and the team, indicating she had found something. Looking at each other with fear and dread, did they want to even see what he had found? None of them wanted to see, as the memories of their last search for missing boys still haunted their dreams. Smokey’s bark got more and more incessant and demanding as they began their slow walk towards the pool. As they got closer they could see a figure on his knees, rocking backwards and forwards, hands covering his ears. His face was milk white, his eyes bulging, whimpering at the dog that was now bouncing up and down licking his face.
“Smokey here, away. You guys better stay here so not to scare the lad” the team leader exclaimed as he approached the cowering figure sat beside the water edge. Crouching down next to the terrified boy, putting his hand on his shoulder. “Who are you son, what happened? “Can you tell me, where the others are?” he asked as gently as he could, holding back the sound of fear in his voice.
They boy turned and pointed at the water.
“What about the water?” Knowing the answer already but hoping it wouldn’t be true.
“In there, they’re all in there, she came and took them,” whimpered Martin
Stepping away from the boy and looking at his team with the acknowledgement that their fears were correct he pulled the radio from his jacket and spoke.
“Control, please be advised we have another one, police, ambulance, diving recovery team and a coroner is required in attendance at Mermaids Pool.
The radio instantly burst back into life “Please repeat. Did you say ambulance also required?” the voice asked quizzically.
“Yeah ambulance required its looks like she left one behind untouched this time”
Walking over to the team “It’s gonna be a long one, guys so you’d better call home or work or anyone waiting for you” Pulling out their phones they all began to call or text.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”