Sunday, 1 May 2011

28. Red Sky Morning


Before you start reading, I’m afraid I’m going to have to break some news to you. Although this is in the photostories section, Red Sky Morning doesn’t actually have any photos. I’ve been writing this story on and off since last year and had already amassed a number of good photographs for it, then, a couple of months ago disaster struck and the hard drive they were stored on broke, so I’ve lost them all. :( I tried to reshoot them but I’d just lost enthusiasm for it and none of them were turning out like I wanted them to so I’ve decided to go without for the moment. Hopefully in the future I’ll take some more or perhaps illustrate it but for now I’m afraid it’s going to be rather wordy. XD I’m really pleased with it though – definitely one of my best. :D

It *is* huge and I apologise for that but hopefully some of you will make it to the very end!
Big thanks to Ocky for spurring me on in the early hours of this morning and keeping me motivated to finish it! ;D

As there are no photos, I’d recommend referring to this picture to get to grips with the yard’s layout. (Duneachann Castle is just out of shot to the far right above the schooling field beside the road )


Red Sky Morning


The Truly Shockingly Delayed Halloween Photostory


David shivered in the cold October air and tightened his grip on Banksy’s reins. ‘Alright there Marian?’ he called to the petite woman riding behind him.

Marian was one of the latest to join their client list. She had been a keen rider as a child with a pony from her riding school on loan, but was unable to continue after she moved into the city with her family in her late teens. For her fortieth birthday a friend had booked her in for a lesson – more as a novelty present than anything else, but it had reignited the passion that she realised she had never really grown out of. At first she only rode twice a week – a lesson on Tuesday and a hack every Friday afternoon, but after a lot of soul searching and a long talk with Abigail she had finally plucked up the courage to get her own horse. With Nikolai’s help she had found Terry, a beautiful Arab/Welsh Cob cross and loved him instantly. He was very gentle and easy to handle but still had plenty of oomph for those high-speed and energetic hacks through the woods.

‘Are you up for a wee trot then? Not far, just to the top of the hill’
‘Yeah, that’ll be fine – I find uphill is much easier than down!’
David chuckled and nudged the cob gently into a forward going trot, Terry following behind at a steady pace. They drifted back to a walk when they reached the ‘Three Boars’ – the ancient standing stones which dominated the landscape of the moor. ‘What a view’ Marian said softly, taking in the scene, her reins resting loose on the roan’s steaming neck. ‘Just imagine what this place must have looked like a thousand years ago. Much the same I suppose, just no village of course and no stables.’ David nodded, the cool breeze tousling his hair and sending shivers down his spine. ‘Even a hundred years ago it was different, yet, somehow...[i]unchanged[/i]. It’s a very strange place Hollowcroft. Very strange…’ He trailed off and gazed into the distance, his eyes glazed over as though lost in thought. Marian looked at him quizzically and frowned.

‘Strange? In what way? Any old stories I should know about? Oooh, I love a good ghost story!’

David laughed uncomfortably and ran a hand through his hair.

‘Hah, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, really.’
‘Try me!’
‘No, seriously, you won’t…’
‘David, please. I’m sure it’s a very good story, now come on!’

He rolled his eyes and clicked for Banksy to walk on. ‘Oh alright then, I’ll tell you on the way…’

They loosened their reins and let the horses pick their own route down the steep slope, their manes and tails fluttering in the breeze.

‘Well, it all started last year, just as October was coming to an end…’


‘Canter! Canter! CANTER!’

Rhona stumbled into a galumphing mess of a canter, almost unseating her rider as she raced Banksy to the finish. It was the final race of the annual ‘Halloween Games’ and Lisa’s team were in the lead.

Come on!’ she bellowed to Izzy who was barely a head in front of Rhona and Rosie. ‘Get on!’ With inches to spare, Banksy leapt over the finish pole and skidded to a stop at the fence, his ears pricked and his young rider beaming.
Abigail grinned and consulted her clipboard. ‘Well, I make that five games to four which makes… Lisa’s team the winners!’
Lisa and Izzy cheered along with an assortment of cold looking parents and friends watching from the other side of the fence. Everyone laughed when mock booing sounded from the other side of the school where David’s team were standing.

It had been an exciting morning – two races, musical blocks, bending, a jump-off (which had swiftly morphed into a fall off), three other gymkhana games and two traditional Halloween favourites – dooking for apples and stepping stones. Admittedly, there had been a few problems along the way – instead of jumping the last block remaining in Musical Blocks, Jaconelli was under the mistaken belief that he was to stand on it, much to the amusement of rider Sue. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Tamarind was the root cause of most of the problems – dumping David over the jumps three times and trying to kick Jac during the relay race. All in all however, a very enjoyable experience.

‘Right everyone, that’s it, we’re out of time’ said Abigail, amidst the disappointed groans of the kids. ‘Back to the yard, run up your stirrups and untack please! There’s a box of sweeties in the office for each of you when you’re done and I expect you ALL to take a piece of fruit too – I won’t be seen as being unhealthy, now off you go!’

David chuckled. Abigail had been on a real health kick recently – banning all sugary foods from the yard and confiscating any chocolate she found lurking in the office - although she did draw the line at cutting the horses’ sugarbeet. It was a pointless exercise really, he thought to himself. Everyone always overdid it at this time of year – it was traditional!
One of the young riders handed him a mint which he was under strict instructions to give to Callisto for being ‘the best pony ever’ and he nodded sincerely before popping it into his own mouth as soon as her back was turned. Callisto didn’t need it…not really. Too much sugar was bad for a horse, he reasoned, trying to ignore Abigail’s increasingly disapproving frown from the gate. He grinned cheekily at her as she approached, waggling the mint on the tip of his tongue. She rolled her eyes and fell into step with him as they made their way back to the yard.

‘Still on for tonight then?’ he asked, crunching his stolen sweet happily. ‘I’ve got the torches!’

Abigail nodded. ‘I’ve got the tents sorted now – an old friend of mine had some knocking about in her loft from when she was a guide leader. They’re a bit foosty but perfectly weatherproof.’

David chuckled and continued to chew his mint. ‘What about Lisa? Is…eh…is she coming?’ he asked innocently. ‘Oh yes!’ replied Abigail. ‘She’s very enthusiastic about the whole thing. Been looking forward to it all week she told me.’ David nodded. So had he, though he didn’t say why…
They soon reached the office where they parted company – David going off to the tackroom to make sure everything had been put away correctly, and Abigail disappearing into the office to force citrus fruits into the hands of anything that moved and to add Tamarind and David’s names into the accident book…again.

A couple of hours later they closed the yard for the day and tacked up the horses. Abigail on Banksy, Lisa on Kerry and of course David on Tamarind. They were heading for the ruins of Duneachann Castle in the field next door, where – weather permitting – they would camp out. Abigail had originally mentioned the idea the previous weekend and was rather surprised at the interest.

‘It’s haunted you know! Not safe at all. Oh the stories I could tell you about that place….oh…’

‘Well where better to hear them than at the castle itself?’ Lisa had remarked, and soon a plan was formed. David would go down with the tents and supplies during the afternoon’s last lesson and then the six of them would hack to the castle later on. There was a small fenced off area next to the castle for the horses – much used in the summer when the picnic rides were at their most popular – and plenty of room amongst the stones to pitch the tents and lay out a campfire.

‘Is Tam behaving himself?’ asked Lisa, as Kerry plodded on steadily.
‘Oh yes, he’s fine…everything’s absolutely fine’ replied David, sitting the stallion’s fly bucks and spooks easily. Most of his difficulties came from pure energy and high spirits, although, he thought as Tamarind screeched at the top of his lungs and bolted at the sight of a rabbit, lack of brains did come into the equation.
Ahead of them on Banksy, Abigail leaned across to open the final field gate, turning the gelding with her leg aids alone. She had scarcely backed out of the way, when a horse-shaped blur shot past them, a voice crying ‘Sorry!’
‘David!’ she shrieked. ‘When are you going to teach that animal some manners?!’

David’s reply was lost to the wind, although the phrase ‘When he lets me’ could just be heard over the rushing air. By the time he and the unashamedly ridiculous stallion arrived at the ruins, Abigail and Lisa had already managed to put two of the three tents up and had started to build up a small fire. ‘Nice of you to join us’ said Abigail wryly as she unfolded a ground sheet. ‘You’ve got skiving off work down to an art!’ David said nothing, gave Abigail a glare to rival one of her own and started to un-tack Tam. Once his mount was safely un-tacked and turned out, he set to work on his own tent, silently cursing that he hadn’t been in the scouts as a lad. Eventually, after almost an hour (during which time he put it up upside down and almost knocked down Lisa’s) all three tents were finally up.

‘Ahh, that’s better’ he said, testing out his bed for the night. ‘Nice and comfy...I…ow!’
Something sharp and pointy was digging into his lower back.
‘What’s wrong?’ said Lisa, peering inside with a concerned expression on her face. ‘Didn’t you check the ground for stones before you laid the sheet?’
David muttered something incoherent and Lisa sniggered and ran off to tell Abigail of his elementary camping mistake.

The evening passed quickly. After David’s very slightly carbonated fry up, the three of them toasted marshmallows over the fire, told ghost stories and watched as the flames sent dancing shadows over the old stones.

‘…and then they found his HEAD!’ Lisa bellowed the last word like it was paining her and laughed in a very sinister fashion with her torch placed under her chin to exaggerate her features. ‘Bwahahahaha!’
David laughed and Abigail leaned forward and prodded the fire with a stick. ‘Terrifying. Anyway, on that note, I think I’m going to call it a night. It’s late and…’

‘Hey! No chance! You haven’t told us a ghost story yet! Lisa and I both shared ours!’

Abigail chuckled. ‘That ‘story’ of yours David – honestly! It makes a good piece of fiction but I’d hardly call it a ‘true experience!’
David adopted a pained expression and shook his head. ‘I tell you! I really did go back in time!’ Abigail nodded sincerely. ‘Uh huh…right you are David, I believe you!’ Lisa giggled. ‘Oh come on Abigail, You’ve lived here your whole life, you must know some stories!’ Abigail smiled and nodded. ‘Oh yes, plenty!’ She yawned and stood up. ‘But…I’m too tired to tell any of them at the moment, sorry! Maybe in the morning if you’re lucky’

‘Awww! Come on! How can you leave us hanging like that?’

The yard owner shrugged and picked up her jacket. ‘Oh I’m no good at telling stories anyway, you should know that by now! Anyway, goodnight everyone. I’m going to turn in now before I fall asleep out here!’

‘Night Abigail!’


David yawned loudly and stretched, feeling his back creak uncomfortably as he did so. ‘I think I’m going to call it a night too actually. See you in the morning!’
Lisa smiled and gave him a hug. ‘Okay, me too. Sleep tight and don’t let the ghosties bite!’ David chuckled and entered his tent, his last thought before the unconscious bliss of sleep overcame him was how wonderfully peaceful it was outside.


David awoke with a start. It was dark both inside and outside the tent and he couldn’t fathom why he had woken up. He picked up his watch and checked the time.

It had just gone 3am.

He groaned and covered his face with the pillow. Why? Mornings in general were loathed with a passion and early ones…well, they were almost unheard of. He settled himself back down and rearranged his sleeping bag - determined to squeeze in another couple of hours sleep before Abigail woke them all up at quarter past seven to – in her words – ‘make the most of the day’. Long torturous minutes passed and it soon became clear that he wasn’t going to doze off anytime soon, so, now resigned to his fate, he got up to check on the horses.
It was quiet outside and there was a chill to the air. David shivered and put his coat on. The soggy weather of September and October was giving way to the cold winds and frosty mornings of November and he questioned his sanity for allowing Abigail to talk him into this. The horses were all sleeping – Banksy standing up against the wall resting a hind leg and Kerry flat out on the ground like a foal; one foot twitching slightly as he dreamed – perhaps reliving the cross country demo of the week before. Tamarind however was on his chest, legs folded under him comfortably and his long curtain of mane flowing over his shoulders like a cloak. David noted with amusement that he had fallen asleep in mid chew with what looked like half the field sticking out of his mouth.

It was cold and he was bored, having left his only unread book back in the office, so he made his way over to the fire; it’s barely glowing cinders highlighting every blade of grass nearby. He prodded the heap of charred wood with a stick and frowned when the last of the embers promptly extinguished themselves with a low hiss. He scowled and threw the stick at it, drawing his knees up to his chin to try to preserve some of his body heat.
Why couldn’t he have woken up at seven? At least then he’d only have half an hour to wait until Abigail frogmarched him out of his tent and set him on breakfast duty. He yawned and tucked his hands into his pockets. Perhaps he could doze off for a while, yes, that would be nice…

When David next awoke, it was to lighter skies. He smiled and sat up, running a hand through his unruly tangle of hair and savouring the crisp morning air as he admired the warm orange glow on the horizon. That’s what he had been hoping for, a nice dramatic sunrise. He stood up and stretched, wincing when his back reminded him why sleeping on uneven ground was not a good idea. Now that dawn had arrived, he could justify having an early breakfast. After all, that’s what all those SAS survival types on TV seemed to enjoy – devouring a bacon roll to the sound of the dawn chorus while the rest of the world slumbered on, blissfully unaware that such a time in the morning existed. As he thought this, a sliver of doubt niggled at his mind. If it was dawn then where was all the birdsong? He hadn’t heard anything that sounded remotely birdlike since he’d come to. Perhaps they, like him, weren’t ready for such an early start? David found that very hard to believe and rechecked his watch.


He blanched. He had only slept for twenty minutes! The birds weren’t singing because they wouldn’t wake up for another couple of hours! Still, he thought, that didn’t explain the apparent sunrise. He looked up, his eyes taking in the distant radiance with a mixture of wonder and confusion. It was too early for it to actually be a sunrise, but in that case…what the hell was it? The nearest lighthouse was miles away on the coast and as far as he knew there were no massive music festivals taking place in any of the fields nearby – more specifically their fields, he thought, recognising the silhouette of the main stable block against the gently flickering crimson light. It seemed to be spreading and glowing brighter than ever. He gasped as the realisation struck.

You didn’t get that much light without…

FIRE!” David bellowed, clapping his hands and shouting at the top of his lungs to rouse the others. What to do? What to do? Mobile, aha! He fumbled around in his pockets for a moment until he finally located his phone, coated in a thin layer of dust and mint fragments.

“GET UP!” He yelled, willing his friends and his mobile to hurry up and get on with it. Finally the menu screen loaded and he stabbed at the buttons in a frenzy. 99…-

What? Come on, no battery? Oh you’ve got to be kidding me! Abigail! Lisa! COME ON!’ Throwing the useless phone to the ground in disgust, he charged over to Abigail’s tent, half expecting her to leap out at him, demanding to know what all the fuss was about. Nothing happened when he approached and there was still no response when he unzipped the flap and gingerly peered inside. To his horror, the light from his torch confirmed his suspicions. Abigail was out for the count, snoring away to herself quite happily. Knowing that he’d pay the price for it later, David cleared his throat and let rip a yell which would have rivalled any soldier’s battle cry.

No reaction whatsoever.

A vein on his temple twitched nervously and he resisted the urge to scream again. He glanced back at the yard and came to a decision.
At his top speed (admittedly not very fast) he’d be lucky to reach the stables in half an hour, by which time… He shuddered and tried to force the sickening images of burning equids from his mind. No, the quickest way there was by horse and out of the three he had to choose from, the fastest by far was…

‘TAMARIND! GET UP!’ David cried, shoving at the stallion’s neck in an increasingly futile attempt to make him stand. After what felt like an age, he finally rose, happily munching on the grass he seemed to have forgotten about earlier.

David tacked in a frenzy, his hands shaking as he struggled with the buckle on the throatlatch. He vaulted on, wondering pointlessly if other people found it as difficult as he did at this time in the morning. Forcing his feet into the cold stainless steel of the stirrups, he shortened his reins and was just about to kick Tam on when he realised that he’d forgotten his hat. He considered getting off and finding it but there just wasn’t time – he needed to get to the yard as soon as possible - lives depended on it.

He clicked to Tam and dug his heels in, praying that for once he wouldn’t argue. To his great surprise, the Lusitano obliged and struck off into a beautifully flowing canter, his strides eating up the ground, looking every bit the noble warhorse of old. As they reached the flat and open ground he urged Tam into a gallop, sitting low over his withers and shouting encouragements. There was no time to mess around with gates so he kicked him on and jumped the low dry stone wall that separated the summer paddock from the main yard. He looked up almost as soon as they landed and the full horror of the fire chilled him to the core. Everything was burning; the slates on the roof offered no protection to the rooms and stables below as the vast plumes of flame forced their way out of windows and roof alike, engulfing the already weakened hayloft in increasingly violent bursts of fire. Already the frenzied screams of terrified horses reached his ears and he reined Tam in with a growing sense of dread. They’d had a new delivery of fresh hay a couple of days before and all the stables had been bedded down with new shavings before they left for the campsite. David paled and felt his mouth go dry. The horses wouldn’t have had a chance – the slightest spark and the beds would have gone up like dry tinder.

With Tam now halted, he slithered off, his legs weak. Save breaking into Abigail’s house and phoning the fire services, there was very little he could achieve. The blaze was intensifying and it was all he could do to stand a few metres in front of it. Now and then he saw flakes of ash drift to the ground like snow, appearing to disappear before they even touched the ground. The anguished cries of petrified horses mingled with the sound of falling timbers and crackling wood and he felt his heart break. Although the screams were dying down and he tried hard not to think about what that meant, the faces of al the horses he cared so much about filled his mind. Callisto, Rhona, Kestral…the unborn foal.
His lip quivered and he wrenched at Tam’s reins, pulling him forwards. He’d turn him out in the outdoor before he made a rescue attempt as it was too dangerous to tie him up anywhere near the main buildings. He stepped forwards, about to make a run for it when there was an almighty splintering sound and the arched entranceway collapsed in front of him in a cloud of smoke and debris. David coughed and shielded his face as best he could. There was no way that he could go in from that direction. He’d have to go in through the gap between the two blocks of stables and the tackroom.

He trotted Tam, who seemed remarkably unfazed considering the circumstances, up beside the school. He hadn’t spooked once and was arching his neck and flicking his tail as normal, seemingly in perfect comfort, which worried David. Why on earth wasn’t he even remotely concerned?! For a horse who found both wheelie-bins and rabbits terrifying, it would have been logical to assume that a titanic conflagration such as this would have at least put the wind up him a bit. However, he had no time to think about it. He had to get to the office where he knew there was a fire extinguisher handy. It wouldn’t make much difference to the raging inferno surrounding him, but there was a chance that he’d be able to get at least some of the horses out safely.

Giving Tam a farewell pat, he sprinted across the cobbles, eyes screwed tightly shut against the smoky haze that surrounded the stables and skidded to a stop in front of Tam’s empty stable. Next to his was Kestral’s box and he rushed towards it through the choking clouds of smoke and ash that were falling from the roofs above. Suddenly he heard a horrible crumbling sound coming from somewhere above him and as he looked up, one of the large slates on the roof came hurtling down towards him. There wasn’t time to move out of the way and for a brief instant he knew that he was about to die. He closed his eyes.

The moment passed and he inhaled sharply, squinting in the half light. The slate had missed him, for he felt nothing but his heart hammering in his chest and the cold chill of fear and adrenaline coursing through his veins. Dust and bits of moss trickled down from the roof again and he backed up just in time to see more slates plummet to the ground in front of him…only; they didn’t shatter against the cobbles as one might have expected. Instead, they appeared to vanish, mere inches from the ground as though…as though they didn’t exist at all... David stared. It was bizarre, like watching ice burn. He watched, captivated as another beam dropped, trailing flames and hot embers like a comet as it faded into nothingness. He bit his lip and extended a hand to the flames that were currently engulfing Kestral’s door. Although the bright tongues of flame were now lapping eagerly at his skin, he felt nothing but the smooth and well worn wood beneath his fingers. His eyes widened and it was only then that he realised he had forgotten to breathe.

It wasn’t real, none of it was. The horses were safe! He let out a sigh of relief and felt his shoulders drop as he finally relaxed. A shrill shriek of despair brought him back to attention and he wheeled around. It was coming from inside Kestral’s box.
He called on her as he fumbled with the kickbolt and the big latch at the top. ‘Kestral! Come on girl…’ As he opened the door his face fell. The chestnut mare was lying on her side at the back of the stable, facing away from him. ‘No...’ he whispered hoarsely, the colour draining from his face. ‘No…not like this…’ Tears filled his eyes and he took a stride towards her lifeless frame just as another ear-splitting scream sounded from somewhere close. He felt a chill run down his spine - a drop in temperature that he felt sure had nothing to do with the weather.

As his eyes adjusted to the darkness he was suddenly aware of another presence in the box. He squinted and through the smoke he could make out the shape of a tall grey horse standing next to Kestral; dripping with sweat, its eyes wild and fearful between the polished leather straps of the headcollar it wore. David stepped back, unsure of what was happening and the grey followed him, head held high, iron shod hooves clacking on the cobbled surface of the yard. In the dim light its form seemed indistinct and blurred at the edges, like a badly focused photograph. It reared and plunged towards him, disappearing like the slates before it made contact. Another roar came from behind him and as he turned, more horses appeared, some in stables, others loose but clearly frightened out of their wits. He didn’t know why, but he started to run, opening doors as he passed them and tugging on barely visible knots in an attempt to free the restrained animals. When he came to the last stable, the horse inside bolted out the door almost as soon as the lock was undone, charging him at a gallop. There was a powerful gust of wind and David was knocked backwards, landing in a crumpled heap on the ground.

All at once everything stopped. The smoke faded, the crackle and hiss of the fire ceased and it was dark once more. David got to his feet and looked around, bewildered. The yard was back to normal and it looked as though nothing had happened. Callisto popped her sleepy looking head over the door and nickered softly, obviously wondering what David was doing there in the middle of the night. Still struggling to comprehend what had just happened, he gave her a pat, shut the door again and rushed off to check on Kestral. To his enormous relief, she too was awake – quietly munching on her haynet, looking for all the world like she had been standing there forever. By now it was all too much for David and he turned on his heel and went to fetch Tam from the outdoor. True to form, he found the stallion totally ensconced in an abandoned feed bucket and he jumped when David tried to take it off him. He untangled the reins and mounted, resisting the temptation to look back at the yard as they headed back in the direction of the castle. There was no rush this time but he cantered him back all the same.

As he slowed Tam to a walk on the approach to the campsite, his heart leapt. Another fire! Luckily this time it was nothing more than the reanimated campfire which Lisa was poking with a stick, her eyes tired and weary looking. Abigail suddenly appeared out of nowhere, her eyes fierce. ‘And just WHERE were you off to?! Lisa and I nearly had heart failure when we woke up! Tent empty, Tamarind gone – for a while there we were starting to worry!’
‘Sorry’ he said, sheepishly. ‘I thought I saw…’ he glanced at the barely visible shapes of the yard in the distance. '…saw…something but it wasn’t really…anything…’

‘Humph’ muttered Abigail by way of a response. ‘Well just see that it doesn’t happen again and never, I repeat…never shout into my tent in the morning again. Do I make myself clear?’
David nodded, his grim expression masking a smile, and got off Tam. ‘I’ll just err..put him away then shall I?’ Once un-tacked and turned out again, it wasn’t long before Tam returned to his previous position and fell asleep almost instantly. When David arrived back at the tents, the conversation had turned to his adventure. ‘So why the yard? What did you see there?’
‘Oh, nothing. I thought I saw a light but I must have been mistaken…anyway!’ he said, trying his hardest to change the subject. ‘What about that ghost story you promised us Abigail?’

‘Yeah, that’s a good point’ Lisa chipped in between yawns. ‘You did say you’d tell us in the morning!’
‘If you were LUCKY I said! But oh well, we’re all awake now thanks to someone so I may as well.’
She shifted position on her log slightly and poked the fire with the remains of her marshmallow stick from the night before. When she spoke next, her voice had lost most of its usual bravado. ‘When I was a child, the stables we all know and love were brand new. My mother had bought the land and rebuilt the yard on the site of its predecessor as there wasn’t enough of the old place left to salvage.’
‘What happened to it?’ asked Lisa, interestedly.
‘There was a fire’ Abigail said simply. ‘A terrible, terrible fire. No one knows how it happened – some say it was lightning hitting the hay barn, others claim it was arson but however it began, it claimed the lives of sixteen horses, five grooms and the livelihoods of many more.’

David paled and felt a sudden chill, as though someone had thrown a bucket of water over him. ‘Oh yes’ she said, holding up her now smouldering stick and watching flakes of ash fall from the tip. ‘ Yes, it scarred the village for years. No one wanted to use the site – ‘bad luck’ so they said. In fact, I can remember meeting an old man in the village when I was very young who said that the souls of the victims would never leave but would walk the earth forever until they had been released from…oh how did he put it? Ah yes, their ‘earthly prison’. She shrugged and dropped the stick into the eagerly awaiting flames. ‘ But it’s all nonsense really, just another one of those local legends.’

‘Wow’ said Lisa. ‘ What a horrible thing to happen! And to think that it happened on our yard as well. Spooky!’

‘Yeah’ muttered David quietly. ‘Spooky.’

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