Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The hills are alive

By the time I'd reached the safety of the road I was in pieces. Soaked with sweat, limbs turning to jelly, my mind racing, thoughts flashing here and everywhere, pulse racing and I was (possibly but I'm not sure) jabbering. There was so much going on inside my head that I was unsure as to what was inside or outside. I threw myself down onto the grass verge, exhausted and buried my head into the cool, wet green as if it was some sweet anaesthetic. Something to douse the fear and the slowly growing pain that was building following my encounter. "Don't you be going up there alone", that was the warning from Bob the old shepherd last night in the pub. Now his words were ringing in my ears. How had he known? What had he seen? How many others? Of course I'd laughed, full of Dutch courage and scepticism and not really caring. At that certain age when you feel invincible and eternal, strong and rational enough to deal with whatever comes your way. Well that was last night, last life even. The watershed had been arrived at. I wasn't laughing now.

I seemed to sleep or drown or fall for the longest time, no sense of day or night, just hugging the ground, curled up in some foetal recovery position, still and silent. Rain was falling, steadily damp, soaking me with an electric warmth and a cloak of sterility. Forcing me to wake and face the truth of my situation. It was then, groggy and still in some pain that I heard the voice...

I looked up, a child stood before me. Looked like a boy of about seven I think, it was hard to tell. The first thing I noticed were the shoes, girls' Mary Jane shoes, one brown, one black and on the wrong feet. The child looked down on me as I struggled to move and to get up onto my knees. Daylight was breaking and the mist was sheathing all around. There was just me and this strange figure in a ghostly wilderness. Neither of is spoke we just stared at one another. I thought I must be in shock and that this was another hallucination, another mask, some kind of trick of the mind. This whole experience was unreal and things had stopped making sense. The child spoke again.

"You look lost...I know how that feels, I think that I may be lost."

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