The Haunted Wordsmith is doing a daily challenge where they provide three things that must be included in a story. Have a look at the link above.
I thought I would have a go.
Three items for 31 May 2018: aster, crow’s feather, joke.
Up in the Highlands of Scotland, in the shadow of Ben Nevis, is a small cottage. No one lives there anymore, but it is rented out to walkers and adventurous types but no one seems to stay there for longer than one night.
I remember going there with Jessica, Steve and Maria. Pals from my student days. We had graduated from Uni back in 2001 and we decided to get together again for a reunion in 2011. Maria had heard of a haunted cottage not too far from where she was now living in Edinburgh and had booked it for us. We all arrived at Edinburgh station and Maria had hired a car to take us all up to the Highlands and the cottage.
When we got there, the sun was shining and the cottage itself looked absolutely beautiful with Lavender growing down the path and purple asters growing under the windows.
Inside it was clean but a bit old-fashioned. The sofa had certainly seen better days, as had the curtains that were a moth-eaten velvet material in a dark mustard colour.
I remember walking up the narrow wooden stairs to find my room, up under the rafters. On the bed someone had placed a crow’s feather. It gave me the shivers, but I assumed it had been someone’s idea of a joke.
We’d all brought along quite a bit to drink. Maria had a couple of bottles of single malt whisky, Jessica had brought along some gin. Steve pretty much only drank Lager but had brought a long twelve cans of export. I had a bottle of plum brandy that I had made myself. You can’t beat a bit of home-brew.
We were about half way through our drinks when weird stuff began to happen. We’d put the television on for some background noise while we all talked about our lives and picked up from where we all had left off. All of a sudden the T.V signal went and we were left with white noise. Then a load of soot came down the chimney and completely covered us all. I remember we all thought it was funny at the time and started laughing. We weren’t laughing for long though. Without warning all the lights went out and we were plunged into total darkness. The laughter turned to screams and we were all scrabbling around in the dark.
Somehow we made it out to the car. Steve and Jessica were covered in scratches to their arms and faces, but they were too hysterical to talk about it. None of us wanted to go back into the cottage to retrieve our stuff. We all seemed to have our wallets and essentials, so we just abandoned our luggage and clothes and drove back to Edinburgh.
We don’t talk about it. There were was something in that cottage, that’s for sure. I will never forget those moments in total darkness. They will haunt me forever.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 31/May/2018