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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
workmen encounter the uncanny

Submitted: October 31, 2011

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Submitted: October 31, 2011







  Brian leant back against the warm stone his jumper wadded into a pillow. A June sun beat down from a cloudless sky soaking into his muscles which were stiff from a mornings work. He was boss of a small contract mowing company and his three employees lounged around in similar comfort enjoying their lunch hour. He had a number of contracts mostly industrial estates and the like, but this one was different, it was with English heritage. They had to keep the grass trimmed around two sets of standing stones and the small car park and visitor centre. The only drawback was that they had to carry all the strimmers and kit the mile or so from the car park, English heritage were not keen on national monuments being driven on. This circle stood at the top of a small conical hill, the other was halfway down the hill between here and the car park

It was a glorious day, getting a bit hot now, no doubt there would be grumbling when it came to get them back to work. They were a good bunch of lads, willing on a good day.

Brian’s back ached, he was getting too old for this, but for the life of him he couldn’t imagine sitting behind a desk for a living.


“yeah what”

“Any chance of finishing early today?”

“If we finish this circle and the car park, I don’t see why not”

There were a chorus of groans; the lads knew there was little chance of an early finish.

“I’m doing you all a favour you know.”  Brian said.

“If you weren’t here in this wonderful spot you’d only be in the Nags head pissing your money up the wall. Instead I’m giving you gainful employment in the great outdoors.”

“You should get some sort of humanitarian award Brian.”

“How old is this place?”

Brian was surprised, Shaun seldom spoke, he was the most tacit and shy young man that Brian had ever met. For him to have asked such a direct question straight out in front of everybody his interest must have been seriously piqued.

“About four thousand years, according to the chap from English heritage.”

There were whistles and exclamations to the effect that the crew thought this was a very long time.

“You know a few years ago I had a very strange experience up here. I was working on my own; I stopped on that ridge down there for a breather.” Brian pointed to a spot halfway down the slope. “And I was nearly skewered by a bloke on horseback with a spear. He appeared out of nowhere nearly ran me down and then vanished again.”

“You’re winding us up.”

“What you bin smoking Brian.”

“I swear,” said Brian holding up his hand, palm out, “Its as true as I’m sitting here.” Just for a moment as the horseman appeared I could here a battle raging, I could hear screams, shouting and the clash of swords. As the bloke on the horse disappeared the sounds suddenly cut off, as if a door opened and then closed again.”

“Dun’t you talk some bollock’s.”

“Right you lot, back to work.”

The experience had been so strange that Brian, who was not prone to flights of fancy, might just have imagined the whole thing. After a little grumbling the lads packed up their lunch bags, finished their fags and began donning their safety gear and harness’s, Billy came over.

“Got any water Brian?”

“Got a couple of mouthfuls of tea left.”

Billy shook his head.

“Can’t stand tea.”

“Tea my lad is the elixir of life, a strong brown emotion producer. There’s water in the land rover, its behind the drivers seat, bring back some strimming line we’re almost out, and Billy don’t hang about there’s work to do.”

Billy set off at a trot.

“Billy. Won’t you need these?”

Billy looked back to see Brian holding the car keys aloft and grinning. He set off, jogging down the grassy slope toward the small copse that lay between him and second circle of standing stones and the car park.

It only took a few minutes to reach the copse, but by the time he got there Billy was out of breath,’ too many fags he thought as he jogged along the path through the trees. He passed under an ancient yew tree that stood by the path, it was gloriously cool in the shade of it. As he emerged on the other side he tripped over a rotten log which lay across the path. He fell headlong and came down hard jarring left arm and plunging his face into the mud. He rolled onto his back cradling his injured arm and coughed, he had winded himself. He scrambled to his feet gasping for breath and spitting mud and blood and used his good hand to wipe the mud from his eyes and face. He looked back cursing the log and his own misfortune, odd he hadn’t noticed it earlier.

He shivered, It was suddenly cold and he realized with a shock that it was raining a steady thin drizzle. How could it have gone from boiling hot to freezing cold and raining in only a few moments? He decided to get a move on, he remembered that his waterproofs were in the land rover, his‘t’ shirt was already soaked through and his teeth were chattering by the time he emerged from the trees.

He looked down at the land rover, it wasn’t there, neither was the car park, or the road, or the big white farmhouse for that matter. What he could see was the second circle of standing stones and a large group of startled aggressive looking blokes on horseback. They took one look at Billy and appeared to take an immediate dislike to him. One of them, a big muscled blighter with a mane of black hair shouted something unintelligible at him and then as a group they surged up the hill towards him with swords drawn.

Billy didn’t  think twice, he turned round and plunged back into the trees and pegged it back along the path, fags or no fags adrenalin had given him a fair turn  of speed. He shot back along the path, jumped the rotten log that had tripped him, as ,he passed through the shadow of  the yew tree he emerged into the bright sunshine of  a hot day. He kept running, risking a glance over his shoulder he saw that he was no longer being pursued.

On shaking legs he reached the stone circle, Brian looked up from his work and killed the motor of his strimmer.

“What the hells happened to you?” he said taking in Billy’s mud stained clothing and swollen lip.

“Have you been in a fight?”

“No, but I think I found that bloody door that you were on about earlier.”  

© Copyright 2018 Richard M Bromley. All rights reserved.

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