She is running harder than she has ever run in her 30 years. Sprinting, tripping, her way through the stormy Glasgow night, winged feet having been granted by the Gods of the chase. Her bone deep fear keeping her only ever just ahead of them. Them, the fiends of the midnight hour, casting a cloak of terror around her, intimidating her through the deception of their being.
Her pursuers blend into the night, their slick oily movements unseen by those they pass. The chase is relentless. A chase, moving with glacial momentum, only will it cease upon the ultimate demise of her body, and her soul. Centuries old, they are the truest creatures of the night. Exceptionally tall and slender, stretching no less than two metre’s from their squared toed boots, to the top of the signature greasy black felt hats they have pulled down on the heads of their skeletal bodies. The driving rain of this bitterly cold night has caused their lank gingery red hair to stick to their scarred, pale, and gaunt faces. They are the night and every horror ever imagined, a chronic terror that began when man first made fire, and they do not stop.
The skirt she wears has ripped in her flight, exposing her pale white, well shaped thigh. Her hand bag, long since discarded is delicately torn to inch square pieces of black leather. The contents sniffed and devoured by them. She is freckle faced, ginger hair and lithe of body. Her blouse clings to her, wetter than dry. Green eyes, windows to her soul, flash ahead and behind her. She snapped the heels from her shoes when she took flight, leaving her awkward in gait and foot fall.
Heather neither knew of, nor understood how she came to be told “Yeee know too much…….” All she had done was to aid a child that had tripped and fallen right there in front of her on Argyle Street. Heather had stopped, extending two hands to lift the wee lass, guessing the wee bairn to be six years of age.
It was not until she had the slip of a lass on her feet that she took in her eyes. The bairn did bear not the eyes of normality, these were entirely black. No white of the eye, or iris, or pupil. Shining and moist and black. Then the girl began to talk in the voice of a native of Glasgow, rolling ‘R’s, and shaping words to their peculiar local lilt. With one exception. She spoke with a voice of an adult and a grave yard. Dry and harsh, yet not entirely unkind.
As soon as the girl told her, Heather knew they were coming. She could smell them. What the girl had said was “The Nuckelavee has come ashore, and his single eye burns the colour of blood spilt in battle. It will cause drought. It will bring plague, cattle will perish, sickness will come, all while its black and midnight blood pumps through his yellow veins!”
Appearing as if from nowhere, an elderly bekilted man, resplendent in matched Tam o’Shanter, and carrying a heavy wooden cudgel grabbed the lass firmly by the shoulders. He shook her; an expression of fear and anger moulded his features. Speaking as he did so, he turned his head to face Heather and said “Did Deirdre say anythin’ to ye? This is terrible importan’ ye ken!”
Replying in the affirmative, the old man retorted quietly in a voice of ice and fury. “Och, yeeee know too much gal. Now yiz know, the Nuckelavee will put his foul beast’s o’the upon you to stop ye spreadin’ the word of his comin’. Best ye run, but either way I’m jawin’ ter a dead woman!” With a crack the old man and ‘Deirdre’ vanished, leaving a space on the street where they once were, but now devoid of anything. Then she smelt them.
Still running, she felt as though her heart would give out. Heather stopped in the darkness and leant against a wall in the shadows, doing her best to catch her breath.
Feeling strangely warm, she looked about herself to see where the heat was coming from. Looking down she realised what was happening to her.
She had died, and she looked down to see her pursuers devouring her mortal remains. The heat she felt upon her was from hell, opening up and drawing her into inky grotesque eternity. Disappearing into the blackness, she felt the heat and pain of tormented souls. Eternally.
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