Saturday 9th April, 1892Edit
We were on our way to Scotland, apparently Mrs MacTannon got a telegram off one of her husbands friend's who her husband had told her on his last breath, “Find Archie” so here we are stepping off a train in Blairgowrie station in Scotland. As I load the luggage on our carriage my cracked Rib I got from a fist fight wager in the economic carriage. I pat Morag's horse George, making sure his reins are tied to the back of the cab. Getting inside of the cab, the driver snaps the reins for the village of Lair, which is near St Catherine's Glen, where there is apparently a “good Inn” whatever that means. Maybe a roof and some straw, this is bloody Scotland after all.
It's getting late now, the cab still bobs along the dirt track of some Scottish road. I'm near the window, where I can hear the patter of rain and the clops of George behind us.
As the weather deteriorates, lighting flashes, illuminating the nearby wood, where I thought I saw something shake in the tree line from the lightning. Extending my posture to an upright position, I lean closer to the cab window, there's the driver's whip and slapping of the reins, just a bit too much from what I can hear. Opening the window, for some fresh air, I lean completely out to ask the driver how much further in this god forsaken rain we have left till the village. I see a silhouette of a man slumped to his side, “You asleep on the job man!” I scream at him, infuriated at these lazy good for nothing Scots. A thunder boom, startles me, and another sound, similar to big gap of air, like an animal does, to catch it's breath, echoes behind the carriage, must be George I thought. Another flash, not far away from the forest this time, again lighting up the woodland, this time no shimmers, must be me getting tired. However, our driver is missing a head. Realising now, our driver is dead, I inform the others, “Then who is driving the cab!” Laughing at my slowness, I get a better hold on the door, to climb out, when suddenly, something quite strong grabs me from behind and pulls me up.
A Snarling SurpriseEdit
Staring straight at me, is a snout with grey fur with mottled hairs of black, grey blueish eyes, and row upon row of snarling teeth with drooling saliva. When I screamed and the sudden pull above, someone inside the carriage pulls at my feet, “Get me down please!” I order. Gunfire rained through the roof, shot after shot “I said help not shoot me!” My comrades pulled me, the claws from the animal shredded my clothes as I was pulled inside the the carriage, it's arms leaning in, were a tempting target for Garvin. With two flashes he has severed the tendons on the arms of the creature. I pulled the lifeless arm and watched upside down as the fur rolled into the dirt and smacked his head with a thud onto one of the rocks. Leaning out of the door, I tried my best to pull myself onto the roof. When I heard a thud, peeping in I saw a whole in the carriage where there use to be a door, and Garvin cradling his arm, which had a red flash down it.
As usual it was down to me again. Climbing out, I feel something jump on my back, followed by a bite on my shoulder. A small scratch grazes my shoulder and a large lump of cloth from my dockland coat, fluffs in my face. I could see two fury hands on the carriage. “Oh Mr. Jensen” Doc shouts out, whilst pushing her cane out of the window, brushing past my ear and lunging at something on my shoulder. Shaking of the cold air now touching my shoulder, I throw my head back, scrap some teeth and smack the fiend clear in the snout. I feel a sort of wetness at the back of my head, the hands in front of me go limp, fall off the carriage, but grasp the end of Doc's sword cane, a bright flash of polished steel reveals to me a snarling bloodied snout, with white ivory teeth, travel further away into the darkness of the night, as the beat falls backwards. Hugging the carriage, I look forward to the now empty seat, focusing on the horizon, I see the gleam of the full moon, shine upon small stones at the edge of the cliff ahead of us, “Oh shit. Cliff ahead guys” I announce whilst sighing, I'm already getting exhausted from hanging on, I have a headache and I already don't like this bumpy road.
In the aftermath of all the excitement. Garvin with the aid of Sir Bobby, got rid of one, yes one, beasty on their side, got to the break so we didn't go diving off the edge. Collapsing to the floor, it felt good to stretch my hands out. This was a bit too much for a new set of fingers to take, some of the seams were looking a bit loose and a slight blood, I thought it was mine, was trickling down my hand. From behind me there is a shriek, followed by really severe weeping and cries of “He was all that was left of my family, and now he's gone!” Thinking someone out of the group has had it, I do a rough body count from a squatting position. Then I see Morag bent over a bloody remains of her horse.
When I had recovered, I went over and asked what was the matter with her horse, Garvin told me that the wolf men were eating it as he was running with the carriage. She looked so upset, so I went into the woods and got some dry wood, made a pyre for the horse. The reverend said a few good words then we left the fire and walked to the inn.
Sunday 10th April, 1892Edit
After porridge for breakfast, they all trooped off to church. So I was left to wander the deserted streets of the Lair. Walking around I find some shops, usual country things, handymen store and the likes. Seems like the only place of interest would be the Inn where I am staying, waited for it to open and then went in and found a table of cards. I could feel the pull my fingers had to the table. Before I knew it, I had bought a pint and gambles my last £10.
I could see the others walking in through the door. The reverend giving me a look because I was gambling. The information they had leant talking to the preacher was that the parishioners of the hamlet of Cray haven't atteneded church in the last month. When I chat to the farmers I am playing cards with, they all say that they're livestock have gone missing over the last month, except the MacBrydes suffered fewer losses in the area, and that they 'protect' their herd with mistletoe.
We hired a cart so we can visit the hamlet of Cray. I decide to sit at the back and try and get some shut eye, because I was already tired from the journey getting to Lair, besides the gentle rocking of the cart sent me off. I was awoken by Morag tapping me “This place is a ghost hamlet.” Straightening my cap, which I had taken with me because of the cold weather, I checked the area cautiously, making sure no surprises were lurking. Several of the houses had ripped doors, some leaning on their hinges, some missing all of them opened. There was marks on the door, blood splatter, broken steps, furniture. Inside one of the houses I looked at, the rooms were in disarray, what little sunlight made it past the ripped curtains and broken shutters, you could sense something wrong had gone in here.
Back on the road, further up the hill from Cray, we came to the court yard of the church. It was a large open courtyard, roughly rectangular the church at one of the short sides, while the church lodgings and stables where on the adjacent long side, dead flower beds in the middle of the court yard.
It was getting close to dusk, so we thought we would settle in the remains of the Parish lodgings but we'd have to check out the house before we stayed in it. We all go in, while Morag sits in the cart, quite distraught of the horse and dear friend she the other day.
Moving through the house we quickly sweep the ground floor, there's a grubby kitchen with a table which has lots of some green fern on it, well just the odd stalk and bit of crumpled leaf. Next door to this, there s a library quite well stocked. I ignored this room, there was no immediate danger so I went to the other door, which lead outside to the stable, brown hay littered the room, was quite a while since someone changed the supply.
Turning around and waiting at the foot of the stairs, my back to the wall. I spy Garvin seeing the urgency in my eyes, he waited at the bottom right of the stairs, crouched with a knife out, I point at myself and go up with my back of the wall, the staircase twisting with its creaking floor boards, clockwise, towards a landing. The landing's walls were bear, the occasional coat of arms painted above a door way, but apart from that nothing else interesting to the eye. I signal to Garv the landing is safe, so he can come up and give me some quick assistance. I wave my hand to the left, because the wall I have my back to has ended, I can see the right side where there is a door in front of the stairs, and down the hall to the right is a another closed door, peering round the corner there is no one there, I give the thumbs up, Garvin nods, I quietly go round the left, the hallway continues, there is a large pain of glass, that lets the dusk light flood down the hall. Holding my hand behind me, I signal for Garv to go on the other side of this one door. I crouch down , while he has a knife ready, I turn the door knob carefully, to reveal a dark room, with 8 simple beds in it.
The main door at the top of the stairs is much the same, this Lodge housed quite a few people it seems. Garvin takes the lead on the last door, right side top of the stairs. I think I see a shimmer of movement, finally some action, running in, I have my shoulder poised for a barge, to which I find nothing there, giving away our position. It seemed there was nothing there maybe just a reflection.