Slowly, I begin my descent into the village, taking the sloping dirt path as carefully as I can, the combination of cannabis and alcohol in my blood is making my head spin in two different directions, the breeze that has been with me all night, has turned into a cold wind, the constant shivering is only making me feel more ill, or is it this place? Over thirty families lived here once, men and women worked while children played, all looking to the lord of the manor and magistrate for guidance.
I can't help wondering if their master, had even had them informed of the plague, or were they forgotten, left to the devastation of the pox? The path will end soon, just as the shadows start, I take a chance look into the black again, the faces are gone, but I know their still here, perhaps they always will be? Will I? Will all of us? Will Kate and Pete, Tom and Sarah and me, become one of those contorted faces, waiting for the next absolute fucking moron, who decides to go mess with a legend!
"No, not Sarah!", I say it out loud, in triumph, "You won't have her!".
I almost feel better, the fact that one of us would survive, would be alive the next day, to tell the police, our friends and family, what had become of us!....I stop dead,
"Oh my God, Sarah....Oh Sarah I'm so sorry!",
I've done something much, much worse to Sarah, she will be the one who tells the people who love us, that we are dead.....and I've done that too her!
I've stopped right on the edge of the void, the shadows cast by the close built houses, each one of them made of stone, with flint tile roofs. Only two houses are more than one floor, but thats more than enough to cast blackness over the village, the moon unhelpfully settling behind one. I hold out my torch, having saved its battery for this very moment, because no matter how hard I might try to look in through the windows, I would have to go in two of the houses.
The houses are so closely built, the path has become a series of winding alleys, leading between them, a maze of corners and deep, dark shadows, I was not looking forward to this, in fact, my foot was actually refusing to move, developing a will of its own,
"I swear!", I say looking down at my right foot, "do this for me now, and I will never, ever, do anything, this stupid, again!!",
Something moves a head! I know it did, I heard the scuff of a foot on loose earth! I point my torch into the dark, and flick it on, a little disappointed as visibility is only marginally better!
"OK, here we go!"
I step into the black, taking small steps down the narrow alley, the houses are built like dominoes, the first ten are stacked together in a row, with ten more built infront of them the same way, the final ten are built in front of these horizontally, making the series of alleys, forcing you to take a number of different routes to reach the manor house.