The Castle and Stumps

" What was that? " Joe whispered.

" I don't know." I said.

Scrape Thud... scrape Thud... scrape Thud...

Well I am not looking said Joe putting his head under the cover. I was already there. Slowly, very slowly, I put my hand out of the cover to feel for the torch I had put on the floor by the bed. As each second passed I thought my exposed hand was going to be grabbed by some clammy slimy tentacle of some unearthly apparition. Scrape Thud... scrape Thud... scrape Thud...

I switched the torch on under the cover. There was this horrible ghostly apparition a twisted white face... Stop shining the torch in my face said Joe it is out there what ever it is.

Scrape Thud... scrape Thud... scrape Thud...

On the count of three I whispered we push the cover back and look. No screaming whispered.

Scrape Thud... scrape Thud......

" two three."

" Got you." I shouted hoping to frighten it as much as it had frightened us.

I shone the torch slowly around the room. There was nothing. The noise had stopped.

" I.. I..I wa..was not frightened." said Joe.

" Na..na.neither was I." I said.

" Shall we light the lamp? " said Joe.

" If you want it on." I said bravely.

As the glow from the hurricane lamp filled the room the panic receded a tiny bit, the room was quiet once again. Very quiet, very very very quiet.

"Do you want a crisp." said Joe producing an unopened bag of crisps.

Joe opened the bag and sat crunching crisps, surprisingly the crunching sound was quite comforting. What now I ask when the crisps were all gone. Back to sleep was Joes only suggestion, did he really think he could sleep now. Joe reckoned we had scared it off but when I ask him if he wanted the light off again he suddenly found he could sleep better with it on.

I turned the lamp down a little bit as I did not want it to run out of paraffin before the night was over. We pulled cover up and laid down again. To say I was not sleepy would be an understatement just about every nerve in my body was waiting for the next sound.

Berrrrr... Scrape... Thud.....

"Ahhh." We both instantly set up in bed while I shone my torch rapidly around the room. The silence was deafening. For a long time we sat looking nervously around. There was only one thing we can do in a situation like this I said, eat something.

We crept down the small staircase into the bar and looked around for something to eat. We found some bread, cheese and butter and made ourselves two over generous sandwiches. Opening a bottle of the local beer we sort of hid behind the bar crouching under the counter.

As we ate our sandwiches we just started to feel a little bit more human when... Scccrapeeee.... it came from directly over our heads, someone was dragging a body across the bedroom floor.


Now I would not say we actually stopped chewing in mid sandwich, spilt our beer on our trousers and looked open mouthed in semi terror at the ceiling, because I would not want to admit such a thing. But we did.

A long time passed after the noise had stopped when Joe admitted that he did not think he could take much more of this. I ask him what he thought it was. He thought it was the lost bomber crew, dragging the body of the pirate to the headless horseman.

It was funny but that was just what I thought it was. I suggested a short walk to Fogget's cottage might be pleasant, not that ether if us was scared.

Short Story Series - Abridged from the book - The Tatty Nickers Tony on the Moon