Just past midnight this morning, villagers gathered down towards the Cladach Giordail – the beach down the steep track at the south end of the place. A dark secluded beach surrounded by cliffs and the cold sea. A haunting sound crept over the moor as villagers commenced a chanting as the trial of the blackdog commenced. A huge fire was lit on the beach as the choir of chanters raised their voices as the four legged beast, looking sullen and confused was led down.
Gratuitous portrait of a road.
This was the first animal trial in the village for a while and people were wanting an end to the uncertainty about the chicken massacre of a few days earlier. To be sure they reached the right verdict, the weighing machine had been taken out of storage, its creaky wooden beam set up on the edge of the water. Tradition has it that the accused must be weighed against the beasts which it apparently had slain – only since these had already been buried, the chickens owner substituted her steam-powered steel duck. – called Steam-punk. It sat serenely on the beam, steam silently exiting its rusty beak as the black dog was lowered onto the other end. My hair stood on end as the chanting raised to a crescendo while steam-punk and black dog came to an uneasy balance. Then the breeze blew and steam-punk toppled off the beam and was lost in the sea. The villagers stood in stunned silence.
But I think it all was a dream. I haven’t been sleeping so well you see. There are no remnants of a fire on the beach, Mrs 'Up-Yours' hasn't a steam-punk duck - yet - and all is well in the village. Nearly.