Everyone has seen them. I'm sure I'm not the first ?

Dark shapes that flitter in the periphery of your vision. Tantalizing shapes that disappear when you turn towards them. Figures that play with our minds. One minute they're there and the next they're gone.


4. Someone believes me

Well my friend, it was sometime until I came face to face with one of the dark shapes. Over the next few years I noticed that they were still there but alas they showed no sign in wanting to hang around any longer that it took to glance in their direction. I was beginning to think that I had totally imagined the whole thing. You know how it is, late nights when you allow things to enter the mind, allow strange thought to accrue at the back of the brain.

Whilst at school I’d tentatively floated the idea of these dark shapes to a friend. He’d looked at me strangely and then proceeded to tell the rest of the school that I was seeing fairies in the rooms. I have to tell you I felt totally ridiculed by the entire school population. Shunned by many as some sort of crackpot I hated my entire school career. I was a loner who walked in the shadows forever aware that I was different from others.

When I left school I took up a position working for a small accountancy firm. Here I spent my days pouring over figures, forever keeping myself to myself. I took to taking long rambles across the countryside. The moors above Stockby were festooned with heather and gorse which looked beautiful in late summer.  The freshness of the breeze and all that fresh air helped me blow away the cobwebs of working in a dingy office all week. I’d taken to writing at this point. I had amazing stories in my consciousness that I wanted to relate. Alas I was more of a plodding writer than a gifted wordsmith as these journals will testify. Certainly not up to the standard of the great HG Wells whose books I have devoured for the last few years.

It was on one of these walks that I’d first met Sinead. I was sat on a rock overlooking the valley below. I often sat here to collect my thoughts and scribble down a few humble muttering into my leather notebook. Looking out at the vast vista in front of me I noticed a woman walking up the path towards my position. From a distance she appeared to be a petite young woman. Her back hair was extremely curly and flew behind her like a lion’s mane. She wore a purple dress which billowing skirts she was hitching up around her ankles so she could walk through the heather strewn floor. I watched intermittently as she climbed the hill towards me. As she got closer, I was struck by her beauty. I estimated that she was just over 5 feet in height. Her hair framed her face. She had an unblemished complexion with large brown eyes which twinkled in the sunlight.

‘Hello, what are you looking at?’ the girl spoke to me. She spoke with a lilting, almost song like voice. The accent was light but unmistakably Irish.  I blushed outwardly. I hadn’t had much contact with girls, especially not one as beautiful as this specimen.

‘Are you deaf or something?’ she said standing in front of me, her arms folded in front of her. Her head was tilted to the left looking quizzically at me. She didn’t appear angry, her face shone in the bright sunlight.

‘Sorry’, I said trying my hardest not to fluff my words. ‘I didn’t mean to stare, you don’t often see many people walking here’

‘That’s Ok’, she said ‘you don’t look like a pervert’

My face must have looked a picture. It wasn’t the done thing for young ladies to accost men, except maybe on some backstreet of a town, and especially to use language like this one.

She smiled at me. Oh my friend, I must tell you this, she had the smile of an angel. Those tight curls of raven black hair perfectly framed her delicate feature. Every part of that face was in perfect proportion to the rest of her, no part out of place.

‘I’m Sinead’ she said, ‘What’s your name ?’

Sinead, of course a girl like her had to have such an exotic name.

‘I’m Tom’, I said unsure of whether to offer my hand. How was one supposed to act in front of someone so bold ?

‘Tom, eh, do you live in Stockby?’ she asked sitting down on the rock I had previously been seated upon.

‘Come sit and talk to me’, She said patting the rock next to her. I sat down hesitantly.

Over the course of the next hour I found out more about her and her family. Her family were Irish travellers and were currently camped a few miles away from Stockby. They’d been working on the land earning enough money to keep them through the winter. Remarkably she was the same age as me, although she seemed to possess a maturity that was far above mine. Maybe travelling around rather than stay in same dreary little town had something to do with that. She was an enchanting person and kept me mesmerized with the lilt of her voice and her tiny mannerisms.

‘Are you the Tom who sees figures in the shadows’ she eventually said.

‘No, not me, I said, maybe a little too quickly, or maybe it was because I couldn’t lie, it wasn’t in my nature.

‘It is isn’t it, I can see it in your eyes. We gypsy girls have a way of knowing’ She said.

‘Who told you?’ I asked wondering how on earth she’d heard.’

It tuned out that her dad had been drinking in one the of the local hostelries. There one of my ex school friends, although I use the term friend very loosely, had got rather the worse from strong liquor and blurted out my story.

‘It’s OK, I believe you’ she said looking directly into my eyes. ‘I’ve seen dark shapes as well, they exist. Have you talked to them?’

I nodded. I told her the whole story, my friends, and she believed me. This beautiful woman actually believed me. We talked and talked until my jaws ached. It was a wonderful time.

Over the next few weeks I courted Sinead and winning the blessing of her wonderful family entered marriage with her. For weeks we were blissfully happy. How could this not last ?

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