1. The fall
I lowered myself gingerly onto a rough granite bolder, scared with time and covered with soft green moss like warts of a witch. Trying not to jolt it I placed my left leg on a smaller version of my seat and stared at my tender, swollen ankle in disbelief and annoyance, how was I going to get home? I had surely walked for miles, and now, at the turning point in my walk, as far from home as I could go, I had misplaced my footing and collapsed, typical. I bit my lip and tasted the metallic tang of blood. I had heard stories of people being stranded on the moor because of injuries like this -everyone who lived on or near the moor had, we all joked about it at school, calling them “Townies”- they were mostly found alive; however there had been one or two cases where they hadn’t. In fact my great aunt Fern had been one of those cases. She had gone missing on this path at about my age and she had never been found, not a trace. What if I succumbed to the same fate? Worried now, I glanced at the skyline, I still had a few hours of daylight left. No-one would find me here as I was in the middle of dense, scenic and magical looking woodland; it looked like fairies were going to pop out from behind the moss strewn boulders. I wish they would, they could magic my ankle better again. No-one at home knew which path I had taken so I was well and truly stuck. Panicked and desperate I started crawling along the path, trying to ignore the burning pain coursing through my leg. But it was no use, a cry of pain and despair bubbled up out of my lips and into the still noontide air. That was the problem with Dartmoor; I thought bitterly, there were so many stories of ghosts and spirits yet people rarely thought about how they got there. Was I going to become just another Dartmoor legend? No, I told myself. Then again out loud, “No! Don’t be silly Dawn, someone is bound to come along and find you”. But in my heart of hearts I knew no-one would, this path was always deserted. I sighed and curled up on the cold, muddy floor, sobbing into my fleece. I let my mind wander, how had I got myself into this mess anyway?