Sunday, February 10, 2013

An encounter with The Great Beast

John, his wife, and the three kids, piled into the car still bleary eyed. It was 4am. Ahead of them was a nine hour slog to the remote end of Loch Ness.
John had rented a crofters cottage on the far shore, no phone signal, no internet, nothing.
The kids were giddy, tales of the monster abound. On arrival, the kids ran from room to room excitedly, arguing over who sleeps where. John looked at his wife. They both smiled.
John had set about bringing logs from the wood pile, pausing to take in the hypnotic majestic vista. The Highlands have a unique light. Ever changing. Liquid.

“I have to go into Inverness John” his wife said. “Forgotten allsorts.”
“Its miles away woman, we’ve been on the road since four”
“I’ll take the kids” she replied “you have a kip love, I won’t be long”
John passed her two twenty pound notes.
“Get a decent bottle of malt love, when in Rome and all that”…

John opened up the Ordinance Survey map onto the bed and pin pointed the position of the cottage. He noticed a name, written in tiny print. Boleskine House. It was less than a mile away along the shore.
Boleskine House is written into Scottish Folklore and has a dark history. Previous owners include several eccentrics and famously at one point, home to Led Zeppelin.
Its most infamous owner however, was one Aleister Crowley. Intellectual, Satanist, drug addict, madman. Got to have a nosey round that thought John, be a couple of hours before they’re back.

He approached the main gate from the Marshall Wade Road, September sunlight filtering
Through the vast  pines that lined the road. Apart from the occasional tweet of a songbird, Silence. The gates were padlocked. ‘For Sale. View by appointment only’ read the sign, It was empty.
John had a look around, then climbed over the low stone wall and into the one time lair of the man they called ‘The Great Beast 666’
A gravel drive led down to the property. The building was not what he’d expected, but a very large bungalow, whitewashed, and annexed at both ends. He cupped his hands up to his face and peered through the window, trying to imagine the tales those walls could tell. Murder, suicide, sacrifice, drug fuelled orgies, black magic ceremonies, and that was before Led Zeppelin moved in.
Round the back is an ancient burial site, leading down to the shores of Loch Ness.
John walked down, past the Gothic headstones, some dating back 900 years. Silence.
He’d never swallowed all that Hocus Pocus, ghosts and ghouls type stuff. It only exists in people’s heads. A fear of the unknown. All bollocks.

As John reached the Loch, thinking how great it would be to see the fabled creature, he noticed a small stone out building. Above the door, expertly carved into the lintel, was a pentangle. What horrors had that place witnessed? He wondered if it was done by the man himself.
Best get back thought John, they will be back from Inverness soon.
As he walked back toward the house, like something from the cheesiest horror film, a strong wind whipped around from nowhere. Clouds the colour of ink rolled in from across the Loch. Thunder cracked overhead, John’s pace quickened. He laughed to himself at the notion that he felt a bit uneasy. Time to leave.
As he approached the Croft, His wife was outside. She hurried towards him, clearly distressed.
“What’s wrong girl?” he said as she opened her arms.
“ I got a phone signal on the way back, your brother has been trying to get in touch, I’m so sorry John,.. your mum died suddenly this afternoon”

By the next morning, the bottle of fine single malt was empty.
All coincidence?...Yes. Still….


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