Sightings at Small Water

Chapter Five: Darkness Again

Seraphim and Deuteronomy greeted them cheerily the next morning.  Beanstalk stared back at them with bleary eyes: he had not slept a wink.  Asparagus was tired.  Carrot Cake wanted to calm her nerves, so they made their way to early morning prayers.  Soft chants soothed their irritated souls.

          “What’s the plan of action?” Asparagus asked afterwards.

They all looked him dully.  There was no plan of action. No one had seen anything like this before.  What sort of plan of action was there to deal with an apparently disembodied sheep that dined after dark?

          In the silence, Asparagus realised that it was up to him.  He drew Beanstalk and Carrot Cake to one side.

“Let’s climb Mardale Ill Bell in daylight,” he suggested.

“Yes, it won’t be as scary as nightime,” said Beanstalk.

“We might get some insight or maybe just some clues,” stated Carrot Cake.

Up they strode.  Beanstalk started complaining that it was steep.  They struggled on until they reached the summit.  Out of breath, Carrot Cake grumbled:

“Well, there’s no information here. We’ve climbed for the sake of it.”

Asparagus felt depleted.  All three of them were tired because of a bad night's sleep and this climb had taken even more energy out of them.  He had to admit that there did not seem to be any evidence that would help them out or, indeed, anything unusual or out of the ordinary at all.  They descended back down to Small Water Tarn and had a snooze.

          Although refreshed, the three of them were not looking forward to that next evening.

“It must be a ghost,” said Beanstalk.  “How else would it glow so that we can see it in the dark?”

They both looked at Carrot Cake.  She looked unperturbed.

          “Well?” asked Asparagus.

“I don’t feel any ghosts here at all,” she stated simply.

Asparagus sighed.  No one seemed to have an explanation or any answers at all.  They had no choice but to keep watch again as darkness fell.

          “At least we know what to expect this time,” said Beanstalk.

“Yes, at least it won’t be such a horrible surprise,” agreed Carrot Cake.

They huddled together again, for company, and waited and watched.

This time it was Seraphim and Gloria that took food half way up the mountain, then scurried quickly back down.  Darkness fell rapidly.  Asparagus, Beanstalk and Carrot Cake clung together.  This time, Beanstalk’s eyelids drooped: he just could not stay awake.  Carrot Cake and Asparagus chatted softly as the time ticked by, until those legs jumped into view again.  Carrot Cake gasped.  The body appeared to the left of the legs, this time.  Asparagus fixed his eyes upon the ghastly spectre, willing his brain to make sense of it all.  Carrot Cake concentrated on keeping calm.  The apparition seemed to finish feeding.  They wondered if it would go straight back up Mardale Ill Bell.

It was just at that moment that Beanstalk let out a snore.  Asparagus and Carrot Cake glared at him in dismay.  He had given the game away.  They quickly turned their gaze back to the apparition, to see what it would now do.  However, their eyes stared at blankness.  It had completely disappeared.

Chapter Six: Morning Prayers