The Brooch

After weeks of wind and rain today was perfect, still and dry. The nearby turbines stood motionless, like bleached white skeletons against the dark sky. As ever the dog stood close by its owner panting softly.

Occasionally a bird spiraled skywards startled by something unseen. Standing by the edge of the wood at the corner of the field overlooking the valley, Bill expected one of two things would happen. He was a superstitious man, a believer in good and evil. Gods and ghosts. That type of thing.

It all made perfect sense to him. One month before he had found the trinket while out walking the dog. Right here in this ploughed field. A small brooch made of gold with half a dozen or so small jewels set within it. Hundreds maybe thousands of years old, lying in the earth just waiting to be found.

Bill knew when he had found it that he should tell someone. It was treasure and there were laws to deal with situations like this one.

How could he tell anyone? It was beautiful and he had decided immediately that he would keep it. He tucked away in his box of old coins and stamps. Nothing special just the things he had collected since childhood. The brooch though was his prize. To be taken out and looked occasionally.

The dreams had started the first night after he found the brooch. A child, a boy of about fourteen approached him across the field. Dressed in simple clothes of dark rough cloth. Fashioned into a top and type of kilt with simple leather sandals. The child moved swiftly and light-footed across the field straight towards Bill. He stopped just in front and talked wildly to Bill in a language he didn’t understand.

As each night passed Bill grew more tired. He tried in his dream to understand what the child was saying. Each morning he tried to make sense of the dream. One thing was clear to him. He took the dream as a sign that he had done something wrong. That the brooch should be returned. The child he felt was visiting him from some distant time demanding their treasure be handed back.

This was how bill found himself back in the field. He made his way towards the centre.

“This is the right thing to do, I know it is,” Bill said talking to himself, the dog or anyone who happened to be listening.

Away in the distance something had disturbed a family of crows who scattered making such a noise. Round they circled high above the valley. Agitated and chattering, circling higher. More joining the throng as each minute passed.

“Here we go then, either nothing will happen or maybe something. Let’s see!”

Bill stretched back and threw the brooch as far into the field as he could. Bill had to take a tight hold of his dog to stop it from retrieving the brooch again.

The brooch landed far away, digging in and sinking in the soft mud. By now there were hundreds of crows, circling wildly. The noise was so intense, getting louder as their flying became wilder and more erratic.

“Looks like something might be happening,” said Bill moving back towards the edge of the field. The dog had run ahead and already reached the gate. It looked back towards its master stumbling backwards through the grass and mud.

Bill suddenly stopped and the dog began barking for all it was worth. Bill stood motionless, the child from his dream was in front of him. The crows above and all around were screaming, twisting and turning like a black living vortex.

“What’s wrong, I’ve given the brooch back. What have I done?” said Bill.

“The wrong thing,” said the child.

“The brooch was sent to protect you, to save you from a darkness that has long been seeking you. I tried to tell you in the dream. The brooch was yours Bill. It would have kept you safe for the rest of your life. Now I am afraid it too late,” said the child.

The dog stood barking. The child retreated. Below the crows a huge dark spinning cauldron had formed.  Phantoms, wicked faces and evil creatures swirled, spinning and sinking deep within the vortex. Evil emanated from its heart dragging poor Bill inside. In seconds he was gone, the child and vortex too. The crows settled and returned to their roost. The dog waited a while and wandered off confused, Maybe Bill was at home she knew the way, she’d look for him there.

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