I knew I only had a matter of minutes before they came from me..
I flew from the little holiday cottage, adrenaline coursing through me. I knew what I had to do, I had planned it carefully over the last two days. My truck was loaded and ready to go. The cottage, which I owned, had been a handy hideout. It was close enough for me to get back to the moor, to do what I had to do next.
Fumbling for the keys I started the engine and the truck trundled to life, crunching the gears I clattered out of the driveway. I dialled the number. “Yes” the familiar voice answered.
“It’s me” I tried to sound convincing, I only had to keep up the act for two more hours. “I’m in flight and will do what you said”.
“Ok, make sure you do” The line went dead. I smiled darkly to myself, I was going to have the last laugh on Councillor Jackson, despite what they thought. I had learned a lot in the last two days, I just hoped it was enough, this was my last roll of the dice and it really was a life and death sort of game.
An Hour Later
I stood at the opening of the piskies’ lair. I had spent 30 minutes going into the cave, as far as I dared, lining it with explosives. I had also brought a can of petrol for good measure and I had doused every spare space I could find. An old friend had talked me through rigging up an explosion like this, he was somewhat of an expert. I had spent the last day purchasing the necessary equipment and now it was rigged and ready to blow.
I dwelt on the edge of the opening for a while, making a final mental decision. I had no choice, I had to do this. I retreated to a safe distance and triggered the explosion. A great rushing noise whipped through the underground passage and belched out a furious hail of fiery destruction. I hear the ungodly scream of the piskie, a sound that would chill me forever, and I ran, I ran from that godforsaken place and never looked back.
A few days later, back in Oxford, I resigned from the newspaper and took a very long holiday. I had decided that maybe journalism wasn’t for me and I was thinking of going back into academia. I never spoke to anyone about my Cornish tale, I was too frightened and over the years kind of pretended it never happened.
“So that’s the end of my tale, I’ve never told anyone before, what did you think?” My son looked rapt, he did like scary stories, even though his mother disapproved. What harm can a story do him, there are far worse things in the world that can do him actual harm.
There was a loud crashing noise at the back door. I sit there, unable to move. Then with a smash and the sound of falling glass, a terrible and familiar figure entered the room. The piskie stared at me, its crimson eyes unblinking. In a way I supposed it was better this way, I had been worried I wouldn’t be able to go through with it, when the time came. Now that problem had been solved for me. I did have a flash of regret as the piskie grabbed the boy, the look of terror in his eye was certainly unfortunate.
Sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t like and as long as every 5 years the piskie collected payment, then the wider community would be safe and the mighty Imlock would remain at peace.