This is the tenth part of a fiction serial, in 804 words.
Jess Inchcape had also had a disturbed night. Some kind of blue glow had illuminated his bedroom, but by the time he had woken up Hilda to see it, it had gone. She wasn’t happy. “You imagining stuff, Jess? Now I’m awake for no reason and I need the toilet. If I don’t get back off to sleep, it will be your doing”. As his wife stomped off to the bathroom in a bad mood, Jess felt himself getting angry. It will be something to do with Brice, he was sure of that. Their feud had been running since old man Brice had died, and Adam had refused to sell the land to him to expand his farm.
Once Callum had arrived to get started in the field with the tractor, Adam climbed into the old Land-Rover and made the short drive to the Inchcape farm. As soon as he stopped the car near the farmhouse, Jess appeared, walking fast in his direction. “I gotta have a word with you, young Brice. What’s your game with this blue light nonsense? You woke my Hilda up with your prank, and I’m telling you it’s not good enough”.
Holding up a hand to make Jess keep his distance, Adam was confused. So Jess had seen the light too? Maybe it wasn’t him after all. But Jess didn’t stop walking, and when he reached Adam he pushed him hard with both hands, taking the younger man by surprise. He tried to reason with him. “Calm down now, Jess. I thought it was you shining that light, but if it bothered you as well, then we are have to going to see what it’s all about”. Jess didn’t believe him, and pushed his face close enough for Adam to smell the foul breath from the brown stumps of the old man’s teeth”.
“You better get going, young Brice. And if you know what’s good for you, don’t mess around with any lights at night from now on”.
When he was back in the Land-Rover, Adam couldn’t remember hitting the old man. But there he was, close to the car, spark out unconscious. Seeing Jess’s chest rising and falling, Adam decided not to be around when he woke up, and he drove home quickly, before joining Callum in the fields.
Hilda Inchcape wondered where her husband had got to. She hadn’t heard the shouting earlier, as she had been having a bath. But Jess was normally back inside for tea and toast by now, so she thought she had better go out and call him. When she found him flat on his back in the front yard, she slapped his face a few times until he looked up at her. She was confused. “What happened, you old fool? Did you fall over? Have you got pains anywhere?” He struggled to his feet, rubbing the left side of his jaw.
“No, it was that bastard Brice from next door’s farm. Punched me, he did. And for no good reason, I tell you”. Hilda was still confused. “What would make him do that, for God’s sake? Shall I ring the police?”. Jess shook his head as he walked inside for his tea and toast. “No police, I’ll sort him myself”.
In the Scottish town of Falkirk to the west of Edinburgh, Kirsty Douglas woke up feeling different. During the night, she was sure she had seen a blue light lighting up the bedroom window, but before she had got out of bed to see what it was, it went out.
She was a quiet girl, an only child, and being fourteen wasn’t much fun for her. With no friends at school, her days felt lonely, and the former friends who had gone to a different school almost never contacted her now. The girls in her class used to bully her, but then they had discovered that boys were more interesting. So now they just ignored her, and she wasn’t sure which was worse.
But this morning, she felt a new confidence, and a tingling sensation all over her body. When she was doing her make-up for school, she sensed a different look in her eyes too. Spending more time than usual on her hair, she put on her school uniform and went down for breakfast. Since dad had run off with the woman from work, mum was like a beaten woman. She wandered around feeling sorry for herself, and never bothered to look nice. Kirsty watched her as she ate her Coco-Pops. She didn’t ever want to end up like mum.
On the short walk to school, she stopped and turned over the waistband of her skirt to make it shorter. Much shorter. Looking down at her legs after, she smiled to herself.
Today was going to be very different to yesterday.