Julian wriggled frantically to try and free himself from his sleeping bag and get out from under Harry’s weight.

“What’s wrong with you man? Why did you come bulldozing back in here like that?”

Harry rolled over to the side and onto his knees. “Remember last year when you scared me to death with that scorpion you’d found outside our tent?”

“So?” Julian rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “Wow, you’re shaking. You really are scared. Not just another scorpion then I guess.”

They’d been camping at a site near Rosslare last summer. “There are no scorpions in Ireland,” Harry had insisted until Julian made him look out through the opening in the tent. And there it was, its posture showing determination to attack. Harry simply gathered the creature up in an empty peanut butter jar to get a better look at it.

Harry was not easily scared.

“Nope. All the other tents are gone and,” he reached into his trouser pocket, “there are lots of these things everywhere!”

Julian reached for his glasses and put them on. “Yikes! It’s a chicken head. Well, we’re in Leitrim and there are quite a lot of foxes, so maybe one of them raided a farm nearby. They probably don’t eat the heads. You’re the biologist, Harry. You’ll know better than me.”

“Nothing to do with foxes, Jules. They don’t have a habit of carrying chicken heads to campsites and wouldn’t arrange them in the deliberate shape of a cross at the exact spots on which the other tents stood. And it’s just the tents that are gone. The cars are still there.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Harry.”


(c) Ash N. Finn, 2012

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