Elizabeth opened her mind and locked eyes with the barguest. His pupils contracted and she let her mind hover above the hillside beyond the graveyard. The panoramic view of the landscape was amazing. The whole valley appeared to be covered with a series of eerie silver lines and boundaries which were not normally visible. Some of the boundaries mimicked the stone walls and hedges laid by man while others detoured.
Elizabeth recognised a series of well known ley lines criss-crossing the farm land on the other side of the valley and up towards the quarry. For every one she had been aware of, there were at least three more previously unknown to her. Other groups ran down toward the dell and across the moors.
She was directly above an area clearly defined by one of the silver boundaries. It took in a portion of the graveyard, the hill itself and a section of the moorland beyond. This boundary appeared more defined than any other, Elizabeth was certain it was the area to which the barguest was restricted. It could travel across the moor and hillside freely but only part way into the cemetery and no further.
A group of Neolithic stones known locally as Heyleigh Stones dominated the moor and was the boundary core. A ley line ran straight through its centre and a number of small, freshly dug pits pockmarked the earth in which the stones stood.
Elizabeth observed as a heavily set man cast aside a collapsible spade which landed beside what looked to be a metal detector already lying on the ground. He then sank to his knees beside the most recent pit. He buried his hands in the boggy moorland and extracted what appeared to be a small, mud-encrusted object before placing it in his rucksack. Retrieving his previously discarded tools, he hurriedly made his way back down into the valley as a thunderstorm broke overhead.
Elizabeth recognised the man as Ed Lord, the barguest victim she and Tashriel had met with recently at RoYds. There had been talk of a barguest but he had definitely not mentioned any treasure hunting expeditions on the moors!
The beast's pupils widened and Elizabeth watched as a coffin was laid into the ground half a dozen graves away from where Gemma and Paul were standing a few feet away from her and the barguest. Her attention was quickly diverted as the figure of Ed Lord appeared behind two of the male mourners; a hand on each of their shoulders.
The first mourner was substantially overweight and entirely unaffected by the solemnity of the ceremony taking place before him. Although Elizabeth could tell that he had known the deceased for many years, she sensed that he was there not to mourn but to network, the day merely a business opportunity. His name came quickly to her -– Davie Blade aka Switch. There was no need to search for the name of the second man; despite the fading light she recognised him immediately as Linus Howell!
Labels: Elizabeth, Present Day, Refuge of Delayed Souls, Web Fiction