• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 05
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In the past tense, it was a bird.

Whodunnit didn't matter, whether it was 'I, said the sparrow,' or the snowy-, or the barn-, hoo-ever. Who lays the blame on top of each other like that hand-slapping game for two? There's never a winner: pull the bottom one out - the whole thing beetles over.

By the cliff's edge, we'd not thought to find a dunnock, a sparrow, like, with those markings. It was way out of its neck of the woods. Seabirds live on those cliffs in vertical colonies without the hazards of horizontal pairing. It might have been one of them that did for it. The Country Code says 'cliffs have inherent dangers,' but that's a horse of a different feather. When I picked it up, its neck flopped back. It was only recently dead.

I didn't know the name 'til after, but that was where we were, outside Dunnet, a village in Scotland with its Mary-Anne's Cottage Museum of Crofting Life, its C H Haygarth & Sons Scotland's Oldest Practicing Gunmakers, its family-run hotel with twelve bedrooms and two bars, its church whose history dates from 1280 - but like I said, who's counting?

When something's gone it's gone. I'm only winging it through here.

All writers are itinerary. And all books look the same in the dark.