- Vol. 06
- Chapter 03
I stood there watching the stream’s swirling torrent. Sleet on the ground. The thick mud, my feet sinking.
The riverbank was too steep.
It was a bad idea, coming to Scotland in March, but Leslie and I weren’t getting on, you know how it is after 7 years? And her work and my work and being away from each other…
I wanted to go to New York – she wanted to visit Sutherland. She wanted to see a polecat. I had no idea she was interested in polecats. I had no idea what a polecat was…
Anyway, I didn’t mean to get into an argument, but she was navigating. The sat nav failed as soon as we went off-road – the placid woman’s voice telling us, ‘Turn around now and then turn left.’
I switched it off, said something brusque.
We followed a bridle path, then suddenly it careered steeply down a muddy bank. And that’s when the fog descended.
The SUV slid down the bank. I couldn’t believe it. The stream wasn’t deep but when we entered the water, we hit something. There was a shudder and we stopped. I revved the engine but nothing happened, the jeep didn’t move.
I’d promised myself that we wouldn’t argue, but she’d been the one navigating. I called her ‘stupid’.
‘Let me out’ she said. ‘Let me out.’
‘Don’t be stupid.’ I said it again. I mean I shouldn’t have called her stupid the first time, but twice!
She didn’t say much, just got out and started walking. Started walking across the moor ghostlike into the fog.