Rampton- Chapter 2
By mark p
Rampton -Chapter 2
Then came the memories from 1976, flashbacks from the year of ‘The Willing’ as the other scouts had called it back then, when David Harvey had mysteriously disappeared. The rumours about the so called ‘witch’ was something they all had been told not to mention when they returned home from camp. One of the scouts had even written a story about which had garnered great acclaim on a few websites dealing with horror and the supernatural, but that was another story, as cliché would have it, and not one Clarke was really caring about today.
As he sat in his car mulling over what to do next.
Then he was back at the Cauld campsite, or at least his mind’s version of it, somewhere a radio was playing, no doubt a wee plastic transistor radio in someone’s tent, it was a sports programme, Wimbledon, tennis, etcetera. the commentator was enthusiastically chattering about how Bjorn Borg had won the singles title over Ilie Nastase, bloody hell, how could anyone be enthusiastic about tennis, thought Clarke. But he remembered that was the day when he had been coerced by Harvey into bullying John, what was his surname, Michelle, Mitchell, something like that, said Clarke’s subconscious to his rational side. Harvey had called Clarke his henchman. Not a title he was looking to attain if he were honest, but it would maybe make his credibility a bit better and help him lose his swotty image, they nicknamed him ‘The Prof’, which was something he hated. He was a clever guy, but cleverness was not cool in 1976, especially at a Scout camp. It was a case of survival of the fittest, of dog eat dog, so to speak.
He and Harvey were holding John down in the river ‘ducking’ him, John was bawling that he could not swim, but they persisted, and John was struggling violently, screaming hysterical in between sobs for mercy. ‘Stop yer greetin’, you little wimp’, said Harvey, and Clarke saw that one of the leaders was coming, and let John go, Harvey held onto him though………. Then …
Clarke woke up, back in the 21st Century, with the relaxing meditational music of Arvo Part’s ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’ not the 1976 Wimbledon update, playing in the background from the car stereo, he must have dropped off while relaxing to Classic FM. Wow, that was a dream, or recollection, a total recall of the past he had tried to erase from memory. The place didn’t look too different, he was really beginning to wonder if ‘Kirks O’ The North’ actually existed, or whether it was just some ruse to get him back to this place, a Bad Memory Lane of the mind.
Another song had penetrated his thoughts, and occupied his every move, the traditional Scots song ‘Westering Home’, he recalled the song from the old ‘White Heather Club’ shows his grandparents watched on their black and white television, back when he was wee, it was Kenneth McKellar or someone who had brought this Western Isles song to a new audience, the tune had formed the basis for the scout camp song in ’76. ‘Forest of Cauld was our home for a week, sunburn and midgies we had not to seek, at the River of Cauld, we canoed and capsized, when the rest of the troop went hiking’, there were other verses which Clarke couldn’t recall, but he was sure there was a reference to John’s being bullied, and Harvey’s disappearance, but they would come back to him in time, as this place seemed to have a power of raising old ghosts, or ghosts of memories at least.