After dark in Scotland

I’m writing today from the comfort of a secluded luxury cottage in the heart of a Scottish forest.

The morning air is fresh and the smell of dew on wood reminds me that I am miles from the city’s smog.

The light against the stone shines pink.

Coffee steams up, up, up and away guided by the sharp chill.

Squirrels scamper and birds tweet.

You get the idea.


Yet there’s something that spoils this stay for me.

Something that only occurs to me after dark.

A feeling I just can’t shake.

When the owls twit twoo and the branches crunch.

When the wind howls and the rain slaps the windows.

Something that keeps me from sleeping and leaves me yawning now.

Something I just can’t get out of my head.

He is all I can think about as I lie in bed amongst these beautiful surroundings.

Have I locked the doors?

The bathroom window?

The gate?

This is exactly the sort of place where he would roam.

I check my mobile phone.

It’s still under my pillow where I have hidden it.

Just in case.

I listen for him breaking in, silently.

Creeping upstairs to where we sleep.

If I keep at least one eye open, we might have a chance.

Of foiling him before he sinks the knife in.

Or pulls the trigger.

What if I set a booby trap?

Useless if he has been hiding in the attic all along.

Watching us through a peep hole.

With his beady eye.


We could escape through the window.

If we were quick.

Run to the road and flag down that one car on the road.


He would chase us.

In his dark clothes.

With athletic strength built for a struggle.

He would know each tree stump, clearing and cover.

He would have already anticipated our escape attempt.

And set traps.

Or maybe he would follow us in his car.

What if it’s him that we flag down on the road by mistake?

We would have to hide at the side of the road.

Until we were certain it wasn’t him.

Where are our car keys?

My damned irrational fear of serial killers.

Oh man – I clearly watch far too many movies!

This piece is based upon a life long occasional recurring nightmare of mine. It has stuck with me for as long as I can remember, from rural Scotland-to rural Louisiana-to rural Queensland and back home again. Last night it returned in to haunt me in Perthshire, Scotland.

Am I alone in letting my mind play tricks on me after dark like this when I should be relaxing and enjoying myself?






30 thoughts on “After dark in Scotland”

      1. Now, imagine if there’s some creepy burglar/killer coming and when he gets you, he’ll wrap your body in that nice tartan carpet! Sorry, that probably came out morbid 😮


      1. Have you come across Dick Sutphen and past life regresions? Had a CD of his, and used to listen to it quite a lot, some weird things came out of it in relation to my husband and myself being around 2 millenia ago!


      2. No I haven’t, but shall give it a google. Sounds interesting!! It’s a fascinating subject. I’m slightly sceptical but so many people have such interesting results that I’m intrigued to try it one day myself if only out of sheer curiosity.


  1. With athletic strength built for a struggle… Yeah, you got to watch out for those types…. good line.
    Pity your poor husband. Probably the Louisiana that turned you… what were you doing there? And can you effect a nice southern accent too?


    1. Thanks Ted! We were vacationing (as you would say)! We love travelling to different parts of the US. I’m sure I could give southern belle a bash 😉 another favourite of ours is Savannah – must admit we succumbed to the draw of Midnight in the garden of good and evil (and the promise of some mighty fine southern hospitality)! We had a riot!


  2. There has never been a time in my life when the darkness didn’t fascinate and scare me. Sometimes it is one or the other and sometimes it is both. I suppose part of what I find fascinating is it is something that didn’t disappear after childhood.

    When I was 23 and spent hours in the gym I was a beast, so very strong and dumb like other young men. I had my share of fights which taught me how to take a punch and to give one. The point being while I respected people I feared no one and yet there were times walking through the dark that I just wanted to run because that nagging feeling that he was going to find me,


    1. I love this comment, thanks so much for sharing your fears. I like to think of myself as pretty streetwise but give me the countryside, a forest, the wind gusting, and I’m terrified! 😉


  3. Every once in a while, usually when I’m driving by myself, I’ll feel this fear descend on me of how vulnerable I am at that moment. That’s where your post took me.


  4. Ooh, very spooky. I used to feel like that a lot when I was in any house by myself, and I’m in a big(ish) city. But for some reason, those nightmares, those creepy feelings, they vanished. Which is a really good thing now that I’m a divorced mom on my own with two kiddies. If I felt like that now, I would not be able to keep it together!


  5. NIce suspense…it had me deeply concerned throughout the whole passage.

    And nope, you’re not alone. I have a hyper-active imagination, so if it’s overstimulated (like, say, after a horror movie), it can come up with all sorts of vivid craziness.

    The pictures are beautiful! (except for maybe the creepy staircase)


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