Friday, 10 June 2011

Strange Story

Some years ago me and my then girlfriend/now wife, Wendy, were driving across Beeley Moor in Derbyshire on our way to a little pub we used to frequent called the Devonshire . It was a beautiful crisp clear moonlit night and, as all good stories require, as we are traversing the highest, most remote, point of the moor the car ground to a halt. Wendy initially thought it's the traditional "oops we've broken down lets fuck to keep warm" ruse but this time it's was genuine.

Despite being totally inept when it comes to anything to do with motor vehicles I popped the hood and got out of the car regardless. I briefly looked around to see if there might have been any houses close by or another car coming down the road but there was nothing other than fields lined with miles of crumbling drystone walls.

I poked around under the hood aimlessly for a while, not having the slightlest clue what I might be looking for. Wendy by this time had the window open and was offering advice of varying degrees of uselessness when out of the dark a voice called out "Try wiggling the alternator"...”Good idea” I shouted back to Wendy, "What is?" she responded. I was, of course, having none of her denial but while I debating this with her a voice called out again "Try the alternator!" A shot of ice coursed through my body and I could tell from Wendy’s eyes that she was as scared as me. We stopped arguing and I leaped back into car. We’d seen the movies, heard all the urban legends about escaped lunatics and weren’t about to become the subject of a new one.

With windows wound up and the doors secured we looked fearfully around but there was nobody in sight. There was, however, just the other side of the drystone wall a shaggy white horse that seemed to be showing an inordinate amount of interest in the workings under our hood. Of course, there must be somebody holding the horse that has calling to us and we just didn’t see them but, the closer we looked it become very evident that the horse was alone.

I, rather gingerly, got out of the car again and, while I was walking back around to the front, the same voice, quite plainly coming from the horse, said "Try the
alternator". Now this sent me into a flapping panic. I waggled the alternator wire, screamed at Wendy to try starting the car and, when to my relief, it fired up I leapt back in and we raced like those proverbial bats out of the hot place down off the moors.

When we arrived at the pub, very, very shaken, we both had to rapidly imbue three glasses of whisky before the shivers began to subdue. The barman had, being one of the excellent kind, noticed our distress and he came across to the corner we had deposited ourselves in and, with genuine concern, asked us why we were so upset? Without a second thought I, in a breathless stream, blurted out the whole story…the fields the voice, the alternator, the damn horse. The barman listened intently, cupped his hands together and with his two index fingers protruding rubbed his nose, shaking his head making tutting sounds. When I had finished babbling he furtively looked around the pub, leaned towards us and beckoned us closer. In the gravest of voices he said "You know you were damn lucky that it was the white horse and not
the black horse!" The tension in me and Wendy had now ratcheted up off the scale and very close to losing control of our bodily functions we both stammered "Why?" to which he replied, “Well…the black horse knows fuck all about motor vehicle maintenance"

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