My friend Robbie hates the Edinburgh Festival with a passion. Or, perhaps more accurately, he hates the people who come here to visit the festival and the fringe, and see the comedy, plays or films, and read the books. He himself would be very happy seeing every show as long as it was with only friends, or at least acquaintances, that either live in Edinburgh or visit him.

This year it got a bit too much for Robbie and below is a transcript of an audio file that he e-mailed to me once the festival had finished and he had made his escape. The details of the events will be new to you because the police and the local authorities hushed the disappearances up so as not to put off any tourists. They haven't yet discovered some of the bodies.

All I will say is, watch out if you come back next August.

This is Robbie's story:

The weather this year was absolutely superb, I hardly remember rain falling during this whole summer. By now most of the grass in Princes Street Gardens is brown, having been sat upon daily by school-kids on their holidays, at lunch times by office workers on their breaks, in the mornings and afternoons by the retired, and in the evenings by the more relaxed generation, such as myself. The long summer evenings are perfect for chilling out after an afternoon in the various pubs' beer gardens.

Once the students have left the University for their extended holidays, my preferred venue is the Pear Tree. It is a bar downstairs in an old two- storey building, which was previously a Town House for a rich gentleman and his family. Apparently the great poet Robbie Burns (no relation! Ha ha!) visited often. It has a door to the road, but almost everyone enters through the open gateway to the beer garden. There are a couple of steps up to the door that faces the main university campus, constantly calling to the weaker-willed students. Beyond the invitingly open glass doors there is a beer and ash stained red carpet surrounding a square wooden bar in the centre of the room from within which the staff serve. Spread around the outside of the room are tables with their accompanying chairs, some are wooden four-legged straight-backed single-seaters, and others hold two or three in a much more comfortable fashion.

I used to live in that very street, and nowadays drink there purely out of habit. And of course they once had this barmaid that I was madly in love with, but could never tell her. Maybe she will come back some day?

The beer garden itself is quite large for its more or less city centre location, and when the students are away, before the tourists arrive, I have no problem getting one of the many wooden tables to myself and my books. I have spent much time and a lot of money reading and drinking beer there. Occasionally I invite a friend.

Unfortunately, come the beginning of August, the inevitable influx of tourists from all over Britain, Europe and the rest of the world begins. It is said that the population of Edinburgh doubles when the festivals are underway. Initially I try to resist, and still attempt to sit with a table to myself. To begin with, the odd dark look or mumbled word to someone coming near is enough to get them to move on and try another table. Ultimately, however, the sheer weight of numbers means that I have to forsake the Pear Tree and use the buses to get to quieter parts of the city.

In the evenings though, I can manage to find calm in the Gardens. Especially as the sun begins to set behind the trees high above where I sit, next to Princes Street itself, and the shop buildings on the opposite side of the wide thoroughfare to the Gardens. This is where I lie back and relax, trying to rid myself of the growing anger directed at the visitors to my beautiful city. As the city centre slows down and the latest workers meander home, I stare at the castle on its bare high rock to the far end of the Gardens from where I rest beneath the spire of the Scott Monument. The castle is spectacularly lit by late evening sunshine and enjoys its command over the entire city centre, the highest point on the Royal Mile which winds its way through centuries of history from the castle at the top towards the Royal Palace of Holyrood at its foot. Unfortunately passing directly through the monstrosity that is the building site for the expensive new Parliament. Thankfully a walk up the nearby extinct volcano stub that is Arthur's Seat reduces its apparent size so that it becomes almost negligible. This is where I prefer to look at that particular building from. It certainly puts everything into proper perspective from that height, especially looking around at the hills to the south, the mountains far to the north and the North Sea to the east. It is better still when the sea mist, the haar, rolls in and covers the lower parts of the city, filling in the river valley, leaving just me and the separate Castle Rock above the clouds.

As the air where I rest becomes cooler I decide to leave. I have managed to completely relax, and must have drifted off to sleep at least once. Almost no one is inside the metal railings that surround the Gardens, and I am lucky to get out before the gates are locked.

Princes Street is busy of course. The road itself is actually fairly quiet, but except for the buses and taxis travelling east it is only a one-way street to most of the traffic. Over the road though is the usual human congestion associated with the festivals. Hoards of people with clothes that make them stick out a mile from locals, some not making any effort to blend in at all, especially with the tartan, and the 'comedy' t-shirts bought in the tacky tourist-only shops. The only bags that these people seem to carry are those from Jenner's, the expensive department store that attracts tourists and rich retired local women only, and the old biddies just go for coffee in the morning in the restaurant on the second floor. Obviously all the kids are running around screaming, running circles round anyone careless enough to be trying to walk along the street. It amazes me that they don't crash into the camera-carrying portion of the invasion army, who seem to think that they are the only people in the street by the way that they stop every ten yards to take yet another picture of the castle, always with some boring old relative in the way. They never consider that in a busy street there may be someone walking up close behind them, who at some point is not going to be able halt just because they have suddenly come to a dead stop without any warning at all. You just don't expect it. Then there are the people who need to carry an open, completely unfolded map of the city about with them, and have to ask where they are despite the rather obvious landmark of the Castle staring down at them wherever they may be standing. And don't get me started on the street performers! They take up valuable space pretending to be statues, dancing, playing the bagpipes (the bagpipes! Is there an instrument in the whole of the world that has had so few songs written for it, so that every time you hear one, it is playing one of four songs only?), or people who sell useless gifts that will break in the luggage on the way home, wherever that may be, and the sooner they all go back there the better!

I could feel myself getting wound up again, so I decided to catch a bus back home, rather than walking. I got on the number 22, thankfully not busy because it had already been through most of the centre and deposited its cargo onto the city pavements before it had reached the end of Princes Street where I was. The 22 took me a bit out of my way, but I could bear that just to get away from the lunacy taking place on the street as thousands of people who had never been to the city before tried to navigate around it, without the assistance of locals, who had avoided them or were miles away already. Or had actually managed to get to whichever venue it was that they were going to because, wait for it, they actually knew the way.

Sadly for me though, and for certain visitors to my city during August, it turned out that getting on the number 22 was probably the worst thing that I could have done.

Everything was fine as we reached the end of Princes Street and turned left down Leith Street past the Thistle Hotel and John Lewis superstore. We went round the roundabout at the top of Leith Walk at the junction with York Place without incident, passing the spectacular glass frontage of the Omni, where the new Warner multi-screen cinema was. I saw Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers there. Three times. In one day. As we passed the Playhouse things started to go wrong. Whatever nonsense was being put on there had finished, and hundreds of people who had been sitting in one of the country's largest theatres were crossing the road. It must have been some sort of hyperactive comedy act, because the daft idiots crossing the road were mildly assaulting any local person they came across, they were throwing litter at shop and restaurant windows, and more stupidly still, they were banging hard on the window of the bus just where I was sitting. Even though the traffic should have been able to start moving after the traffic lights changed in their favour it did not due to the hoards of people clogging up the street. Something snapped in me as I seemed to hear some sort of insult from some English 'person' directed at me purely because he assumed (rightly) that I was Scottish. He was number one on my list. I smiled at him, partly to confuse him and hold his attention so that I could get a good look at his face and see what he was wearing. The next bus stop, at Elm Row is fifty yards at most from where the bus stood, and I knew I could catch the idiot, especially since being a tourist he was unlikely to deviate from many of the main roads. I watched him move slowly away along London Road, heading away from the centre. If he didn't leave that road, I could catch him after I got off the bus, by the time we got to Easter Road. An idea was brewing already.

London Road seems pretty dark late in the evening and during the night because there are tall, mature trees on either side that have grown up around the street lights and block out a lot of their illumination. When I was behind my prey I could see him intermittently lit up when he passed directly underneath the street lights, and I stayed hidden myself in the shadows beneath the trees. My luck must have been in, because when he reached the junction with Easter Road he turned left and started to walk down that street towards Leith. I had hoped to go that way anyway, perhaps he was headed for the small hotels around Leith Links. It was also almost deserted, with very few pedestrians, and fewer cars going up or down. We did pass a skip holding building debris from a shop that was being renovated. I reached in to lift out a short piece of metal tubing that had been part of some scaffolding. This was to be my weapon when the time was right. Time seemed to pass slower and slower as we progressed down Easter Road, towards the cemetery where I would make my move. The gate to the cemetery is just down a side road off the main road, and although the main double gate that lets vehicles in is always locked when it is not needed to be open, the side gate for pedestrians is only locked at midnight.

We reached the side road, where I quickly looked around to see that no one was about. Once I had decided that there weren't any potential witnesses I quickly made my move and ran up behind my quarry, hitting him hard enough on the back of the head with the metal tube, I hoped, to make him unconscious. I was particularly keen at this point that no blood was spilled, because although it wouldn't be unusual for bloodstains to be on the pavement of Easter Road, especially outside pubs, I didn't wish for my victim to be discovered. He certainly fell heavily to the ground when I hit him, and I managed to drag him to the metal gate of the cemetery. I opened it with one hand and once we were through the opening I closed the gate behind us and lifted my first victim up over my shoulder. The graveyard is relatively small, but it is still in use, and I was hoping to find a fresh grave. I suppose again I was lucky, because halfway up the path towards the back wall of the cemetery, which was just next to Hibs' football stadium, there was an open grave. I dumped the unconscious form of my victim at the very edge of the grave so that I could keep an eye on him in case he recovered consciousness while I dug. I gouged out a bit of the bottom of the grave with my piece of tubing, enough to fit him in and cover the body, leaving the grave apparently undisturbed and at the same depth afterwards. The body would be unwittingly buried deeper during the funeral of the person supposed to be occupying that grave.

This took a few hours, I have to say, and was harder work than I had imagined. Once or twice I heard a groan above me and struck again with my weapon to ensure silence and subdue movement.

Once the hole I had made was deep enough, I dragged the still body in and arranged the limbs so that I could easily cover his prostrate form. Before covering him I made sure that he was dead. I wasn't now worried about blood. That would be soaked into the soil. I heard multiple fractures of the guy's skull before I stopped my beating. Once I had filled in my shallow grave within a grave, I clambered out and admired my handiwork. I was sure that no one would be able to tell that someone was already buried there. It is very difficult to see something that you are not expecting to be there anyway.

Strangely, even after all my exertion, I felt completely relaxed. I left the graveyard feeling euphoric and walked the several miles through the cold clear summer night feeling happier than I had in some time, and freshly at ease with the world.