A Little Taste of Scotland
by diddly day
The weathered door of the Scottish pub opened reluctantly, shuddering as a tall
young man with eyes as dark as the Loch Ness stepped in. He slowly approached
the bar and sat down,.brushing his jet black hair from his face.

"What would you like sir." The young bar owner asked. The stranger quickly caught the
hint of the bar owner's accent.

"An English bartender in the middle Scotland? That's a little odd don't you think?" asked
the young man.

"Northern Scotland." corrected the bartender."And I'm 'alf Scotist, 'alf English. Now do
you want someth'in to drink or not."

"Scotch neat, please." replied the man. The bartender smiled as he opened a cabinet that
contained, what looked like, different bottles of scotch. The bartender took an old dusty looking
bottle, clasping it carefully as if it were a glass egg. He attentively poured the scotch into a small
glass. He slid it over to the young man, who was eyeballing him strangely. To act as if a drink was
as valuable as a small child was a bit bizarre in his opinion.

"So if you don't mind me ask'in, what's a rich American do'in up 'ere in a broken down 'ol
pub?" asked the bartender. The man laughed and sipped his drink the bartender had just poured.

"I'm a writer from Maine. The name's Steven Corry. I'm up here looking for inspiration."
said Steven. Slowly he extended his hand to the bartender. The bartender shook it enthusiastically.

"Peter Smith." He replied."So you're a writer, eh? Anything I'd know?"

"Probably not. I used to be a journalist for a newspaper. This is my first book I'm trying to
write." Steve stopped and looked at Peter for a moment."What about you? You never answered
my question." Peter raised an eyebrow at him.

"Such as?" Peter asked.

"Why is there an English pub in northern Scotland?"

"Me dad was Scottish. We used to live in Ullapool, just a few miles south from here. Years
past and I moved to rainy old England. Then, one day I get a call from my mom say'in he had
passed and that he left me some land when 'e died. Had noth'in left for me back in London so I
came up 'ere and opened a pub." Peter glared at Steve for an instant, and continued."Good enough
answer for you?" Steve nodded his head and shuddered at the effect of his liquor.

"So," Peter said changing the subject."You're look'in for some inspiration? Come up 'ere
look'in for the Loch Ness Monster?" Steve gave a slight chuckle at Peter's comment.

"No, not quite."Steve said. " By inspiration I mean something that will make me famous."
Peter gave him a lost look.

" Please explain." Peter asked. Steve continued.

"I've read in an obscure journal from the 1920's that there is suppose to be a stone that
verifies the spell that the witch has recited in Macbeth!" Steve exclaimed excitedly. Steve raised his
hands and made waving gesture's with his hand, as if trying to hypnotize Peter" you know,' Boil,
boil, toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble'". Steve laughed and rested his hands on the bar

"As in William Shakespear's "Macbeth."? Asked Peter with some fear in his eyes.

"Yes!" Said Steve. The twinge of excitement was unmistakable in his voice." The stone is
supposed to be in an old monastery near here. Of what I've heard many men hav-"

" Don't you be look'in for noth'in up there ya hear!" Peter roared making Steve almost
jump off his stool."I'm sorry." Peter said sincerely." Did'nt mean to frighten ya."

" Wh-why can't I go up there?" asked Steve, still a little surprised with Peter's outburst.

"Because men 'Oo've gone up there 'ave never returned! It be'in dangerous and all. I've
'eard that the place has fallen apart. The ol' church isn't as strong as it used to be. It's a death
trap."

"Ah rubbish!" said a thick, Scottish accent from across the room. Both Peter and Steve
turned their heads to find an old man sitting at a table at the corner of the pub. The cobwebs that
framed the old table were more visible with the slowly melting candle that sat on the end of the
table. A flicker of light and a cloud of smoke formed around the small corner as the old man puffed
on his pipe and blew smoke in their direction The old mans face was ragged and worn. A long
white beard shaped his chin. A mustache draped over the his mouth, a mouth that looked more like
a deep scare. One eye was black and beady, while the other one seemed to bulge out of his head. A
fiery blue eye that seemed to roam about the pub.

"What do you mean rubbish?" asked Steve.

" Those men didn't disappear just because that place is a death hole." The old man said
getting up and limping with his cane towards the pair. " That place is evil. Men have gone up there
to return mad or not returned at all." The old man's eye darkened as he came closer. But the odd,
fiery blue eye stopped moving and settled on Steve.

" Ah don't listen to ol' Evil Eye Edgar 'ere," said Peter to Steve." 'e's out of 'is 'ead"

" SHUT YOUR CAKE HOLE! YA WEE GIRL!" Edgar shouted angrily at Peter. But his
'Evil Eye' was still focused on Steve.

"Now you listen here laddie. The only thing that old monastery can give you is grief and
misfortune." Edgar paused for a second." And even death. Many lads have gone up there lookin
for that stone. They say it's cursed!"

" Blimey Edgar, I think you've 'ad enough to drink." said Peter sliding the glass away from
Edgar's hand. Steve thought the old man looked as if he was going to beat Peter with his cane.

" I'll tell you when I've had enough, boy'o. And that's Mr. MacGregor to you!" Edgar
snapped back. He blew another puff of smoke in Peters face. Peter shot Steve a sideways glance,
and rolled his eyes. Steve figured that MacGregor must be Edgar's last name.

"Now who says it's cursed?" asked Steve curiously.

" Oh, you know 'Oo." Peter interrupted "The paper's. Trying to get people to stay away
from that place by say'in it's cursed. Ha! I've never 'eard such bloody rubbish!"

" Bah! What would you know? You've never gone so much as a foot out'a this pub," said
old Edgar, shaking his fist at Peter. Steve chuckled inwardly at the bickering between the two men.

"So," said Steve." What about these men who have gone up there? You say they've never
returned?"

"Aye." Edgar said with the pipe between his teeth." All sorts of rumors arise around here.
People say there is an hidden door. The door is supposed to look like a crypt. Others say that there
is an old cave that the pirates used to smuggle in their goods. But I've lived in this area all my life,
not like Young Peter here, and I've felt the evil all around these parts." Edgar blew another puff of
smoke in Peters face. Peter eyes watered.

" But why would there be a underground cave or tunnel in the first place?" asked Steve, his
curiosity growing. " What's is it's purpose?"

"Well," said Edgar stroking his beard. "Legend has it, the only religion that was custom
was protestant. But not every one believed in it. So those who were Catholic of Christian would
practice secretly. The monks that lived in that old monastery, were not allowed to practice their
religion, they used to have these underground rooms to worship in secret. Then one day, they all
left, just vanished. No one knows what happened. Can you believe it! But I can tell yeah, it was
devil himself that was roaming around that old church. And ever since then, no one dares set foot
up there. I'm tell-."

"Oh I can't listen to this!" said Peter throwing his hand up in the air. "If you're gonna go
up there that's your choice. But when you break your neck, don't come crying to me."

"Look, I thank you both for your concern."said Steve, as he paid for his drink. "But
hearing this has only made me want to go even more." He picked up his bag and started for the
door and stopped." When I'm famous I'll mention both of you in my book." And with that he
opened the pub door and strolled out. Peter and Edgar just looked at each other.

" All right,"said Edgar hopelessly." After all, there is no arguing with a fool."

* * *
The wind blew hard across the gray sky and droplets of rain had began to hit Steve on
top of his head. He had been walking for about a five miles when he saw a enormous
stone wall just a little down the road. As he came to it, he traced the stone wall with
his hand, trying to find the perfect place to climb. When he reached the top of the stone wall he
was taken aback with the size of the old church. It was white with stained glass windows and large
oak doors. The bell on the top looked as if it were about to fall down at any minute. Off to the side
of the church was a large oak tree that seemed to overshadow the church and graveyard in the
back. The cemetery was the most appealing thing to Steve. It was long and wide with grapevines
growing out of the old stone wall. The headstones that stuck up out of the ground were all chipped
and so old that Steve could barely see the writing on them. A little dirt walkway led up to the
church and divided both ways around the church back to the graveyard.

Steve felt a shiver and pulled his coat tighter around him. He walked up the path to the old
church and opened the oak doors. The doors sounded as if no one had used them for centuries.
Steve stepped inside of the church and looked around."This church is magnificent, even in it's old
state!" Steve thought to himself.

Steve strolled down the isle. He counted the number of pews on each side until he reached
the podium. He could hear the wind pounding against the roof. Then he heard it. Whispering.
Coming from across the room. He walked over to the end of the church. The whispering stopped
and Steve kneeled down to the floor. Soundless. " That's strange," Steve thought. Getting off the
floor, Steve dusted off his trousers. He chuckled at himself for hearing such things, when he heard
it once more. Steve started to sprinted down the isle, striving to hear where the whispers were
advancing from. Than, he was falling for what seemed like an eternity. Then he hit the something
cold, hard, and wet. Steve opened his eyes. Where ever he was it was dark and dank.

" Oh great." Steve murmured. He looked up and saw what had happened. He'd fallen
through the floor!

Steve rolled over to get himself up when he felt strange. He looked over to see what it was,
and let out a shriek.

"Bones!" he screeched. "Human bones!" Steve scrambled to his feet. And fumbling for his
flashlight out of his backpack, he looked down to get a better look. There, on the floor, was a
human skeleton.

Looking up, Steve found himself to be standing in the middle of a round room with stone
walls. He shown his flash light ahead of him to see a long stretched cave. Not knowing what else
to do he started to walk down the cave. He had been walking no more than fifteen minutes when
he felt something quickly brush against him. Steve spun around on his heel, causing his long coat
to swish about his ankles.

"Who's there?" Steve bellowed. His voice echoed throughout the cave. No one replied.
Cursing himself, he forced his feet to proceed.

The darkness seemed deeper and his light seem to wane. He knew he should turn back and
call for help. But he couldn't. It was as if something was drawing him, calling him to keep on
walking. Then, he stopped dead in his tracks. Laughing. Some one was laughing. A child, it
sounded like. Steve started walking swiftly, and the laughing continued.. He was now dashing
down the cave. The sound became louder, and louder. The next thing Steve knew, he was face
down on the ground. He heard his flashlight bounce some were off in the cave, and he was left in
darkness.

Steve struggled to his knees and fought to see in the blackness Then he found it. A lantern
if some sort. And some matches. Carefully he lit the lantern. The dark seemed to vanish instantly.
Steve gasped when he saw yet another skeleton. Fully clothed with a broad back pack very much
like Steve's. Steve ripped the pack off the skeleton back and opened it. Inside was a candle,
journal, and more matches. Steve's eyes went straight to the journal.

"Maybe there is something in here I can use." he thought aloud. Slowly he picked up the
journal. The leather binding made it heavy. Unclasping the leather strap he opened the book. Steve
read aloud to himself.

July, 10, 1935.
I have heard and seen things that has no doubt are signs to send me to a early grave. I am
among evil. Something the monks of this old monastery never wanted any one to find. For it is a
creature that is luring me to it's chamber, yet I can not turn back. It's drawing me, like a moth to
a flame. The monks sealed something in a tomb. How do I know? In my family tree, there was one
of the monks who was my great-great-great uncle. The legend was passed down. The stone is its
seal and no one must ever lift it.
Jack Browing

July,15,1935.
I must do something or go mad! There is no way out. I've searched and searched, but all I've
found is more depth of this cave. I have a map. The map has the areas I've been in marked.
Slowly, very slowly, I know I'm losing my mind. I feel as if I'm being followed, something is
watching me, everything I do and think it can hear my thoughts. So here I sit, waiting to die. With
my wife and children behind. My only hope that some one finds this and does the thing that I
couldn't do my self, leave this place...
Jack Browing

Steve put down the journal, his hands shaking. He looked at the skull. "He must have been
down here for days. Probably starved." Thought Steve. Looking down he noticed a rather large
peace of paper at the bottom the bag. Carefully, he unrolled it. His eyes grew wide when he saw
what it was. A map. Eye's scanning the paper intently, he saw certain parts of a slightly large area,
were blocked off. Then, recalling the journal, he remembered that Jack had check off all the parts
were he had been. Now, Steve could narrow down his search. Or what ever his search was now.
He didn't know. Ether to get out, or do what he came to do in the first place.

Steve gazed at Jack's face again. How long had he been here. Knowing how it was going
to end. Waiting to die. Feeling that slowly, his time was running out. A thought entered into
Steve's mind at that moment. Steve could feel the call that Jack had wrote about Not being able to
move, or turn around. Keep wandering into darkness. Was that why Jack was so carefully
propped up ageist the wall. Had he been so exhausted from lack of food, sleep, and roaming
around that he finally gave up and collapse. Or was it something else. Did he know he was walking
into his death. That he was getting closer, and closer. Dragging his feet to his end, his doom, his
execution. A chill ran down Steve's spine as he tried to push the thought out of his head and
concentrate on one thing. Getting out.

Standing up, Steve nocked over his lantern. " Aw crap!" he thought. Hoping it wasn't
busted, he lifted it and relit it. For hours it seemed that Steve was wondering around in some never
ending tunnel. He walked up and down passage way's, and through log hall way's of the cave. The
map helped him avoid going were he knew there would be no hope for him. Something grazed his
hand and he dropped his lantern in surprise. He heard the glass break and his light disappear.

Steve located a candle in his bag, and lit it. There was a big stone wall with a hole just large
enough for one man to fit through. He got on all fours and inched through the small hole. His
candle seemed to be dying out. Then he got through the end of the hole. Steve strained his body
out of the hole. He held his candle high to see were he was. It was some kind of a crypt, and in the
center was a large casket of some sort. On the top of the casket was a stone about the size of
someone's fist. Steve's heart was beating faster and faster as his trembling hands picked up the
white stone. He saw there was some sort of inscription on it. Steve started to read out loud.

"He who lifts this stone shall be damned?" Steve was lost at the words engraved on the
stone. He was about to read on when he saw the casket lid start to move. A white, long, bony
hand slipped out and push on the lid of the coffin. Steve's eyes were fixed on the hand, when...
blackness. The candle had gone out!

He heard the lid bang on the floor and the stirring of some unseen being rising out of it's
bed. Steve fumbled with his matches, tying to light them. He heard the thing coming closer. He
dropped the match.

Closer.

Another match hit the floor.

Closer.

He heard a spark and the flame lit up the room. And no more than two inches from Steve's
face, was the face of what looked like a dead corpse. It's waxy skin clung to the bones. It's eyes,
halfway sunken into it's socket's. Chunks of dried skin hung from the ghastly face. Steve shook
with fear as the thing smiled a hideous grin. It's canine looking fangs gleaming in the fire light.
Steve's whimpers echoed as the flame slowly faded into darkness.

* * *

Darkness of the skies made the little pub feel quite cozy. Peter was almost ready to
close up when the door to the pub flew open and a man walked inside cut up and
bloody.

"Blimey!" said Peter." Is that you Steve?" The man gave a slight nod. He was breathing
heavy.

" What in the blazes 'appened to you?" Peter exclaimed as Steve sat himself on a stool.

" I saw it he said!" he breathed." I saw the stone!"

" Let me get you a drink and you tell your story." said Peter. Steve told him every thing.
Then, Steve pulled something out of his pocket, and sat it on the bar with a loud thump. Peter
looked closer to find it was a rock.

" The stone?" Peter asked curiously.

" Read what is says."

" 'E who lifts this stone shall be damned." Peter gazed a Steve. How could he possibly be
damned? After all, he was here, and he was alright, wasn't he? Steve fiery blue eye's seemed to
blazed into Peter's soul and pierce his heart.

" So did you use the stone to kill the creature you spoke of?" asked Peter nervously. Steve
glared at him for a moment, his lips curving into a wicked grin. His wolf like fangs were now
visible in the soft light.

He replied. " Not quite." Steve slid the untouched drink away from him and then leaned
toward Peter, his eyes riveted on his neck. He licked his lips with his black tongue.

"Now," he whispered. "How about that drink?"

The End?