A truly gothic tale, set in 17th century Yorkshire, with nail-biting tension and a creeping sense of menace. The grim Pennine landscape and an isolated sheep farm just off the coffin path, rack up the chill factor and pile on the spooky atmosphere. Mercy Booth is a great character and a brave chancer - a woman ahead of her time. She pulled me into her story and onto her side - even at times against my better judgment. Wonderful storytelling.
I wake with a start. I've thrown off the coverlet, and am shivering with cold. The sheet is wound about my leg. I kick it free, pull the bedding up to my chin and rest back on my bolster. But I cannot dispel the dream so easily. I did not close the shutters and the moonlight spills across the floor.
Then I hear a footstep on the boards.
My heart spikes. It comes again - one step, then another, at the foot of my bed.
I stare motionless into the darkness, but see nothing. Am I still dreaming?
Then a run of steps, away towards the casement, quick and light; the footfall of a child. I cannot separate my waking senses from my dream world. Fear stifles my breath. Pressure builds in my lungs as they crave air. My body prickles all over and yet I dare not move.