THE LITTLE PEOPLE
Copyright 2012 Aonghus Fallon
Of course I had to go back and check, even though I knew it was a bad idea. I kept imagining Declan’s red windcheater slowly unfurling itself, allowing the wind to tug it loose from where I had put it. This, despite the fact that it was wedged at the very back of that narrow hole – the hole under that slab of granite on that desolate hillside, the hole that also had Declan’s body wedged into it. This despite the fact that I’d weighted it down with rocks and put it in first for good measure, with Declan’s body effectively blocking its exit. I’d gone to so much trouble because that windcheater was bright, bright red. If somebody ever spotted it, they’d find Declan’s body, no bother.
Only I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Worrying about it. So of course I had to go back and check.
I went at dusk because I knew all the hill walkers would have gone home by then. Because it was dangerous to be out in the Wicklow mountains at evening time, when everything was shrouded in the same faint, lovely haze and a bog hole was just one slightly darker patch of heather amongst many.
There’s another reason why it’s dangerous. The Little People.
Calling them ‘The Little People’ always irritated me. ‘Little’ maybe - and even that’s a moot point, because you’re applying criteria that’s largely meaningless, something that’ll become all too obvious in a minute. But people? Give me a break.
I mean, I know the drill. The first rule is: never discuss them with tourists – how they actually exist. Leprechauns and so on, the stuff of greeting cards and craft shops: peddling that sort of nonsense is perfectly OK, because it’s such obvious rubbish – even though all those stories about man’s dealings with the fairies captures something of their essential disposition; their malice.