The dirigible hummed slowly over the coast-line of Kernow, the persistent low dark cloud cover masked its approach to the border of the green and pleasant land. Below, the black tin mines stood resolute in the sky bleaching their acrid smoke, polluting the sky and the land.
The large hydrogen filled ship pressed further eastwards, bouncing over the smoke stacks of the chimneys of the area surrounding Penzance, the tiny port of Falmouth up to St Austell, then across the south of the county, following the well-worn smugglers’ paths onward along the coast to Plymouth and the new Laira re-fuelling station before the trip to Exeter and beyond. Beyond to the metropolis that was Londinium, the un-holy smoke. Usually the journey took them from Plymouth, along the coaching roads, through the small villages of Ivybridge, South Brent, passing the village of Buckfastleigh with its ruined Cistercian Abbey and skirting other unusually sounding place names to the city of Exeter, it’s cathedral and an overnight stopping point. Only this time they took a more direct route from Plymouth, heading north easterly in a straight line toward Exeter over the moor, where the air was sweet and clean.
The County of Devon fast approached and with it the green, green grass of their home, untainted by industry. Too long had they only seen the blue and the black but now as they approached the moor their vista was lit with sunlight and a green/brown hue of the moorland. The Dartmoor national park with its cragged rocks and rolling rivers in valleys of green and brown. Even then ponies roamed the moor, majestic in their surroundings enjoying the freedom; sheep covering the lowlands and path ways. Proper civilisation had failed to conquer this outland but small pockets grew out of the farming and with it small villages. Each village housing its own ale house, brewing its own unique tipple and a small Wesleyan Chapel or Church. Many surrounded and shrouded with superstition; headless horses and coachmen, hairy hands and of course the obligatory black dogs or wishthounds, that a prolific writer would take to heart during a bout of illness and turn into a best seller.
High to the south western part of the Moor the north winds blew an icy blast across her face as she stood at the open door of their vast sprawling manor house to the formal gardens, the wind as if calling to her; beckoning her to follow into the dark satanic night, away from the safety of the warm and welcoming if not eerie mansion that she knew as home. A home albeit alone save a wolf, her familiar and her companion and in the stillness of the cool evening a long low howl erupted on the readying breeze.
© The Midnight Messenger c/o firstname.lastname@example.org May 2017