Faux Amis

Alastair had, by now, travelled some distance in an effort to walk from Fort Augustus to a point of vantage along the southern shore of Loch Ness. This rather rashly plotted excursion was made in the hope of viewing his parents house, a small white cottage that sat on the eastern bank, nested in the village of Foyers situated along General Wade’s Military road.

Looking deep into the abyss of dense forestry across the water, his eyes lingered over a white building that shone in the landscape and following the path back slightly he was able to locate a perspective that detached it from the trees. The shift of parallax did something peculiar. Initially his eye caught the attractive protruding turret that encased his bedroom, though it seemed uncannily bulbous and misshapen. As his eye trailed along, he found the natural rhythm of the roofline was disrupted by extending further than expected and revealing a second turret, testifying to the oddity of the first. Invalidating the image as his cottage.

The entirety of the building uncoiled from the trees, like a snake in the landscape, and a timorousness touched him. It was as though in the vertigo of witnessing this transfiguration, some telluric message had crawled along the path he had taken and endowed his consciousness with a microscopic inner eye that informed the distant locale, adding special colour to it.

He knew the manor, and of its previous owner; a mysterious figure from London, who had taken zealously to affections of the traditional highland gentleman. This simple fact alone was enough to stimulate dislike in the community. However - apparently keen exacerbate this displeasure - he also took to walking along the glens at night, and would host guests who were never again seen, save for a few occasions when they were identified hurriedly leaving in the early hours. Quickly making an enemy of the locals, rumour had made its extravagant progress that this fellow was a magician, a great mystic and evil force. Tales of foul deeds quickly seeded themselves in the grounds at Boleskine.

Even before him the house was, befittingly, an already long darkened patch of land, the particular site of the house had once been a church that had burned down during Mass, the entire congregation inside. The manor was then built upon its ashes in the late 18th century by Archibald Fraser; who now rested in the burial ground that was constructed opposite. Rumours (boundlessly imaginative as they are) also told of labyrinthine underground passageways that linked House and burial ground, as condemned man and corpse.

Alastair's father, the local GP in Foyers, had imparted annotative remarks to this modern folklore on occasion, but with a peculiar absentmindedness, and disinterest to the real nature of the man. Young Alastair had taken these cursory tales lightly, but a detail piqued him; this mans name was a variant spelling of his own, he was Alastair, after his uncle, and the owner of the large house, the subject of a (partly self-perpetuated) myth, who pompously called himself ‘the great beast’ was Aleister.

Without warning, as was common in the glens, a storm broke and cast the hillside dark into shadow. Lights from neighbouring houses appeared like fire flies in the landscape, and Boleskine appeared to recoil into the shadows of the clandestine trees, save for the shuddering flashes of light that exposed the manor.

Though fifteen miles from his home on foot, around the Loch, he was a mile from it directly. He became aware of this proximity as strong winds swept haphazardly from every direction. The Loch swelled and contracted, as though the focus of an event horizon in which the glens were being pulled from all sides into its depths, as surely as the passage of time. From an unlocatable source, scrambled by the wind, Alastair heard the crunch of leaves underfoot and his mind involuntarily cast back to another tale, a polish folklore:

"A little boy went out to play. When he opened

his door, he saw the world. As he passed through

the doorway, he caused a reflection. Evil was born.

Evil was born, and followed the boy."

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