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Little Gems - Earthfasts by William Mayne

Earthfasts by William Mayne Earthfasts by William Mayne

Earthfasts by William Mayne Earthfasts by William Mayne

Earthfasts by William Mayne Earthfasts by William Mayne

Click here to listen to the end music (600Kb mp3)

Earthfasts adapted for television by Marilyn Fox

Episode Two

It has been over a week since Nellie Jack John went back into the hill and Keith and David have said nothing about it to anyone. At the weekend though Keith goes around to see David. They go into the shed to look at the candle. David and Keith had put it under a metal container to deprive it of oxygen. The flame though is still burning which they cannot understand. They then think it may be radioactive and decide to test it with some photographic film (smart thinking for secondary school boys).

The results from the photo shop are disappointing. Nothing is detected on the film. The shop assistant is a little perplexed that the boys do not mind though but he does not charge them for the film development. They decide to head home and start writing down all they know about the strange series of events. David seems a little distracted with the flame and keeps revealing it and looking at it.

The next day the boys learn from a newspaper that the standing stones up on the hillside had been moved and so David and Keith decide to go and look for themselves. Up on the hillside, they do find a little evidence of changes in the position of the stones but can find no answers as to what has happened. Keith reminds David that there is another set of the same stones down at Swang farm where Keith's Aunt and Uncle live. A stone was taken there to act as a gate post. Keith and David continue to examine the stones. Keiths then finds very strong evidence that they have indeed moved some feet forward from their original standing position. All the stones have the same patterns and as they look up they see something moving up the hill. A giant stone made from rock is walking in the distance. Neither of the boys can believe their eyes but as they look back at the standing stones, the stones appear to encircle the boys. Keith and David run off towards Swang Farm. They approach a small wood and suddenly start to feel afraid as they hear strange noises coming from within. They enter it though and come across some hunting hounds barking at the standing stone that had been taken as a gate post. The hounds can see something that David and Keith cannot.

Meanwhile at Swang farm, Aunt Eileen is experiencing strange goings on in her kitchen. It appears as though an earthquake has just happened as pots are smashed and the oven goes on fire. Aunt Eileen though does not look concerned. She gets knocked to the ground as her cat is terrified. The curtains blow, the shelves fall off and a right mess is made around the house by something unseen.

The boys soon run into Dr. Wiks who is on his way to see Aunt Eileen. He takes the boys to Swang Farm and there they find out what has happened. PC hunter is on hand trying to find out the facts of the disturbance. Uncle Frank explains that nothing is missing but that his cows were also disturbed by the entity. PC hunter is not sure what to make of it. Keith and David are not sure to make of it either, until Uncle Frank tells them that he saw stones whirling around outside. Dr. Wiks gives Aunt Eileen the all clear though as she is more shaken than hurt. She remembers nothing about the event apart from the mess that was made. PC hunter heads off a little disappointed that nothing was taken. Aunt Eileen's cat reappears and David offers to give it some milk. The cat goes to get the milk but before it can get to the saucer, the milk vanishes. The cat runs off petrified. David tells them all what has just happened. Aunt Eileen and Uncle Frank look at each other and shake their heads. That'll be a Boggart they say. Dr. Wiks explains that it is a touchy house spirit but not like a poltergeist. Dr. Wiks continues that Boggarts have a taste for milk and other treats and they do not care for cats and dogs. He continues that Boggarts sometimes help with the sweeping up. Uncle Frank explains that they last had a Boggart when his father was a lad and has come back to plague them. As he utters the word "plague" several saucers smash behind them.

As Dr. Wiks drives David and Keith back home he tells them more about Boggarts. Suddenly he brings the car to a halt as a huge stone has blocked the road in front of them. He has to get out and go and warn Uncle Frank and try and find another way around. The boys realise it is the very stone taken as a gate post (called the Jingle stone) and start to worry about how it got there and why it got there in front of them.

The next morning, the children are at school telling stories about what has happened. Apparently a large number of pigs have gone missing from the local pig farms. Back at the farm Uncle Frank is trying to move the Jingle stone but without much luck. Aunt Eileen tells David and Dr. Wiks that the Boggart swept up after last night's mess. As Dr. Wiks leaves he asks his son what he knows about the Jingle stone. David tells his father about the stones moving but says nothing about Nellie Jack John.

The next day at school, the children learn that more pigs have vanished and the whole school is full of talk. PC Hunter is doing a door to door asking if anyone has any information or saw anything. Hundreds of pigs have now been lost and all of the school children who come from farms tell their teacher about it. Something ripped the roof off the local large piggery and stole 200 in one night. No one has heard anything or seen anything though.

The Story (click on the images below to follow the drama as it unfolds)

Earthfasts - Main Page
Earthfasts - Episode One
Earthfasts - Episode Two
Earthfasts - Episode Three
Earthfasts - Episode Four
Earthfasts - Episode Five
Earthfasts - Main Page
Episode One
Episode Two
Episode Three
Episode Four
Episode Five

Earthfasts by William Mayne