IT was a strangely warm August evening. The bright orange sun was low in the sky making it difficult to look westerly without having to shield your eyes from the intense rays from the orange disc hanging in the sky just above the jagged line of the horizon. As difficult as it was to look up when facing in a westerly direction, the heat of the sun on Brian Duggan’s face was a feeling to behold. After twenty consecutive days of mist and rain, this was heavenly. The sky was a lovely cloudless darkening blue in the east and gradually changing in colour to purple and eventually a bright crimson around the sun. Brian’s father always said that a red sky at night was a Shepard’s delight. It meant that the following day’s weather would also be good.
Brian had been busy of late, for a change. He was a builder, a block layer by trade. A block layer with a good curriculum vitae it has to be said but, in the past few years had been extremely tough with worldwide economic downturn and the amount of work suited to him being minimal, if any at all. His bank account balance reflected his lack of work as did his lack of a wife.
He had been married but she had left him when the work dried up. When he had all that money everybody wanted to sit in the backseat of whatever big car he owned but now that his personal finances had taken a hit, no a thump, she wouldn’t be seen in a bus with him.
What use was he going to be to her when he had no money to provide her with? She had left him and met up with a banker, or did she meet up with banker and left him? It’s hard to remember what happened exactly because that was a hazy time.
He could remember one of his then friends saying that money wasn’t everything but it was sure easier to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle. After the separation Mr Whiskey became Brian’s closest pal. Times were dark back then, the complete opposite to this fantastic evening.
Living alone had its pros and cons which pretty much balanced each other out, but on an evening such as this; pros were way ahead. He sat outside in his work clothes on a kitchen chair he had brought outside to the back of his house which was west facing and surrounded by empty fields but secluded by trees on his right. Lovely, and it was even better with a small measure of whiskey in hand. That was all he ever had now. Alcohol was now only ever to taste and not waste.
On the right hand side of his site the line of old Beech and Ash trees with White Thorn bushes filling the holes ran for as far as he could see. It was so calming out there. He heard a small beep and he removed the smartphone from his trousers pocket to see a message on Twitter. He began scrolling down through his Twitter feed and some comments made him smile.
He continued to sip his drink and play with his phone as the sky began to darken. The almost still air began to cool and the night sounds began. A rustling sound could be heard in the trees and bushes to his right. Nothing unusual in that.
Cats, foxes and wild dogs roamed the fields searching for food regularly. He had nothing to worry about because he was separated from the fields directly behind his house by a picket
fence between his driveway and well-maintained green lawn and then a barbed wire fence between the lawn and the pasture.
Brian began to feel the cold air come around him as dusk took hold and he seriously considered going inside. He turned off his phone, finished his drink and rose from his seat. He turned and picked up the chair and moved towards the backdoor.
The rustling from the trees again.
It was a noisier sound this time. It got a hold of Brian Duggan’s full attention. He turned on his phone a second time and looked for the flashlight app and touched the screen bringing on a piercing bright white light.
The noise again.
Could it be a large animal stuck in the greenery? But there was no sound, no noise from a panicking animal trying to free itself from whatever it could have gotten tied up in. He pointed the phone light towards the noise or where he thought it could be coming from. The beam shone brightly on the foliage as he panned it across the area.
What was that? The shaft of light caught a black shapeless form in the trees. He brought back the light to where he saw the figure.
There is was again, the darkest shade of black he’d ever seen and it seemed to be pulsing. It was about twenty meters from him. He rubbed his eyes trying to rid them of whatever was causing his to see what he thought was an unrealistic sight. He looked at his empty glass. Surely he hadn’t…no he only had a small measure, a taste.
It was then that he heard the most terrible sound, a grinding grating reverberation. It was too hard to listen to; it made his inner ear feel uncomfortable. Now it was louder. Curiosity was getting the better of him. He tried to shut out the sound and pointed the light at the shapeless shape again and that was when his blood turned to ice, his hair stood on end and goose pimples formed on his skin. The shapeless figure was now morphing into a shape, a recognisable shape, the shape of a human being. A young man.
Brian felt fear envelope his body, almost smothering him. He dropped his glass and tried to grasp the back door handle which was just out of his reach from where he was standing. His feet were operating independently of his brain. His centralised control system was shouting at him to get inside the house but the neural tissue was unable to react to his need – his safety needs.
He looked back to where the blackness was and saw it losing shape and regaining it. It was still about 20 meters from him. When he eventually got his feet moving he felt confident he would have the time to get in and lock the door before it came; whatever it was.
The feeling was coming back to his feet; he could feel the slow flow of blood making its way down his shins and to his ankles. He looked back at the Blackness. A face was forming again. This one had a menacing grin. The eyes above the grin were just black holes where you might expect to see sockets. The black eye holes were blacker that the blackness surrounding them.
Brian stretched for the door handle and reached it this time. He pulled it down to release the latch, allowing the door to open. The door swung in violently and banged off the round rubber stopper screwed into the floor tiles and almost closed again. As Brian looked back at the thing, he saw it move towards him a little. It seemed to take a step forward and then it just appeared in front of Brian in the same movement.
It let out a shrill ear-splitting scream and then put its shapeless hand into Brain’s chest, pulling out his heart. Brian didn’t feel a thing because he died of shock at the scream.
He lay on the ground motionless, blood spreading on the ground around him and his face was similar to the character in Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream. A strong breeze blew from where the blackness had been and it seemed to bring the dead rusty autumnal leaves to life for a moment as they blew in a circular motion like a dust devil more associated with warm desert areas. The Blackness left a message on the backdoor of Brian Duggan’s house in Brian’s blood and then it just left after propping Brian against the door. Then the leaves automatically fell back to their dead selves.
The blackness had hidden in the trees, in the bushes, hovering, waiting for Brian to show himself. It stayed there for some time hiding in full view in the warm shade of the foliage. It watched him playing with the small black rectangular object while drinking from the glass. It felt the air begin to cool and understood that darkness was on its way. It’s the way of the world, every day; every single day darkness follows light.
Brian got up from his chair and it was then that the Blackness began to get excited and its shapelessness began brushing against the foliage, causing a rustling sound. Just then it could see the bright red colour appear momentarily around his victim’s head – fear. It dissipated just as quickly as it first showed itself to him. The sight of that bright red got the shapeless object even more excited and the noise of the moving, rustling foliage increased. Brian Duggan then turned on a strange bright white light and shone it across the trees, passing over the Blackness and almost blinding it. It was stunned by the intensity of the pure white light and the excitement it felt created a grinding sound, a sound it made when taking its revenge.
The Blackness could now see a bright red ball surrounding Brian Duggan. That was pure fear. It heard the glass smash but didn’t understand exactly what the noise was but it didn’t seem to decrease the redness around his victim’s head. It stared at Brian as he stared back up at it and made a connection with him and formed into a shape of a younger Brian. Now the bright red became almost a burning red and the Blackness could feel the heat. It was time to do what it came to do.
The red orb resembled those photographic images of the sun often scene in The National Geographic and similar books. It was this red image that gave the Blackness the go ahead to do what it came to do, to do what it was sent to do.
It floated forward a little and then appeared in front of this terrorised human and let out an ululating scream, the scream of victory and pierced the man’s chest as he fell. The ball of crimson red that had been suspended around his head had disappeared during the scream.
It liked to collect a memento of its visits and this was no different. A dust devil wind gathered power behind it and the Blackness removed Brian’s heart from his chest and scrawled a message with his blood on his backdoor - a message left for the others to find. It left the scene and with that the dust devil died and the leaves resumed their lifelessness.
BALLINGER was a small village with a population of somewhere between 750 and 1,000 people who lived in homes scattered across the village, on farms, large houses and non-descript family homes. Most of those who lived there did so because their families before them had done so and farms had passed down from generation to generation.
There were of course some blow-ins and those who couldn’t afford the price of town sites and settled in this village. Nothing much of any note ever happened in Ballinger. People only passed through it to get to where they needed to get to.
It was a short-cut for those unwilling to pay the toll charges on the newest motorway which had been recently opened. Drivers got off at Junction 11 (Fellowmore, Ballinger) and travelled for up to 12 miles on the old country road before re-joining the motorway. You see, approximately a kilometre after Junction 11 was a toll both requiring drivers to pay from €3.20 all the way up to €5.15 depending on the type of vehicle they drove. Only those who didn’t mind spending time behind tractors and other slow moving farm machinery travelled this route which meant that delivery lorries, people going to business meetings and those who liked moving quickly stayed on the motorway. Therefore if you were in any hurry to get to your destination you just had to bite the bullet and pay the toll on the motorway.
Yes it was fair to say that Ballinger was a quiet place, until recently that was. The previous year Ballinger football team won the provincial football title and as a result, interest in the village increased; interest in the pub and of course interest in their football team, especially from guys who couldn’t get a place in the Fellowmore teams. (Fellowmore was the town 10km up the road). Everybody wanted to play for a winning team. As a result it was decided that a Community Hall would be built in the village. This new hall would be a multi-purpose facility insofar as it would be available for team meetings by the football club, general talks, card nights and the likes. It would bring the community together and bring other communities to Ballinger. It would bring a financial reward to the village. Money would always be spent, money that otherwise would not reach Ballinger if the Community Hall were not to be built.
The County Council donated an area in the centre of the village, just over an acre of flat land in fact. There was some disquiet at first by a few tree huggers because the area being donated had 16 longstanding Beech trees growing on the plot and they were estimated to be over 60 years old. The vast majority of the population however felt it was a great idea.
This particular plot was never properly looked after and it became an area for what some of the elders in the village called downright debauchery. There was some truth in this belief because any Monday morning you went to the green area you would be sure to find empty drink cans, used condoms, broken glass and on occasion even used syringes.
This piece of land was Council owned and therefore it was their responsibility to ensure it was maintained. It was in their own interest to remove it from their books. The cost of cleaning the green, not that it was cleaned regularly, was a cost the Council could have done without in these financially straightened times so it was a good time to take care of a problem they no longer wanted and so the parcel of land was
Off-loaded or donated to the people of Ballinger to build a Community Hall consequently removing all sorts of liabilities from the Council.
To take away the bad taste left in the mouths of some of the tree huggers, Planning Permission required a tree bond, necessitating the plantation of trees on the site. As expected, Planning Permission was approved and a fine two storey building got the green light to commence construction.
When the decision to build the hall was first mooted there had been those against the idea. Of course there were the tree huggers but there were a couple of locally influential people entirely against the idea. This group was led by the shopkeeper and public house owner – Deimne McCoul (he owned both the shop and pub), and his reason for opposition appeared to be for personal reasons. He confided in those who knew him best that the hall would lead to less people using both of his businesses.
There were two ways into the village of Ballinger. The road from the South from another village called Slayleigh brought you right into the centre of Ballinger, where you were met by the Catholic Church, public house and local shop which also served petrol and diesel. At this point the road intersected with the road from Fellowmore (a large town) to the left and Dungeandan, to the right. At this point of intersection diagonally across from the local shop is where the new Community Hall was to be built. Since work commenced on the
project, traffic from Fellowmore had increased. Lorries were now common place in Ballinger making deliveries of concrete for the foundation first and then blocks, sand, cement bags and insulation boards.
There were four block layers employed to build the outer shell of the Community Hall structure. Work began at eight o’clock every morning. Tom Duffy, a retired building engineer and a member of the building committee was charged with overseeing the Hall’s construction.
Duffy arrived at the site this early August morning to find three of the block layers waiting around for the arrival of the concrete mixers due to pour the floors.
It was a nice crisp morning. A watery sun lit the day but there were wispy grey clouds covering parts of the blue canvas of the sky. Two of the workers, Paddy Fox and Mick Handy were standing at what would be the main doorway with their backs to Duffy looking down at something on the ground. They were each dressed in dark combat trousers which had all the signs of hard work, steel toe capped boots and yellow high visibility sleeveless jackets over old woolly jumpers. They were smoking cigarettes while discussing whatever it was they were looking at.
The third guy, Sean Fitzhenry, was sitting in his car reading his newspaper, listening to the car radio while occasionally glancing over at his colleagues. He was dressed almost identically to the other two.
Fox and Handy didn’t much care for Fitzhenry. They considered him to be a little slow – mentally. This all came about as a result of rumours and the like following Sean Fitzhenry’s serious accident.
Sean was a builder who had successfully taken a small building company to greatness in recent years. A three man company that did not become greedy when everyone else was chasing big paydays. No, they continued to grow their demand in how they did their work. They were a little more expensive than the cowboy builders in circulation but their finished product was always worth paying for. The secret to success, Sean always said, was going to be in extensions and refurbishment jobs and so it turned out. He had seen the downturn in house prices and the economy in general 18 months before it happened and altered his work to suit the economy.
One day when on a nice, regular and relatively straight forward project, he and one of his partners were putting the finishing touches to a tiled roof on a house extension when a sudden torrential rain shower hit. The two lads decided to get down from the roof to take shelter from the driving rain. Sean was straddled across the roof and as he attempted to get into a standing position he slipped and fell, sliding down the 45 degree roof and fell head first onto the ground below. His saving grace was a small pile of fine sand. He hit the sand with his head and then his speeding body pulled him in another direction, smashing his skull off three loose concrete blocks. He was knocked out cold and didn’t properly regain consciousness for four weeks.
There was so much damage done to his skull that he had to have a metal plate inserted to prevent further skull damage. His brain had swelled following the fall and he had several operations to reduce the pressure on his already damaged cranium. His recovery period was almost 12 months. It was true that his brain was damaged, but in truth it wasn’t enough to cause any serious problems at work or at home. He had lost his sense of smell and on occasion he could not sleep through the night, but relative to the injury he sustained he was extremely lucky.
Following the accident the rumour mill went into overdrive. Everything from Sean Fitzhenry was spending whatever time he had left on a ventilator; to him remaining in a vegetative state for the rest of his days; to total paralysis. When he did eventually return home from hospital under the close and loving supervision of his close friend and wife Janet, the stories became a little less hysterical to report that he was slightly or moderately mentally handicapped. In reality, Sean Fitzhenry had made a remarkable recovery, so much so that he was now out working again.
This job in Ballinger was his first since he sustained the injury but his co-workers were not inclined to mix with him. He wasn’t well in the head was the word around the camp fire. He couldn’t be and they were not going to suffer anything they didn’t need to, so they stayed away. Why should they when his old partners had replaced him with someone else? That was enough for them. The truth behind this was that the company needed three workers to make it worth their while to work and Sean had given them their blessing. He wasn’t yet ready to go into full work mode and this job in Ballinger would be part of his rebuilding process.
Tom Duffy drove his dark green Range Rover through the temporary gateway and onto the impermanent driveway of the building site. The driveway was a load of crushed rock mixed with sand and clay and dumped there primarily to form an entrance for heavy machinery entering the site.
It divided two grassy patched either side covered in dandelions, thistles, nettles and all the usual weeds that grew on grassland not being maintained; so describing them as grassy patches was probably a little bit of an exaggeration.
Duffy got out of his jeep, out into the cool morning air and approached Fox and Handy. The gravel crunched underfoot and sounded louder to him than it actually was. His brow was creased and his eyes were that of a man in extremely bad form. Duffy trudged his way over to the blockies on the uneven surface, banging his rolled up newspaper off his thigh with each deliberate and heavy step.
His grey hair had strips of dark brown in it showing what the colour had been in years gone by. He was an overweight man who wore a shirt a size too small. The lower shirt buttons were under tremendous pressure and would undoubtedly come apart from the shirt in the not too distant future. The brown corduroy trousers were obviously an attempt to make him feel younger and funkier than the sixty years he had accumulated, but it failed miserably.
Fox and Handy threw their cigarette butts on the ground and quenched them with their work boots almost in tandem with each other and turned to face their boss. They felt a little uncomfortable even if they didn’t know why.
Tom Duffy surveyed the block layers’ work to date and approved, if only internally. He was not one to pass on congratulations to anyone – it didn’t matter who you were. He looked around the site now with a confused look on his face. He began banging the rolled up newspaper off the open palm of his other hand. Sean Fitzhenry got out of his car and slowly made his way over. He knew of the dislike the other two had for him. He could sense it, so he stood near the bonnet of his own car.
Duffy walked up to where Fox and Handy had been standing moments earlier and stared down at the ground. The expression on his face changed the way you would expect to see Dr David Banner’s expression transform as he changed into the Hulk. The tired unhappy look was replaced in about three facial moves by a glowering, if looks could kill, expression. He glared at all three men individually. His rage could be felt even though he hadn’t yet uttered a word, most likely because he was unable to.
He stared back at the ground where what could only be described as a perfectly round tunnel stared back at him. He grunted and took an unsteady step forward towards the hole in the ground. The opening was a dark brown colour, a half a meter in diameter, darkening as he went down and then blackening where the light couldn’t reach.
“What the hell is this?” Duffy demanded. “Who did this?”
No answer. The site was quiet except for the birds singing in the bushes and trees all over the village.
“Handy, who the fuck dug this hole?” Duffy was almost uncontrollable now. The vein in his neck was twitching. Marvel was going to have a new monster. The Hulk turned green, The Duffy turned scarlet. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead
and one began finding its way down the bridge of his fleshy nose. Handy shrugged his shoulders.
“I dunno.” He mumbled.
“It was here when we got here this morning.” The strong unflinching voice of Sean Fitzhenry.”
“Who opened the bloody entrance gate this morning?” Duffy challenged them while swinging around to look at it.
“I did.” Handy mumbled again. “The same as always.”
“And this was the way I see it now? Is that what you’re telling me now? Some…whatever came in here and dug a hole on my site?” He scowled and grunted again and looked at the three men. “Where’s Duggan, Brian Duggan?” he asked a little concern in his voice. The concern was for the project and obviously not for the missing blockie. Fox and Handy just shrugged their shoulders, not knowing and not caring, just wanting the inquisition to end.
Both men were in their late forties and both had the look of men who had worked in the sun for a living. Fox was tall and the high viz jacket he wore looked like an under-sized cardigan on his broad shoulders and it hung open because it hadn’t a chance of closing over the big belly protruding from above the belted denim trousers. Handy was a smaller but equally rotund man. His yellow green jacket also hung loose, unopened because of the large mound over his belt which seemed to be fighting off the gravitational pull.
Both men had a receding hairline. Whenever comment was passed on his hair Fox always told whomever it may be that the waves were gone but the beach was still there. He always found it funny and still laughed at his own joke. Mostly other people just laughed at him or along with him.
Duffy looked over at Sean Fitzhenry who just had a blank look on his face. Fitzhenry had a young looking face and did not look anywhere near the forty three years of age he actually was. He had a full head of greying light brown hair. His thick fringe fell over his forehead and covered part of the scar that arced from behind his left ear to the front of his head.
Duffy just shook his head. “I fucking told them.” Duffy was now talking to himself. If the truth be known, he had opposed
the employment of Duggan for this particular job. The mention of a blockie having a record of drinking and such like; turned him off the idea of Duggan straight away. The other board members however voted to bring him on. Brian Duggan had a good work record but had fallen to drink in hard times. He had quit a job some time back because of his ‘personal problems’ – his wife leaving him. Duffy didn’t think much of this at all.
“He has history, I bloody well told them this would happen. There’s one thing for certain, he’s not getting a third second chance, no way, not over my dead body. That’s for sure.”
There was fire in his voice and he was pacing around now. He was banging his leg with the paper again. He suddenly stopped his pacing and returned his attention to the three workers waiting for his direction. Duffy looked at the men unsure of how to break the news to them. He looked away from them and glanced first at the gravel and then at the boundary ditch and eventually back at the men.
“I’ve come to tell you that you will not be needed any further today”. He was a little uncomfortable in speaking to them and couldn’t get the words out the way he wanted to. He knew how to tell someone to go away and not come back or how they were incorrectly working, but not this.
He had to tell them to go home now just for the time being.
“Cemetal, who were supposed to deliver the concrete to pour the floor are closed today after one of their drivers was killed in a freak accident this morning. Something about him being sliced up, it doesn’t matter what happened, only that they won’t be delivering today, or tomorrow for that matter. You lads can go on home.” They looked at him for a moment gobsmacked by the news he had just delivered. Then Sean Fitzhenry spoke up.
“Will we be paid for today?”
“What?!” demanded Duffy.
“Will we be receiving pay -” Duffy cut him off immediately.
”I heard what you said Fitz – whatever the fuck your name is, I just can’t believe you asked it. You want to be paid for doing nothing? Is that what I’m hearing? Why don’t you go back on the dole and queue for free money if that’s your thing?”
Duffy was red faced now. He was fuming at the question put to him. How could this, this piece of shit question him in such a way?
“I just want to know where you stand with regard to recently published employment regulations as originally proposed by the Professional Construction Organisation. I mean if we’re working outside that legislation, that’s fine, at least I know where I stand, sort of. Cash in hand and all that, right boys.”
He looked over at Fox and Handy who were totally taken aback by this. Duffy was now totally embarrassed and furious at the same time. He waited for the fury to pass and then after
calming himself looked at the three builders but concentrated most of his ‘apology’ on Fox and Handy.
“I don’t know what came over me” he said without any real meaning behind it.
“I don’t know what came over me, pressure of the job and what not! Of course you will be paid in accordance with legislation.”
Tom Duffy was never wrong, at least in his own mind, but for a subordinate to question him. No, not in his plans to make an apology for their inability to get a proper paying job. Because here they were his bitches.
After processing these thoughts and feelings he immediately turned and made his way back to his Range Rover and then shouted over his shoulder as he left. “Make sure you are on time every morning, I think there’s something about that in the regulations too. And cover that bloody hole”. There was sarcasm and hurt in the comment. He opened the vehicle, jumped in and sped off. He was not a happy camper.
Sean Fitzhenry watched him speed off and looked at his two colleagues who were still flabbergasted at what had just happened. Sean was sensing a strange feeling in his head. An unexpected breeze blew across the men that whisked up some of the rubbish on the building site and it seemed to hover near where Sean was standing. A mini tornado then seemed to momentarily form.
Metallic grey clouds moved quickly across the sky now, covering the watery sun and everything became noticeably darker. Shadows that had been cast seemed to be rubbed from the ground by a magic eraser.
Sean visibly winced at the pressure around his head and felt as though there was a huge weight on there, pushing down on his skull. It was as if his head was a football and someone was resting all of their weight on it. The strange look that came across his face began to scare Paddy Fox and Mick Handy.
They felt uncomfortable, not knowing what to do or if they should do anything at all. After all this man had fallen on his head some time ago, this could be ‘normal’ for him although it looked far from it.
His shoulders hunched and his arms and hands moved out in front of him as though he was holding away something, either in discomfort or, or what? What was happening to him? The breeze around the men started to rise up stronger and the mini tornado or dust devil began to rotate at greater speed bring sand and loose cement into it.
Sean’s cheeks were turning a bright red colour, a colour any make-up artist required to reproduce Snow White’s blushing cheeks would have been proud to achieve. The black rings under his eyes were accentuated by the clear eye whites and dark irises. His new purple lip colour was a shade associated with death. The beads of sweat that appeared on his forehead began dribbling down into the corners of his eyes and down his cheeks. The stinging sweat was plainly irritating his eyes but he was unable to do more than blink.
Fox and Handy looked at each other again after seeing these changes occur over a twenty or thirty second period of time and Handy moved towards Sean Fitzhenry to assist him in some way.
He had no idea what to do but surely some action would be better than none at all. Just as he approached the struggling Fitzhenry, the younger man’s face completely changed and returned to his original colour and his shoulders and arms returned to their regular positions.
He looked uncomfortable.
He felt as though something had happened but he had completely lost the last minute. The pressure on his head had lifted completely but there was still some discomfort lingering. A dark shadow crossed Sean’s face followed by a glowing sheen. The wind stopped almost abruptly as it had begun, dropping all it carried there and then onto the ground. Sean saw the fear and horror on Fox and Handy’s faces but unsure why it should be there.
“Are you guys alright?” he asked sincerely not realising what the other men had witnessed.
The two men stared at Sean for a couple of seconds and then, as if telepathically, turned simultaneously and made their way hurriedly to Mick Handy’s Corrolla. As they opened the doors to get into the car the metallic grey clouds moved in a Westerly direction allowing the sun to reappear and shed some light on Ballinger.
The Corrolla made its way out the gate between the temporary gate posts and turned right in the direction of Paddy Fox’s house. A wind rose again off in the distance, in the trees on the site boundary. A strange grinding noise could be heard but Sean ignored it and got into his own car.
He sat inside for a moment; thinking to himself. What had scared Fox and Handy so much? It was obvious from their actions or reactions that something had stirred them. But how
did he miss it, that was what was bothering him. Just as he was about to turn the key in his ignition his mobile phone sounded. He picked it from one of the leg pockets in his combats and saw that he had a text message from Janet his wife. She was wondering if he would be able to get home at lunch time and bring a litre of milk with him. He smiled and put the phone away. He could do better than that because he would be home pretty soon with the needful.
He turned the ignition and when he got to the temporary he locked it behind him and then continued to the roadside of the entrance and looked left and right for any oncoming traffic. This was a tricky place to get out of because of the blind corner thirty meters to the right, the road to Shayleigh. As he edged out, the shop across the road caught his eye. Of course, he could just go in there and get the milk. The vehicular entrance to the shop was diagonally across from where he was now, to the right. It might be a good idea to go in and meet one of the locals because you can never be sure when you might have to call on someone and if you have some sort of je ne sais quoi with them, it could make all the difference.
Sean knew that the owner of the shop was one of those who were totally and absolutely against the Community Hall project getting off the ground, so to speak. He was revered by the elders of the village and mostly ignored by the younger generation except for what he provided in the shop and of course the pub. He felt it was time he paid a visit to Mr McCoul and see what all the fuss was about.