Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 February 2012
And we continue with the final part of my moors story . . .
The moors, at this time of year, were a treacherous place to be. One could get lost so easily, and a night out on the moors, exposed to the weather, would surely be the cause of death of any poor and unfortunate hiker who wandered off the track. Not for Bonnie though. The moors were her second home, and she was well prepared for whatever Peter might have in store for her.
Just prior to setting out on their hike, Bonnie felt some disparity in weight of her backpack, which was normally so well packed. Secretly, she had checked out the contents and discovered some of her basic equipment missing. That settled it for her – Peter was up to no good, and was probably intending to leave her out there, alone and cold, and with the overnight temperature that had been forecast, she would die from exposure. But Bonnie had other ideas.
As they wandered, Bonnie feigned ignorance of the area, but noticed that Peter was continuing along a northward path, despite zigging and zagging in order to appear as though they were on a complicated journey. He clandestinely referred to a compass that he packed away in his jacket pocket; never pulling it out when he believed Bonnie was looking. Bonnie, however, was determined to turn the tide on her deceitful and murderous brother.
‘Oh, Peter, look!’ she pointed to a large rock formation in the distance. ‘Can we go and explore it?’
The journey to the rocks would take them away from Peter’s ever-northward route, but she knew that his denying her wishes now would draw her suspicion. Reticently, he agreed.
‘For you, my little sister, anything.’
She smiled, knowing that his plans were now askew. This is where she would take control, lulling Peter into a false sense of security. This area of the moorlands, Bonnie knew well. Peter wasn’t the only Carmichael who was adept at manipulation.
It took them ninety minutes to reach the large formation of rocks, and they were now so far off course of Peter’s northward push, that it would be difficult to get back to the cottage they had rented before nightfall. A night on the moors was inevitable.
Peter removed his backpack and rustled around in it for a bottle of water. He didn’t see Bonnie’s deliberate misplacement of her feet, only her stumble backwards. Dropping his pack, he threw his arms up to catch her. She stumbled back hard onto him, removing the compass from his pocket as she did so. He did not notice, too focussed on propping up his sister, and wondering why he bothered to do so when his intent was to end her life.
‘Whoops,’ she said, ‘silly me. Must watch where I put my clumsy feet,’ the smile on her face hiding her intent, which was as murderous as his.
She slipped the compass into her own jacket pocket, quickly zipping it up as he bent down to retrieve his water bottle and backpack. Taking advantage of catching him unaware, Bonnie began her questioning.
‘Peter, why did you agree to bring me out to the moors?’
‘Ah,’ he fumbled for an answer, ‘I just want you to be happy. You seemed so excited about the possibility of coming here, who was I to disappoint you?’
‘And is it far to say that while we’re out here, you intend on making sure I don’t return to the cottage tonight?’
He had no time to disguise his anger at her discovery.
‘I’m not going to lie to you, little sister,’ he snarled, ‘I don’t like sharing father’s fortune. So, yes, it’s fair to say that you’re not returning to the cottage tonight. Or ever.’ Instinctively, he patted the pocket of his jacket that he believed to be safely keeping his compass.
‘Looking for this?’ Bonnie asked as she unzipped her pocket and withdrew the compass, holding it up for Peter to see. Terror spread across his face. He knew he couldn’t make it back safely without it.
‘Give it to me, Bonnie, or I’ll –’
‘Or you’ll what, Peter? Hurt me? Kill me? Dear brother, that was your intention all along, and is not a very good reason for me to hand this back to you.’ She stepped back, just out of Peter’s reach, tossing the compass into the air and catching it with the same hand. He watched its motion and winced when she almost dropped it.
‘Does that bother you, Peter? It would be a shame if I dropped this, wouldn’t it?’
‘DON’T YOU DARE,’ he screamed and reached out for it. His hand brushed Bonnie’s and the compass flew into the air. As if it were happening in slow motion, Peter watched as the compass stopped at the apex of its climb and then plummeted to the ground. He dived to save it from falling on the rocks beneath their feet, to no avail.
Shards of plastic and pieces of metal flew in all directions. Peter, on his hands and knees, tried unsuccessfully to piece the compass back together. Opportunist that she was, and with his attention firmly fixed on what was left of the compass, Bonnie selected a sizable rock, lifted it above her head and smashed it down onto Peter’s right leg. He screamed out in agony, the shards of compass once again flying off in all directions. Once more, Bonnie raised the rock above her head, this time bringing it down upon his left leg. The sound of bones snapping under the force of the rock horrified Bonnie, but she was determined not to be left out here to die by her money-hungry brother.
‘Interesting turn of events, don’t you think, Peter?’ Bonnie asked over Peter’s wailing and screaming. ‘You were going to leave me out here to die of what? Exposure? And now you are in that position.’
She kicked out in anger and connected with Peter’s broken legs causing him to scream louder.
‘You need to learn a lesson, big brother. Money isn’t everything, and it’s certainly not going to help you out here. Shut your screaming up and listen.’
Bonnie waited for his wailing to die down.
‘Out here, Peter, there is no foot traffic of any kind. If you’d bothered to pay attention to anything other than your screaming bloody greed, you’d have known that I am familiar with the moors. This is like a home to me, and I know them inside out. It didn’t matter where you took me, where you were going to leave me, I’d have found my way back. I’ve explored every inch of this landscape. You, on the other hand, do not know the land, and I very much doubt that you will return from here.’ She paused, allowing him time to reflect on what she was saying.
‘Having said that, should you make it back, I’m sure that much of your share of the precious fortune will be spent on medical costs, both physical and psychological. And on that note, Peter, I’m off, back to the cottage. If I get a bit of speed up, I’ll make it back before the worst of the night temperature kicks in.’
Bonnie snatched Peter’s backpack out of his reach. She rifled through it and removed the torch and spare batteries that he packed.
‘I’ll be taking these. As for the rest of the stuff in here, it’s all yours. Not that it will help in any way though.’ She tossed the pack back towards Peter. He didn’t try to catch it; the pain in his legs was too overwhelming for him to move.
With a final look back at Peter laying in agony on the ground, Bonnie broke into a run, and started back across the moorlands. Resting his head on his backpack, Peter laid back. Here was the son and heir of the Carmichael fortune, far less fortunate than he had anticipated. Bonnie was right – money was not going to help him now.
. . . The end . . .