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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 126 ‘Something dwells at Hanging Rock’

At the foot of the famous Hanging Rock, was our family home. (The one I had previously tried to burn to the ground 🙂 ) I’d become an avid explorer of the perfect child’s playground for many years before becoming aware of the film, ‘Picnic at Hanging rock.’ I was, of course, intrigued to see my familiar surrounds on the silver screen. The story of how three schoolgirls and their headmistress had just disappeared from the face of the earth, was extremely enticing to my ghoulish little mind. Not very far into the film, I could feel my disappointment starting to spill over. The high pitched giggly girl laughter, painful acting, and ridiculous storytelling left me facepalming firmly enough to leave a print, but persevere I did 🙂 It went from bad to worse, but I had now seen it and that was all that mattered. Very early the next morning, I set out with my trusty side dog Timmy. (Yep, big Famous Five fan). Despite the film being fiction, there were rumors aplenty of it having some basis in fact. My backpack overflowing with the essentials, dog biscuits, rope, corpse shovels and hessian bags for treasure transport, we were well prepared to uncover the truth. I knew most of the regular tracks on the Rock like the back of my hand, but we were going to have to push out the boundaries to locate the notorious disappearance spot. It was eerily quiet, as the orange sun peered over the Rock’s summit. It was far too early for people to be about, and even the wildlife seemed unusually circumspect. Surveying the topmost rocks, I planned my ascent. Attaching a rope to Timmy’s collar, I pointed to our destination. ” Up you go,” pointing again with a firm command. His head didn’t move, as his big brown eyes looked upwards at Mount Doom. Locking eyes with me, he communicated his disapproval in the strongest terms possible. “Oh come on….who’s a good boy then, who wants a biscuit?” Tossing a baked treat to where I wanted him to go, he grunted reluctantly and scrambled awkwardly up the mountainside. I watched him disappear over the top as the taut rope he was carrying suddenly went limp. “Timmy…….Tim!!! TIMMMYYY” I was almost hysterical as his little black nose edged back into view. Tiny projectiles toppled down in my direction with a degree of disdain, egged on by his front paws. Drawing breath and allowing my racing heart to settle, I issued Timmy with his next instruction. We had a game called ‘trip the tree.’ I’d crouch behind shrubbery and send him to an adjacent tree, rock or anything solid with a thin rope attached, he’d go around the tree and come back to me. The idea being to trip over my friends. We can discuss my being a bit of a butthead at a later date, but it proved to be excellent training for my pooch. With his ‘trip the tree’ in place, Timmy scrambled his way back down to me. We sat there a little while, the loudness of our breathing seemed weirdly out of proportion to the surrounds. The sun moved from orange to a fierce and glaring yellow, like torchlight in the pitch black. Holding in my oxygen and ears straining for the slightest sound, I wanted to hear something. Anything! But more than quiet, it was silent. Hauling myself gruffly to my feet, I spoke out loud to prove my bravery, “stupid film!” Defenseless rocks lay precariously balanced on the steep mountainous edge, and I kicked them forcefully over to display courage. Stupid film or not, I had a deep sense of foreboding and dithered over to proceed or retreat. Timmy had dozed off in the sun as he awaited ‘Penelope Procrastination’ to make up her mind, when he suddenly sprang to all fours, ears cocked and eyes staring up to destination ledge. Before I could stop him, he was up and off, a low-end growl rumbled in warning as he left me flat-footed in the dust. Anyone who has a dog knows it’s not a dog, It’s your best mate. So flinging myself to the ropes I bumped and scrapped my way to the top as fast as I was able, landing scratched to pieces upon the plateau. Frantically getting to my feet, my eyes squinted into the distance for any sign of Timmy. With the sun beating down upon my face with unkind distraction, I became increasing disorientated. Yelling into the silent abyss, I called over and over for my faithful friend. Nothing. I was becoming more than a little distressed and could feel the hot tears stinging my scratched up cheeks. Trying to pull myself together, I stood still, intently listening and staring into the void for any sign of life. A tiny sound started to bubble up, like the white noise on your radio or TV. Inching closer to the hum, I lightly stepped across the dusty ground, as if I was trying to avoid waking someone. Inching ever closer, that hum evolved to a terrible din. Everything in me wanted to run the other way, but I wasn’t leaving without Timmy, so I kept going. What appeared to be a small cave loomed at the end of the plateau, and I desperately hoped Timmy would be in there. The noise had become so intolerable, I held my hands firmly over my ears as I continued to press forward. The cave entrance shimmered weirdly around the edges, like a watery reflection of the ocean. Moving ever closer, I spied four brown and white feet, poised in hunter position, statue still and unwavering. “Timmy!” I exclaimed in utter relief. He didn’t flinch, remaining stock still and transfixed. All sense of caution on my part was thrown to the wind, as I moved hurriedly to secure my pup and head for home. My abruptness had a startling impact on the cave, as the thick dark curtain I thought was a hole, started to part and separate at rapid speed. The noise was now apparent, a swarm of dark black flies piled multiple bodies deep, had well and truly noticed my presence. The noise escalated into a high pitched frenzy as they mobilised and headed straight for me. Beyond horrified, I ran into them headlong to grab Timmy who was still refusing to budge. Swooping him into my arms, I inhaled the most noxious of smells I have ever come across, and it was only my fear of the killer flies that stopped me wretching on the spot. Holding him in my arms like some large fat baby, we started full steam back to the edge from whence we came. I could feel the swarm in hot pursuit as we overbalanced and skidded face first into the gnarly ground. The flies pounced on ears and eyes, my hands wildly slapping any part of my flesh they touched. Timmy’s teeth gnashed at the air as he tried to put our assailants down. In all that trauma and scrambling back to the edge, it would have taken something extraordinary for me to stop, but stop I did. From behind me, I heard something. A lowly spoken, hushed but agitated voice, hissed at me. “Go!”
I spun around quickly in response. There was nothing but the plague wall of flies that seemed determined to engulf us. Truly terrified, I grabbed Timmy by his collar and pushed him back down the incline. As my fingertips grabbed the rope, I was abruptly shoved forward, tumbling head over heels into a complete blackout. Many hours later I awoke to the concerned face of the Hanging Rock ranger. Timmy lay with his head across my stomach, as the ranger continued wiping the blood from my forehead. “That’s quite a nasty fall you’ve had there. What were you trying to do? Climb down the Rock face?” As the memory of what happened returned, I rapidly began to explain to him that there was something up there! “Up where?” he quired. “Up there, over the peak where the ground becomes flat,” I replied with some irritation. “It’s a straight drop from there, sweetheart. If you had gone over that, there’d be no coming back.” Flabbergasted, I began to indignantly explain to him he was wrong. “Look, I’ll show you!” But as I began getting to my feet, the ranger firmly grabbed me by the arm. “There will be no more of that today, time to get you home.” Still woozy from the head knock, I was in no position to resist and resigned myself to ‘another time.’
I never did find another time. It’s still something that sits unresolved in the back of my mind. I either fell in the first instance and just dreamed the rest, or that’s some weirdo ranger lurking at Hanging rock 🙂 . I’m not one for the unresolved, and with a few days up my sleeve right now, it might be time to find out. So stay tuned for part two……..and if I miss a blog day, well…… “who ya gunna call?”

Until tomorrow!
Thank you for listening.
Stevie. x