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Many years ago something happened in the village. Exactly what it was, no one has yet discovered. If ever the village elders are asked about it, their faces drop and a strange mist comes over their eyes.
It’s said that several of them talk in their sleep. Whispering at first, then calling out louder and louder, eyes wide open staring at .. nothing. ‘Listen, listen to me, listen’. Their voices strange and unrecognisable. ‘Listen to me, listen, listen, LISTEN’It is told that long ago a strange man spent his days and nights wandering the streets and alleyways of the village. A bent and wizened old man, shuffling along, his clothes torn and dirty. He would sidle up to folk and say ‘listen to me, Iisten to me’ but no one listened.
Some say that entire families disappeared one night. Others that a deadly ailment swept through the village killing men women and children. But this is all hear-say, for the only people who really know what happened seem unable to let the words pass their lips.
The church stands unused. Its interior ravaged by fire generations ago. Its doors and windows are boarded up. Children are told to keep well away from the graveyard. They are told that the spirit of the strange old man drifts between the headstones. Sometimes the wind whistles through the churchyard when all around is still. Many claim to hear the wind hiss ‘listen, listen’.
What was it he wanted to tell them? It was important but nobody listened. I don’t suppose the truth of what occurred will ever be known. Except to those who were there. Those who will carry their secret to the grave.