The two hikers stopped at the edge of the tarn and breathed in deeply. Cherub Corncripple let the scents suffuse her every molecule; wild thyme, heather, the sharply acidic snap of larch and… ‘Can you smell that, Barnacle?’
Her companion frowned. ‘Sort of musty?’
She nodded. ‘Like when you get out the Christmas decorations.’
They both stared around trying to pinpoint the source of the jarring odour. Cherub spotted it. ‘There. What’s that chap doing?’
On the far side of the lake a tall wild haired and bearded man was bent down by the water’s edge. As they peered they realised two things. The first was that he wasn’t very tall; the second was that, spreading out either side of him were several other people who were even shorter.
Barnacle squinted. ‘Are they children?’
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