‘Don’t let the cold air in Jack.’
‘Sorry, did I wake you?’
‘No, the three alarms woke me.’
‘I didn’t want to be late picking up the other three. I’ll creep out now and let you get back to sleep.’
‘Fat chance of that with you clumping around, anyway you know I’ll be worried till I hear you’ve arrived safely.’
‘No need to worry if you don’t hear, not likely to get reception up there.’
Jo yawned. ‘Is it foggy out there like the weatherman said?’
‘Yup can’t see a thing.’
‘Do be careful out on those winding lanes, thank goodness Phil’s not driving… have you got everything, flask, long johns on, all your gear?’
‘Yes… yes, look I’ve got to go, I want to be right clear of the city before the rush hour.’
Phil was waiting by his garden gate for Jack.
‘Hope this fog lifts or we’ll never see it. Did you remember to fill up the petrol this time?’
‘Yeah, ready to go, hope the other two set their alarms.’
‘You are now entering the Red Rose County… at last’ said Phil.
‘Still a way to go yet, keep an eye out for the road signs, I don’t want to miss that turning this time.’
‘Sun’s up and I think that mist is clearing.’
Jack felt a thrill as the road climbed and the number of sheep multiplied. Once they were in the car park he jumped out and took in the cold damp air of the moors. After a quick sup from their flasks they started getting the camera gear out; it was time to split up. The four men had planned their positions several days ago, every vantage point had to be covered. Later there would be time to warm up at the inn, get a hot lunch, a few beers and most importantly have a debriefing. Jack strode away from the gritted car park and on to the spongy moor. The sheep took no notice of him, they were used to walkers and sightseers. After ten minutes he was happy with his spot and checked his watch, half an hour to go. He took out a sandwich and the flask and sat on a hillock taking in the silence; nothing but the occasional bleating of a sheep. He had a good team, but he needed to be alone for this part. It was quite a miracle when the sun came out, it didn’t happen often up here. Though the warmth and light was welcome, low in the sky, the sun could cause problems for his shots.
It was the same as before, he merely sensed it at first. Still out of sight when he heard it, like a heartbeat, like the blood pulsing in your ears at night. When he was a child he thought it was a train in his head.
Then he saw the white plumes of smoke, switched on the video camera and started clicking away with the camera, following the graceful curve of the rail. The sky was clear as the train crossed the viaduct, he was going to get his best shots ever.
All too soon it was out of sight, Phil would be getting a perfect view from Ribblehead Station platform. The sheep carried on grazing, oblivious to the marvels of Victorian engineering.
Read more flash fiction and longer stories in Someone Somewhere.