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The Bog Lady

A grey, damp mist hung heavy over the old bog road. The autumnal smell of chimney fires lingered in the air. Despite the miserable weather, the bog workers continued their daily peat harvesting. The bog was vast and few residents lived in it’s vicinity. The few that did had strongly opposed the harvesting works, saying the bog should never be disturbed. Some silly local legend about the bog lady. Typical small-minded rural village stuff. Tom never paid any attention to it. He wasn’t superstitious or a believer in any of that nonsense. He had been working on bogs all his life and nothing untoward had ever occurred. When he started working on this bog nearly a year ago, an elderly gentleman from the local village had protested outside the workers entrance gate with a placard;

‘The Bog Lady must not be disturbed. Death to all who venture her way '

Not one of the workers took any notice of him or his crazy proclamations.

‘She’ll take each of you to her grave, beware the wrath of the Bog Lady '

After a week or so, he gave up his one man demonstration, realising that no one paid him any heed.

On this late October day, Tom was working in the depths of the bog. The workers usually worked in pairs, but his buddy Jim had called in sick. As the day was drawing to a close, Tom began his walk back to the workman’s hut. As he trudged through the peat, he stumbled on something and fell to his knees. He landed on a bone, human by the look of it. At first he was fascinated. Bog bodies had been discovered in many places throughout the country. This could be one of them. He could become famous. He began digging to see if any other remains lay nearby. As he dug, he noticed the air appear to get colder. The mist which had somewhat cleared during the day suddenly engulfed him.

A voice whispered, ‘I knew I’d get one of you.’ Tom jumped up in fright. Appearing in front of him was a deathly white, haggard old woman. Dressed in rags and skeletally thin, she reached out to Tom.

‘When you disturb the grave of the Bog Lady, you pay,' she shrieked.

Tom was reported missing by his wife the following day. He never signed out of work the day before and no one had set eyes on him since. He seemed to have vanished without a trace.

The work on the bog wound down over the next few years, eventually ceasing altogether after another worker also mysteriously vanished. Strangely, he had been working alone in the same part of the bog Tom had. The last words a co-worker far in the distance heard him yell were ‘I think I’ve found a bone.’

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