Halfway up the hill to Middleton, near to where I had once disposed of a rotten fox skull, I beheld a stationary Fiat Panda with its hazard lights on. Steam billowed from beneath the bonnet and from the partially unwound windows.
Surrounding the vehicle were half a dozen bickering geese, pecking and leaping at each other in a fury of feathers. The steam, the savage honking, the smell of wild garlic perfuming the air; I was overwhelmed by the sensory onslaught.
As I drew nearer I saw a figure sat in the driver’s seat; it was motionless, though it’s dark skin was throbbing. Squinting hard I perceived that the entire surface of the body was covered with living black slugs. The figure was beeping the horn mechanically, the lapse lengthening between each blast.
Suddenly springing to life I shooed away the geese and opened the car door. With great handfuls of slime I tore the slugs from the face. The revealed features were black and crumbling. The mouldering teeth of the maw parted and exhaled a jet of steam. With fingers scalded I staggered back. The figure rose from its seat, withdrawing from its pocket a makeshift steam gun; the nozzle spluttering and hissing.
As I sprawled amongst the geese the slugs dripped from the looming form and began to sizzle on the ground. It stepped towards me with an eruption of steam.