TO THE strains of Dire Straits, I am surrounded by battle in its last throes, a sea of mud everywhere. These fields of destruction, baptisms of fire, I’ve witnessed your suffering, every man has to die …
But not just yet. A trapped horseman is pulled from between his fallen mount and the mire. Am I the one being pulled or the one doing the pulling? I can’t tell which of us is which.
I do not know where I am or who I am other than that I am a man. And I know not how I know but the other man is Rab …
* * * * *
BOTH RAB and I fluttered in the same social circle. For me anyway, the sense of having met before was instantaneous.
It was while walking along a busy street only days after our introduction that I was hit with the cinematic picture of horses flopping about in the mud and an intense feeling of loyalty, brother to brother. I had never had a ‘vision’ with audio before.
Somewhere between a week and two weeks later, I meandered through Leith Links, on my way to the house of the mutual friend who had introduced us. Having never taken that particular route before, I scanned the open green and surrounding buildings. As I did so, got a strong impression of mud where there should have been grass.
The answer to my immediate question came quickly and without the asking. It was my friend who told me that here in the middle of the 16th century, the French had occupied Leith, until they were forcibly removed by the English army in 1560. Like most Scots, I had never heard of the Battle of Leith Links, or rather the Siege of Leith.
A short time later, Rab and I found ourselves blethering – as we were prone to do – like there was no tomorrow. Only this time our conversation took a more spooky turn than usual. Ghosts, dreams, you name it. The situation was ripe for bringing my battle vision into the conversation.
Thing is, Rab beat me to it …
“I’ve been having this recurring dream,” he said. “Well, actually, it’s more like a vision coz I only get it when I’m awake during the day.”
I know what he is going to say. Baited breath.
“I’m in a battle and I’m being pulled out from under a horse.”
I felt my face turn to rubber. It must have blanched, for he said “Not you as well.”
Up to that point, I had told no-one.
I choked “Was it a muddy battlefield?”
“Yes,” came the whisper.
Copyright (c) M K MacInnes