Gran believes in the supernatural
|'When winter comes and lays a blanket of snow over the secret Fenlands, then it is time to light the fires and draw close to the flames. Outside, wind whistles through the sedge and stirs black waters. Needles of ice grow from the windowsill, and ice forests spread across the panes. Listen to the crackle of the logs and see the glowing cities in the embers.'
'You're not telling ghost stories again, Gran, are you?' Frankie dropped a plate of crumpets beside the fire and speared one on each of the three roasting forks. 'Don't hold them in the flames,' she chided young Alyx, 'you want to brown them, not cinderise them.' The rich smell of hot crumpets competed with woodsmoke.
'Where's the butter?' Gran asked, peering over her half moon glasses. 'I do like me bit of butter on me crumpets.'
'More like a bit of crumpet with your butter.' Daffie might be a modern teenager but toasting crumpets always beat Tik Tok. She pulled her one off the toasting fork, turned it over to crisp up the holey side. 'Where's dad?' Had she only just noticed that he had gone out?
'Down on the water, checking the traps.' Frankie rescued Alyx's dark brown crumpet and plopped a rectangle of butter on it. She ignored Daffie's groan. There were bound to be some in the traps tonight. Then her distain would change.
The front door rattled open and dad came in on a blast of icy air. He had a belt slung across his torso like a bandalaro and from it dangled four jam jars.
'I got some!' His grin was full of joy. He held up the traps and flicked off the lights. In each jar, flickering ethereal blue, was a solitary will-o-the-wisp.