Imagine Scotland. Hills covered in heather, gorse and bracken are polkadotted with sheep and cattle. Between them nestle fertile valleys. Outside of the bustling cities, people live tranquil lives in the countryside, making their living along the coast and on islands in the sea. The coast is rich with crabs and mussels, the forests team with deer and the fields are full of pheasant. The biggest natural predator is the fox which thrives in city and country alike. The most famous predator is probably the Scottish wildcat, a cute and feisty tabby with impressive hunting skills. Humans rule supreme and they husband a sometimes harsh but always rich environment.

But what if this wasn’t quite true? What is sheep were protection, not just a source of food and clothing? What if the wildcat was more than it seemed?

Emma grew up on Skye but moved to Glasgow when she was a child. She knows how to stay safe on the island: she knows the rules. All islanders do but they keep their business to themselves. People on the mainland don’t know anything of the dangers the islanders deal with. Then Emma’s best friend moves to Skye to paint for six months. How can she keep her safe?

Blank Fiction Magazine‘s first horror edition is out in the next couple of days. I’m delighted that Looming Hills and Radiant Water is one of the four stories in this issue. Blank Fiction Magazine is available from the Apple Newsstand and their own website. It’s only $1 per issue.

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