"Trudy" from C'rysta Winter

The Setting


Achille Perrot and Inspector Jeff decide to escape the mysticism of the North German Heath in favour of the fabled landscape of Dartmoor, not only for a respite, but also to visit Jeff's aunt Trudy. However, the flight to the British Kingdom leaves much to be desired, due to heavy turbulence.  

When they finally land, it becomes evident that although his aunt had been apprised of their planned visit, they were clearly not expected. The cottage looms dark and uninviting amid the rugged inhospitableness of Dartmoor. Trudy is nowhere to be found. To make matters worse, the emergency key retrieved from its secret hiding place will not turn, despite numerous attempts. This arouses Jeff’s suspicion, since he has used this very key without incident since his youth.  With no mobile phone reception for miles around Perrot and Jeff are condemned to stay the night in Trudy's sheep shed.




As though by chance, they discover a 100-year-old motorcycle in an adjoining building: an Ariel with sidecar. Perrot is delighted. The motorbike has a full tank of gas and raises hopes for a supper and a bed at the “Black Bird” pub in Moretonhillshire. Yet the full tank of gas raises Jeff’s misgivings: the motorcycle belonged to Trudy's husband, Kelton, who was buried in the Moretonhillshire cemetery two years ago. Is he indeed resting there in peace?  

After enjoying a dinner and an invigorating pint of Barista Stout, Perrot opens his suitcase in his bedroom at the "Black Bird". He immediately notices something that he has not put in his luggage. This strange object not only disquietingly befits the name of the pub, but also casts a particularly eerie light on Kelton's death and Trudy's disappearance. However, that is not the worst of it: Achille Perrot and Inspector Jeff are confronted with events the very next day that threaten to blur the line between reality and phantasm.