I crept back up the hill, keeping to the shadows, using the standing stones for cover. All I had to do was stop them dancing. Stop the music before midnight struck.


I grabbed the iPod speaker unit, feeling for the off-switch as I ran off with it.

In the silence that followed I heard Kelly shout, “Get him!”

Someone else yelled, “Which way did he go?”

Then the music came on again. I nearly dropped the speaker unit. Of course! Kelly still had the remote.

I switched it off again and heard them shouting.

“Over there!”

“You two, circle round behind him.”

Then the music started again.

I turned the volume down. It took Kelly about ten seconds to work out what I was doing. She turned the sound up to full blast.

On-off-on again.

I kept running, dodging, hiding me.

There were twelve of them and one of

The girls were all around me. And they were closing in.

I’d got no chance, unless – unless I could take out the batteries! Why didn’t I think of that before?

I fumbled for the catch.

The batteries were out and in my hand.

“Gotcha!” said Kelly as she grabbed me.

Figures rose up out of the darkness.

The church clock began to strike.

The girls stood still, like they’d been turned to stone, as the last stroke of midnight died away.

Then someone giggled.

Someone said, “Nothing happened. Did it?”

“I didn’t think it would. Did you?” said another girl.

“Of course not. It was fun though, wasn’t it?” said Kelly.

“I suppose so. I’m cold.”

“Me too. Let’s go home.”

I could hear voices coming out of the darkness, drifting off, down the hill.

Kelly and I were the last to go.

When we got back to Nan’s bungalow, we didn’t climb back in through the window.

We used the kitchen door.

Nan was waiting up.

“I was just waiting to lock up,” she said.

“Night, Nan,” said Kelly.

It was after she’d gone to bed that I noticed the clock.

“Is that the time?” I said to Nan. I checked my watch.

Half past eleven.

“Thanks for reminding me,” said Nan.

She moved the hands of the clock forward an hour so it showed half past twelve.

“British Summer Time,” she said. “It starts tomorrow. Every spring we put the clocks forward an hour. Every autumn we put them back again. Saving daylight, they call it. Silly idea, I call it. How can you save daylight?”

“So it’s not really midnight at all?” I said.

“Not for another twenty minutes,” said Nan.

“What about the church clock?” I said.

“Mr Frost sees to that,” said Nan. “He puts it forward early before he goes to bed.”

I couldn’t sleep. I sat looking out of my window, waiting for midnight.

The stones were still standing there, up on the hill.



I checked my watch. It was almost midnight.

You’re not going to believe this, but I know what I heard.

I heard the sound of a fiddle.

You’ll say I was still hyped up. You’ll say it was a trick of the light.

I know what I saw.

I saw those stones begin to move. Like they were swaying in time to the music, as if they were trying to dance.

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