Document 538

Craiters: 14 - E Black Things

Author(s): Alexander Fenton

Copyright holder(s): Alexander Fenton


Ere wisna a lot till't at e start. I'd be sittin in e airmcheer readin a byeuk - I ay hid a twa-three gaan at e same time, at wye it wis mair lichtsome an ye niver scunnert - wi e standert lamp aside's tae brichten e print, an maybe e telly on tee. Weel, ye couldna be keepin yer e'en on e lines aa e time, an noo an aan ye cd tak a teet at e soap ir fitiver wis bein watcht. E cheenges o focus jist restit yer een a bittie.

Aboot a ear seen, I wis readin awa, near e fit o a page, fin I jist noticet aa ye wid ken o a meevement doon aboot e front leg o e cheer ower aside e byeuk-case I'd gotten fae ma best man as a weddin present. Noticet maybe wisna e richt wird, though. It wis mair jist like lettin's ken it wis ere. I lookit ful roon - ere wis naething. Jist e reed an fite strips o e side o e cheer, e broon cuppie anaith ilky castor, an e marlet kinna grey o e fittit carpet. Bit I hid seen't. Black, nae sharp edge till't, nae richt roon edder. I jist pit awa e thocht o't, an back tae ma byeuk.

A filie aifter, I minet on es, an it garrt me think o a spider I'd eence seen takkin ower e fleer. It wid a come fae e fireplace. Ere wis an electric heater in front o e aal grate, e fire wisna closed up, ye cd a easy used it. I did, files, fin I wis ma leen in e hoose on a caal winter's day. Bit es time e grate wis teem, haad awa fae e broken fire-bricks an a fyow orrals o coal. Eence fin I lookit in ahin e heater, I saa fit a fine congregation o grey moose wobs ere wis, some o em in swirlies e size o a bairn's niv, wi een ir twa dark kinna holies faar e lairds an maisters o es spidery universe geed oot an in. It wis some size o a beast. I min I stalkit it tae see't nearer han, an I corralled it in front o een o e music centre loodspikkers. Ere wis a black fower-sidit screen ower e tap tae keep e styoo oot, an fin e spinner wis backit up tee till't ye cd harly see't. I nippit a big spunk box oot o e draaer o ma desk faar I keepit it, half opent it, an snappit it shut ower e beastie, afore shakkin't oot at e back door. Wid ye credit it, it wis back e neesht nicht, it ir een o its freens, bit es time it geed ower e fleer like a drap o ile doon e side o a bottle, an clean oot o sicht. At wis e hinmist sicht I got o es big spiders, bit I ay min on em an e wye ey wheekit ower e fleer, a kinna black shadda at ye wisna sure wis ere. At wis fit minet's on es idder things.

Ahin at, I'd spy es black things noo an aan, nae ay jist in e same shape, though. E last I min on't, it wis like an ink blot, wi a curn spatteries aa roon't, an afore I cd turn ma heid, it zippit aff - comin my wye - an in e space o a fit it thinnet doon till a needle pint an fin I got ma een roon, jist naething ere. I teetit at e carpet for a filie, I wis sure e thing wis ere, bit naa.

Es wis jist last nicht. It begins tae badder ye some fin ye start seein fit's nae ere. I wis at sure o't I couldna think it mith a been inside ma ain heid. An it wisna jist in e hoose I wis noticin't. I ay tak a taik up e hill on a Sunday mornin, up e steps abeen e pond an roon e trackie atween fun busses an ower till e Hermitage, throwe e wid an doon till e burn, syne roon be e golf coorse an back. It taks fully mair'n an oor. Bit in braid dayIicht, jist faar a knablach o slaty steen hid nae lang faan aff a face o rock, begod there wis e black thing again.

A buddy disna like fit ey dinna unnerstan. It wis a saft kinna black, it made ye think it wid be warm if ye could a toucht it. I wis niver feert in e dark. It wis ay a freen tae me, an eence ye're eest till't its winnerfae fit ye see. Fin I geed till e fairm, aifter a spell in e toon, e first thing I eest tae dee wis tae gang oot in e dark, an e darker it wis, e better I likit it. Ye felt kinna free, e same's aa e things ye hiv tae dee ilky day, an e fowk ye hiv tae spik till, wis hyne awa an ye hid nae bouns. It garrt ye rin doon e road, jist e pleesher o't, maybe aa e wye till e quarry, afore comin back again an maybe nae bein aa that willin tae ging back inside.

Ere's anidder thing aboot black blackness. As a loon, likely at e skweel though I widna richt say't noo, I'd a dream at cam back ivry sae aften, aafa clear yet in ma heid sae it man a heen a richt strong effeck at e time. Ere wisna a lot till't. It wis jist at I’d be watchin masel faain, furlin ower an ower bit aafa canny, doon e pick-black face o a cliff at niver cam till an eyn. Ye cd see yersel, ye cd see e cliff wi e queer lirks an ledges, aa black black black e same's es black things at's been badderin's es ear past ir mair. I've nae idea fit Freud ir Jung wid mak o't. Ye cd think I wis minin on bein born bit if I wis, I surely niver won oot, for I niver got till e fit. I'll niver ken. Bit I doot at's naething tae dee wi e black things I'm seein noo. Ey've gien's a time for e Ee Clinic e morn.

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Craiters: 14 - E Black Things. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 22 April 2024, from

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 538

Craiters: 14 - E Black Things


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Informed lay people
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 1994
Word count 1111

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Tuckwell Press
Publication year 1995
Place of publication East Linton
ISBN/ISSN 1898410739
Edition First
Part of larger text
Contained in Craiters. Or Twenty Buchan Tales

Text setting

Other Putting the dialect on record, Aberdeenshire

Text type

Prose: fiction
Prose: nonfiction
Short story


Author details

Author id 27
Forenames Alexander
Surname Fenton
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1920
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Academic/Writer/Editor
Place of birth Shotts
Region of birth Lanark
Birthplace CSD dialect area Lnk
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Edinburgh
Region of residence Edinburgh
Residence CSD dialect area Edb
Father's occupation Shoemaker
Father's place of birth Aberdeen
Father's region of birth Aberdeen
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife\Crofter
Mother's place of birth Keith
Mother's region of birth Banff
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Bnf
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes At home and wherever possible