One summer evening, Marky, Scotty and I pitched a tent in Scotty’s back garden. He lived in Wolverstone Village. We crawled into our sleeping bags and waited for nightfall. As the sky darkened, we kitted up and slipped into the inky night. We melted through the shadows beside his house and listened. The amber glow of the street lamp to the front cast long shadows on the pavement. The air had chilled. No sign of anyone. We moved under the windows of his neighbour’s house and into the nearby lane. The full moon was good for when we reached the safety of the fields, but it left us exposed for about the next two hundred metres. Pavement bordered a wall to the right, backing onto houses. This provided cover from the darkened windows, but would leave us wide open if a car approached. To the left was a ditch, then a barbed wire fence surrounding a field containing two massive horses. We crept through the ditch as a compromise. Although overlooked by windows, we could keep to the shadows.
Scotty went first, then Marky and I followed close behind. With less than a hundred metres to go, we heard a car accelerating from behind. Instantly, we crouched low into the ditch and lay still, heads down. The car sped past only half a metre away, the glare of its headlamps shining streaks of white light over us. With eyes diverted, I kept my night vision intact. After the car was out of sight and a quick thumbs up, we pushed on. My knees and elbows were uncomfortably wet from the ditch water as we took cover by the hedge at the end of the lane and contemplated the dual carriageway ahead. It was after midnight and traffic was light. After a few minutes, there was a gap between cars sufficient enough to race over the road, drop down the incline, traverse the barbed wire fence and into the fields beyond. Twenty-five metres in and we disappeared into the night. It was now safe to talk without attracting attention.
We moved along the edge of fields with the moon providing enough light to keep a decent pace. Trees bordering the hedgerows stood tall, silhouetted against the blue-black sky. The sound of traffic was lost in the fields behind and a light wind rustled the crops. An occasional owl hooted in the distance.