Last week the Captain discovered the identity of the black shadow…
The site chosen for Saint Trinian’s Church was halfway between Peel and Douglas, in the rift that cut the island in two. The building rapidly rose on a grassy plain, beneath the shadow of dark Greeba Mountain.
One fine summer’s day the captain went to inspect the work. He found the men swarming over the squat grey shell, heaving beams into place and creating the roof skeleton.
A figure strolled up beside him, “Good morning, Captain.”
“Good morning, Tim,” the Captain returned the greeting of his friend, the Peel tailor. “What brings you out here?”
“Just wanted to see how things were going,” Tim replied. “It will be a fine church. A great credit to you, Captain.”
“Thank you, thank you,” the Captain nodded. “And how are you keeping?”
“Never better,” Tim grinned. “Did you hear about what happened last night? A few of us bet poor Tom Faggan that he could leap the gate into Farmer Kelly’s field.”
The Captain’s face began to crease into a smile, “And did he do it?”
“Got stuck halfway over!” Tim guffawed. “It was excellent!”
The two men walked each other home, trading jokes all the way.
A few weeks later, the roof was on, the bells were hung, and the whole church was fitted out with tapestried kneelers and scented candles, ready for church on Sunday. The Captain went to bed happy, knowing his vow was finally fulfilled.
In the middle of the night he woke. Rain hammered on the roof and wind screamed round the stone cottage. Odd. Yesterday has been bright, the sun shining down from a jewel-like sky. He pulled the pillow over his head and tried to go back to sleep.
Finally the wind died down and the Captain dropped into an uneasy doze. At first light he awakened. The sun just peeped from the horizon, into another glorious day.
The Captain dressed hurriedly, eager to get to church to welcome everyone to the building he had sponsored. As he rounded the last bend of the road, shiny boots squeaking with every step, a disastrous sight met his eyes. There lay the church, stained-glass windows shining, bell still hanging in the tower, but the roof was gone.