Read The Tale of Sawney Bean (Complete Novella) Online

Authors: Kevin J. Kennedy

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The Tale of Sawney Bean (Complete Novella)

BOOK: The Tale of Sawney Bean (Complete Novella)
6.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

The Tale of Sawney

A story by

Kevin J. Kennedy


Ebook edition

Copyright 2015 by Kevin
J. Kennedy






I’ve always
loved the legend of Sawney Bean and everything related to it. Jack
Ketchums Offseason is one of my favourite books and the original
Hills Have Eyes was a movie I watched over and over growing up, the
creators of both saying they based their stories on Sawney Bean. My
introduction to horror literature was the late Richard Laymon who
always seemed to have mountain men, cave dwellers or some kind of
mutant people in his books and this just furthered my love of that
type of horror. This is my story about the bean clan and what
happened all those years ago. If you search online for Sawney Bean
you will see that details are sketchy and there is a lot of debate.
I have tried to keep my fictional story within the confines of what
is most commonly thought to be the correct information regarding
the myth/legend. I hope you enjoy.

Chapter 1


When I met
Sarah I was only twelve years old and she was fourteen. I was
playing deep in the woods. We were both pretty startled as it was
rare to see anyone that deep in the woods. There was a moment of
trepidation but I decided to approach her and see what she was
doing. I didn't speak a lot so I didn't have a lot of friends and I
had seen Sarah around and assumed she was in the same boat as me.
As I got closer I could see what she was trying to do was cook a
rat over a tiny fire that she had somehow managed to build. She
would have struggled to heat anything over the tiny fire but what
was more shocking was that she was trying to cook a rat that she
had obviously skinned herself judging by the blood on her


"What are you
doing?" I asked her.


"They don't
feed me." She answered in return.


"Who doesn't
feed you?"


"My aunt and
uncle, they said when I can act like a woman I'll get a woman's

I didn't really
know what she meant. She had always been skinny and frail but I
always just though she was a skinny girl but here she was in the
woods trying to cook a rat, seemingly to eat. 


She nodded for
me to sit next to her. Before sitting I looked around and grabbed
some kindling and twigs and set about getting the fire going a
little better for her. 

"What exactly
do you mean by act like a woman and do you often eat rats?" I asked
her trying not too sound judgemental. 


"I eat what I
can she said." She offered no further comment. 


With the fire
now gong strong the rat started to cook. I have to admit the smell
coming of it was not unpleasant and not having ate myself for a
good few hours my mouth started to water. I didn't really have a
problem with the fact it was rat meat that was causing the smell. I
knew from my grandfather that rats were supposed to be dirty
animals but I didn't quite see why. They seemed no different from
any other animal to me and the meat certainly had a nice aroma to


We sat together
while Sarah slowly turned the rat over the fire on a stick she had
speared through it. She took her time and kept it far enough above
the fire that it wouldn't just cremate the outside of the meat. It
was quiet in the woods and other than a very slight breeze rustling
the tree's there was no other sound. I realised that this was
probably the first time I had sat with someone without feeling


Although Sarah
didn't say much at all she didn't seem uncomfortable at my being
there either. Maybe she was just indifferent to me being there or
maybe she felt comfortable around me too but didn't know why


We sat in
silence for a long time, the smell of the meat making my stomach
growl. Sarah seemed to stare off into space a lot but I didn't
mind. It was just nice to sit with someone without being picked on
for being poor or scrawny. I had always been poor. My dad had
worked in a tavern but as his drinking had gotten worse no one
would hire him as he drank more than he sold and my mum had worked
in a brothel until one customer hadn't had a good time with her and
permanently disfigured her so she could never work again. Both of
my parents had drank more and more as the years went on and now we
barely even acknowledge each other.


Just as I was
daydreaming about my life Sarah stuck the stick with the cooked rat
in my face and nodded to it indicating I should take a bite. I
could smell the cooked meat just under my nostrils and the meaty
aroma smelled amazing. Without a second thought I leaned forward
and sank my teeth in. As I bit down I could feel the moisture in my
mouth. She had cooked it perfectly. This definitely wasn’t Sarah’s
first time cooking meat outdoors and I wondered if her parents had
taught her before they died or if it was self taught from a need
for scavenging. As I chewed on the meat I looked over at Sarah and
I’m sure I seen the slightest flicker of a smile touching the edges
of her mouth. It was only there for a second and so faint I could
have been mistaking but I’d still say now that sharing that first
meal was the moment Sarah new she would be my life partner. I’m not
quite sure I knew at that point but she did. I was just a silly boy
and didn’t have a lot of thoughts about the future other than
getting away from my parents but I think even now Sarah had been
planning what she wanted out of life since her parents had died and
she had been sent to live with her auntie and uncle who owned the
local tavern. She had never liked it there but I wouldn’t find out
much about this until later and even then she didn’t share a lot of
the details.


Now although I
met this skinny girl in the woods eating a rat obviously due to her
lack of feeding at home she still shared it bite for bite with me
until it was done. She may have had a cold exterior but she seemed
to have a warm heart. I felt like I wanted to speak to her more, to
ask her questions and tell her stuff about myself but I just sat
there saying nothing which she seemed happy with. I kept steeling
glances at her and although she was so frail there was intensity
behind her eyes even when her mind seemed to be somewhere else.


Just as I was
trying to look her over without being too obvious she jumped up
from the fallen tree she was leaning against, jumped over it and
started heading back towards the town.


“I have to be
back now,” she said her face expressionless. “I’ll be here
tomorrow” she added disappearing into the trees.

Chapter 2


As I took my
time walking home having no where I really needed to be and knowing
my parents wouldn’t notice if I came home or not I thought about my
meeting with Sarah. She was from memory the first girl I had ever
spoken to. I had had girls call me names before and pick on me but
never actually speak to me in a conversational manner. I suppose
that’s why I don’t say much. Why try and talk to someone who hates
you for no good reason at all.


Sarah was
different from all those girls. She might not have said much to me
but she wasn’t mean and seemed to need a friend as much as I did.
She was probably prettier than any other girls in town too but
because she often looked so worried and stressed all the time
people didn’t pay her the same attention as some of the other


Everyone though
she was weird but I knew there was more too it than that. People
who have an easier route in life often think everything is straight
forward or as it seems on the surface but I knew better.


When I got home
my mum was in the bedroom with one of dads friends. She couldn’t
charge any more but her old trade certainly kept her and my father
in alcohol. I went straight to my room as he mumbled something at
me but it was rare at that point for him to get up from where he
sat. I spent the night thinking about Sarah and caught myself a few
times smiling. I fell asleep thinking about meeting her in the
woods tomorrow and hoping she would show.


The next day I
got up and knew I had a good few hours until it was time to go and
meet Sarah. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself but thought I
would like to do something nice to show her I liked her but had no
idea what I should do. I wandered around town for a while lost for
ideas when I suddenly remembered the caves my grandfather used to
take me too. I had only been there a few times but it was my
favourite place to go. He would always tell me not to tell my
parents he had took me there or they would kill him but it was our
place anyway so I never said a word.


The caves were
secluded and pretty high up but when the high tide came in it
reached the caves and filled the entrance. The caves went up into
the cliff wall so you could just go deeper in but grandfather would
always tell me the importance of never getting stuck there too late
and getting trapped. Not that I was ever allowed to go on my own
but I was older now, my grandfather was dead and my parents didn’t
care what I got up to.


The reason I
was thinking about going to the caves again was there was always
the most amazing shells and rocks washed into the cave opening.
Some of them looked like jewels and I couldn’t think of anywhere I
could get her something so special with no money.


I didn’t have
that long left until I met her and I didn’t want to be late so I
ran all the way from town down passed the harbour and out to the
beach. I made my way along the beach to the part where no one went
as the sand wasn’t as nice and it was covered in seaweed. You had
to climb from here along the rock face of the cliff but it wasn’t
high up. The rocks were just massive and jaggy below you and I’m
sure if you were to fall you’d be seriously injured if not dead.
The foot holds were more than big enough to climb along but it just
wasn’t somewhere people would ever think to go.


My uncle had
been a seaman and had spotted the hole in the cliff wall one day
when returning from sea. He spent a long time trying to find a way
round to the front of the cliff and when he finally found his way
in said that after all those years had never met another person
while there or found any trace of anyone else in his secret


I managed to
get up to the cave easier than I remembered but I was a good bit
bigger than the last time I had been here and I had always been a
good climber. I searched around the cave for a while not going too
far in but knowing the water only brought the debris in so far and
after a bit of searching I came across the smoothest stone you’ve
ever felt. It was like marble and it was bright red. I had never
seen anything like it before. After inspecting it for a while I
slipped it into my pocket and made my way back down to the beach.
It took me about twenty minutes and then I was headed towards the
woods on the other side of town.

Chapter 3


Upon my arrival
at the clearing where we had sat the day before I found it empty.
My heart sank a little as I climbed over the fallen tree into the
clearing but just as the feeling of sadness sank into my chest I
seen her emerge from the trees at the other side. She was again
holding a rat. I wondered how you got so good at catching them but
thought best not to ask. I set about starting us a fire while you
watched me. There was no greeting between us, just a familiarity
that shouldn’t have been there after only having met once.


Just before she
sat I noticed a red stain between her knees on her dress. It was
the same dress she had wore the day before. I again thought it
would be better not to comment but did wonder if our new friendship
would have any chance of growing or surviving if we didn’t speak.
Was it even a friendship?


approached me and sat down opposite me. She quickly skinned the rat
with a little knife she had in her pocket then skewered it on a
stick and took to the process of slowly cooking it over our open
fire. Similar to yesterday she stared into space while slowly
turning the rat to make sure it was evenly cooked. I wanted to ask
her what was on her mind so much but worried that might scare her
off or make her decide never to talk to me again and I didn’t want


Remembering I
had the red stone in my pocket I quickly pulled it out and thrust
my hand toward her.


“Here” I
mumbled not making eye contact with her.


Without saying
a word she reached out her hand and took the stone from me and
inspected it. She turned it over in her fingers and spent quite
some time looking at every inch of it. Like yesterday I could have
sworn that she had the slightest smile at the edges of her mouth
but it was too quick to be sure.

BOOK: The Tale of Sawney Bean (Complete Novella)
6.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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