The police officer and the council official looked at each other. This wasn’t going according to plan and they sensed that it wasn’t going to get better any time soon.
“Listen,” the council official said, “we’ve got an eviction notice signed by the magistrate. This is an illegal obstruction and I’m ordering you to move, or I will ask the officer here to move you forcibly.”
The old man raised an eyebrow, amused at something beyond the narrow comprehension of the council official.
“Forcibly?” he said. “Now what does that mean?”
The police officer supplied the definition. “It means that if you don’t hoppit, quick-sharp, I’m going to haul you into the cells.”
Not wanting the situation to escalate any further – there were several members of the press lurking around – the council official said, in his most reasonable tone of voice: “Look, you’ve made your point. We know how you feel about the site, but this has gone on long enough. The judge signed the order. You have to move. We don’t want a scene.”
“Oh, we wouldn’t want a ssscene,” the old man hissed. “Of course not. Anything can happen in this land, so long as nobody creates a scene!” His arm pointed to the triptychs, his robe flapping in the breeze. “This monument has stood here for thousands of years longer than you, me or your silly council. No-one has the right to deny access to the spiritual power of these stones. I have been appointed by the Council of British Druids to protect this sacred site and protect it I shall.”
“All right, I think we’ve heard enough,” the council official said and gave the nod to the police officer.
The police officer stepped forward. He had served in the Wiltshire constabulary for more than fifteen years and nothing gave him greater pleasure that roughing up the weirdos that congregated around these bloody stones. He figured that this would win him a promotion and while he was keen to impress his superiors, the old man in front of him had closed his eyes and was muttering something weird.
“Daminus, Ramilan, Sorinum, Lankin-Lan…”
The police officer looked at the council official, who just shrugged his shoulders.
“Saminor, Ashlkilar, Poorus, Charnog…”
“Right, me old china,” the police officer said, making a move towards the mad old druid. Before he could lay a hand on him, however, he stopped. The policeman could feel a strange tension in his back, as if his spine was compressing due to some huge invisible weight. With a mounting sense of horror, the police officer realised that the ground appeared to be rising up to meet him, and this mounting horror turned to blind panic when it became clear that the ground wasn’t moving, but he was shrinking. He tried to cry out in pain – the invisible pressure from above was agonising – but all that emerged was a strangled gargle.
“Good god!” the council official exclaimed, watching the policeman curdle downwards from a 6 footman, to a midget, to a lumpen mass of flesh and bones that stood no more than four inches off the ground. The council official tried to turn and flee, but found himself rooted to the spot. He could feel the bones in his legs splinter and shatter as his body forced its way into the ground. He looked to the press corps, standing only twenty feet away from him, but it was as if they didn’t see him. In fact, it looked like they were packing up and going home, somehow having been convinced that there was no story here. The council official, still holding his clipboard, looked up at the now-looming figure of the druid. In less than a minute, the council official’s entire body occupied a space no bigger than a large Dundee cake.
“Karka-dun, Salararder, Civimus, Tauton Rundar.” The druid opened his eyes and finished his incantation with one final word.