“Lady,” it said, stepping out from the dark and blocking my progress. But it turned out to be a he, huge at six seven, but there the similarity with a human male ended. A corpse candle up to no good fizzed past his face and circled him as though for my benefit. His skin was a rich moss green and two sharp, jutting horns rose from either side of his head, their base lost in the thick tangled matt of dark hair which hung down to his chest. Long legs covered in shaggy hair ended in hooves, but for all that the face was human, finely boned even, with a full red mouth that looked faintly obscene especially when it smiled as it was doing now. The chest and arms were recognisably human too: muscled and curiously hairless as though to suggest vulnerability when I knew there was none worth the name.
A ripe, animal stench reached my nostrils and I fought not to gag. He smiled wider at that, showing wickedly sharp incisors that could crack an elephant’s thigh bone all so he could suck the marrow.
More corpse candles appeared circling us in a bobbing, weaving ring of purple light and I could believe the old stories where they led unwary travellers to their death. Their beauty made the thing in front of me all the more perverse and the fear crackled along the length of my spine, forcing the hairs on the back of my neck to attention.
“How do you like your final resting place,” he said indicating Arthur Seat and Holyrood Park with a sweep of his arm.
And then he lunged.