The hills have a nasty habit of trying to kill you. If it’s not a broken leg from slipping into a rabbit hole, it’s a broken neck from falling off a cliff.

Of course they don’t mean to do it, they just don’t like stupid people and if there is one thing the hills are full of, it’s stupid people.

The whole thing started about a week ago when the first of them went missing.

It was a lovely day and the hills were quietly slumbering under the gentle rays of the afternoon sun and enjoying the caress of a light breeze which was coming in from the ocean.

It spotted the first one as soon as it came out of the woodland, camera and binoculars hung around his neck, his brow dripping with sweat and his chest heaving as if the climb up from the reservoir was the hardest thing he had ever completed in his life.

“Here we go.” it thought. “This one looks like a right idiot.”

This wasn’t altogether a fair assumption. Robert was in fact incredibly smart but his childhood had been spent in the streets of the city, far from the peaks and valleys which adorned the northern half of the country.

The hill had seen a fair share of people coming up to walk on its’ sides over the years and had learned to recognise the stupid ones over the first timers.

Most people who came to see it understood the risks involved and brought with them plenty of food, water and sensible items like a map and compass. This one however, seemed to have none of these. There wasn’t even a knapsack on his back. Just a camera, binoculars and a face full of sweat.

The sensible people it liked; and they would be rewarded with beautiful views over the valley. It made sure that hawks, eagles and woodland creatures were there to please the eye if you knew where to look and took the time to do so.

Unfortunately,some people were impatient and demanded everything be served up to them on a silver plater.

Of course the hill wasn’t going to do that. It, had better things to do. It watched carefully as Robert made its way along the path towards one of the many crevices which adorned the sides. He clearly hadn’t noticed the speed with which the clouds were closing in. Another half hour and…

The hill inhaled sharply bringing a gust of wind tearing down the valley and knocking Robert off his feet.

“First warning.” it thought.

Robert clambered back to his feet with an angry scowl now adorning his face.

He muttered something incomprehensible as he tried to dust the mud and sheep droppings off his brand new jacket. It didn’t help, instead just smearing across his clothing in dirty brown and grey streaks.

Robert marched on towards the cliff edge where he’d been assured he would find some of this wonderful wildlife he’d been told about, Of course there was none to be seen. They had scattered a long time before, fully aware of his presence. That and the fact there was a fairly large storm brewing.

As he made his way along the edge of the crevice the hill inhaled again. It had had enough of this particular person shouting and ranting about how nature was a complete waste of time and energy, and how it had ruined a perfectly good set of clothes.

The clouds descended rapidly upon it, enshrouding it in a thick fog.

Robert became disoriented with the fog settling around him. Without a map and compass he was already lost and now he couldn’t see how close he had wandered towards the edge of the cliff.

The hill could hear him ranting on to himself about his present misfortune and how the day had been wasted, and how he should never have left the city.

“Enough.” thought the hill to its self, then slowly, and very deliberately, it shrugged.

It could just about hear the scream over the sound of the landslide which carried Robert over the edge, then silence as the fog lifted and the sun went back to caressing the side of the hill in a gentle afternoon glow.

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