From the Personal Journal of Alistair Douglas
It's been some time since I last visited the subject of The Wandering Mountain. Not that this is entry is about the mountain itself per se. No, today I thought I might jot down some notes about another curious landmark, one inexorably linked to the aforementioned landmass, if indeed that's what it is. Having lived in the town of Lupine Bay for nigh on twenty years now, I am still unable to ascertain the true nature of that mountain. But I digress. Today I write of Caution Strid. A curious moniker for a curious waterway. Whence does this river flow? Why from the Wandering Mountain of course, where else. How does a river flow from a source that is known to pick up its base and shuffle about? That is a very good question indeed. The locals know little about the true nature of this river. And I say that not as a disparagment, for I am equally in the dark. No, if anything the humans here display a remarkable wherewithal in their unusual respect for the killing power of water deep. Although they may deny the very existence of magic, that glorious succor to all life on Midgard, they cannot deny their primal blood. The blood knows the truth. Decades ago, in that time where rivers still offered mass appeal to the youth, before the days of electronic screens, Lupine Bay's river remained curiously empty. Even in the dead of summer, under an oppressive blanket of humidity and sweat, the river remained empty. The town knew their history, and the history eddying through those placid ripples is full of screams and death. You see, Caution Strid has a fascinating structure, one not seen often, which is directly responsible for its tragic history as well as its unusual name. At the delta it's much wider, still not an overly ambitious river, but a solid seven to ten metres across at the very minimum. However, further up, burrowed in the welcoming shade of the pine forest, the strid is much narrower. So narrow in fact, that all might step over it with ease. But if you think the width of the channel indicates a certain shallowness, you would be sorely mistaken. For the strid has played a pretty trick on you, a classic deception. It has gone and stood itself on the side. That same seven to ten metres still exist, but in this narrowing of the breadth, the strid does naught but delve deeper and deeper still. Surging down from the rocks that should not be, in the mountain that doesn't belong, the water cuts its way through a natural ravine, constantly expanding and breaking new ground in those flooded caverns beneath its surface. It is these same caverns which are suspected to have claimed so many lives in Lupine Bay's tragic past. There's no way to be sure - the caverns are a death trap, inaccesible by any air breathing creature. If ever bodies were to make their way all the way down the strid, they would be unceremoniously dumped at sea. There will never be closure for the families of the missing. But what is known? There were a significant number of unexplained disappearances, dating back as far as the town library has saved their newspapers - the 1920's. And what did those disappearances have in common? All the vanished had been seen around the strid on a regular basis, attendees of school picnics and etcetera. Aside from that? No leads.
\ ˈstrid \
Definition of strid
: a narrow ravine : GORGE
The Force of Prayerby William Wordsworth
The pair have reached that fearful chasm,
How tempting to bestride!
For lordly Wharf is there pent in
With rocks on either side.
The striding-place is called the Strid,
A name which it took of yore:
A thousand years hath it borne that name,
And shall a thousand more.
Hey, if the warning signs actually worked...
Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Why would anyone disobey posted signage?!
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
Reminds me of a real life place I read about once - absolutely terrifying. I really enjoyed the style of the article being a journal entry.
Most likely the Bolton Strid, which was the inspiration for this one! https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/bolton-strid And thank you! I love writing mini info dumps in the style of journal entries, so there will absolutely be more coming.