The Terrible Secret of Skara Brae's Hams!

It was a day like any other as I sat before the bar of the Shattered Skull. There I was, dressed to the hilt in my stunning purple cloak and resplendent boots. As I’d passed through on my way to the tavern I’d felt the eyes of every female in Skara watching (though whether out of revulsion and horror or actual romantic interest was another matter entirely). Ordering a couple of tasty hams and a pint of ale from the barkeep, I sat down, ready for my repast. However, just as I was about to bite into the succulent pig portions, a mysterious voice spoke.

“I’d be careful with those hams friend if I were you.”

“And why, pray tell, would that be?” I asked, turning in my seat to view the stranger. It was with some surprise I realised that this was Mercutio! Yet he was much changed since I had last seen him, many summers ago. Where once he had been fair, happy and bright, there stood before me a scarred, gaunt and haunted visage wielding a large and deadly looking axe. He spoke once more, saying:

“Not all in Skara is as it seems. And that ham is not what you think. In fact it’s not even ham”
“Not ham!?!?!?” I exclaimed. “Next you’ll be telling me that Korvin’s Fried Chicken establishment sells battered pieces of rabbit!” I snorted at the ludicrousness of it all, and turned back to my meal.
“Please GUMbus. I knew you well once, and we were close. We both have changed, but the secret I now carry haunts me still. I must confide in someone, or else I will die from the shame of it all.”

I looked at Mercutio long and hard then, before saying I would listen. For such strong words surely contained at least a grain of truth… This, my friends, is how I discovered the terrible secret this town holds. A secret so horrible I often wake cold and clammy, an unearthly chill settled in my spine and my teeth chattering (although, now I think of it that usually goes away after I get out another blanket and stoke the fire). This then, is THE TERRIBLE SECRET OF SKARA BRAE’S HAM!

After my initial conversation with Mercutio, I was told that Jovin had scheduled a meeting with him deep in the wilds of Britannia in a very short time. If I were to discover the truth, I should be watching. Quick thinking was required, because although Mercutio had produced a recall rune to the spot, I needed some way of listening in without Jovin realising. Inspiration broke. I quickly dyed my clothes a fashionable poo brown, then hurried to my bank box to withdraw a deer mask. Thus disguised, I used my taming skills to attract a small herd of deer to me, then waited in place before the meeting. What I saw confirmed my worst fears…

The meeting over, Mercutio rounded up various stray animals as Jovin had requested, taking them to Alison, the butcher of Skara Brae. On threat of violence, he was able to persuade her to prepare the animals, carving the resulting meet in the likeness of the hams we Skara Braens have come to depend on. But one step remained…

Jovin had proven beyond doubt that the ham of Skara Brae was no longer that of a pig. His evil plan to butcher animals in the likeness of ham and flavour the resulting product sickened me. My rage nearly caused me to attack him, and give myself away. Yet worse still was the mysterious comment he made to himself as he prepared to return the ham to the butcher.

“Soon those fools of Skara will know my true wrath. They think it’s just the ham but no, oh no, it doesn’t stop there. Next there will be meat pies without meat. And hot dogs with no dog in them! BWAHAHAHAHAHA”

And with that, he vanished, leaving me with a feeling of dread which settled like a stone in my stomach. Never would I forget this day. Then and there I vowed that it would be a long time coming before I purchased another meat product within Skara Brae again.