But those billowy clouds racing in from the North Sea and blanketing the Moray Firth with polka-dot shadows are shape-shifters, a Time Portal through whichall of history seems to unfold to you like in that classic Star Trek episode where Kirk goes back through to the 1930s and falls in love with pacifist Edith Keeler. And as the sunset bends the light across the dunes, the clouds gather and darken into scenes of violence painted in the sky, thousands of years of slaughter and torture and rape, giant human teeth opening and gnawing on human flesh. Now the Guardian of Forever replays for you the scene where your mother muffles your screams against her breast as she tightens the rags around what's left of your hands. You have never watched yourself at this great a distance yet with this much intensity. Headlocked sideways by your mother's surprisingly strong arms, the little boy — you, a morphing puff of cloud in the Scottish sky — can see, floating in a river of your own blood on the floor, the tiny dark blue exploded flecks from the label of the booby-trapped can of Spam.