A Ghost Story. The Vicarage

The Vicarage

Part One

victorian-vicarage‘Will you at least have a look? It might be interesting and you did say you need ideas for the new book.’ Maggie tipped her head to one side and gave me her best smile. ‘This is really freaking her out.’

I grimaced. ‘I don’t know, Maggie, ghosts aren’t my thing. Isn’t there a paranormal society in the area? She could ask them. Maybe the church could help… anyway, I write about Zombies, not spooks.’

Maggie picked up her steaming coffee mug, wrapped both hands around it and took a sip. ‘It’s high time you took a break from bloody Zombies, Sam, they’re boring, and here you have absolutely everything you need for a story under one roof. Creaking floorboards, drawers opening on their own, lights dimming and flaring, voices in the attic, you have to admit, it’s intriguing.’

‘I like Zombies and so do my readers. You may find them boring but they pay my rent.’ I looked around my cramped, one bedroomed flat. ‘Dead Dawn gives me all this.’

If Maggie was impressed she didn’t show it. ‘Doesn’t it pique your interest, even slightly? I thought you writers were open to all sorts of influences. She’s not asking you to perform an exorcism, Sam, she just wants someone with an open mind to talk to. Anyway, she won’t go to the church, you know what she’s like with any form of religion. She crosses the road if she spots a nun on the pavement.’

I nodded. ‘I know, that’s why I could never understand why she bought an old vicarage.’

‘She didn’t buy it. The house belonged to her grandmother, she left it to her in her will.’

I thought about it for all of three seconds. ‘I don’t have time, Maggie, I have a deadline on a short story for Gothic Tales magazine and I haven’t written a word yet.’

‘Don’t they publish ghost stories too?’ Maggie wasn’t going to give up easily.

I nodded slowly. ‘They do, yes, but I don’t write them; I have my own audience.’

‘Oh, come on, Sam, it could be fun.’ Maggie bit her bottom lip and leaned forward. ‘You’re not scared, are you?’

I snorted. ‘Maggie, I make my living out of blood and gore, remember? I’m not scared, I just think there’s about as much chance of finding a brain-munching Zombie hiding in her attic as a ghost.’

Maggie sipped more coffee. ‘Just talk to her, Sam. Please. She’s my best friend, she just wants some reassurance. I can’t help, you know me, I totally believe in that stuff and she needs an alternative viewpoint. Look, I’m going to see her on Saturday, why don’t you come with me?’

I scratched the three-day stubble on my cheek and reached for my own drink. ‘Saturday?’ Sorry, I’m going to the match. We’re playing City, it’s the biggest game of the season.’

‘Then come after the bloody game. I’ll meet you in the Red Lion, she only lives around the corner.’

‘Oh, I don’t know, Mags, I…’

‘We can go back to mine after.’ Maggie tipped her head again and winked.

I groaned and rolled my eyes heavenward. She had me, and she knew it.

 

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