Wednesday, 7 September 2016

'Who Is This Who Is Coming?'

This previously unpublished work is a tribute to the classic ghost story, and in particular the BBC adaptations of M.R. James tales in the Seventies.

Fern, a lonely America, visits East Anglia to see the locations used in 'A Warning to the Curious' and 'Whistle and I'll Come to You'. But Fern's enjoyment is spoiled by an overbearing Englishman, Mr Ames, who insists on escorting her everywhere. Here is the familiar problem of the fellow enthusiast who is also a crushing bore. Fern does evade Ames' attentions, but another local is not so easily repelled...

This story recalls the traditional ghost story in structure and characterisation - Fern goes to another country to look at locations from TV shows made before she was born (possibly) because she is a misfit. His colleagues don't pay much attention and she feels her only friends are online, a modern twist on the Jamesian idea of the solitary person being more open to strange phenomena. There is ambiguity, yes, but no doubt that horror in some form has claimed Fern in the end. She has drawn it to her because it is the only thing that is real to her.

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