Saturday, 28 April 2018

'A Fold in the Curtain'

The next story in Kate Haynes' collection Waiting in the Shadows is a previously unpublished ghost story. It's pretty good, again drawing upon the great tradition of the genre. Morgan is a student who is somewhat miffed to find that, instead of spending Christmas with his parents, he must go and look after his grumpy grandfather.

Things take a spooky turn when a mysterious, beautiful woman appears outside the old man's house and leaves a rose on the windowsill. It then emerges that granddad will not spend Christmas at home, but always books into a hotel. A backstory describes how, when young, the old scrote rejected the love of a passionate woman in favour of a 'safe' marriage. Morgan, alone in the house, finds himself re-enacting his grandfather's last encounter with the Spanish beauty.

The story's title comes from pareidoila, the tendency to see faces in random patterns. It recalls Catherine Wells' story 'The Ghost', albeit with a very different tone and outcome. Poor Morgan is the fall guy for the sins of an earlier generation in the finale, as more than one ghost appears.

More from this running review very soon!

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