Sunday, 5 August 2018

'The Birdcage'

Sparks from the Fire is quite the varied collection, ranging from more elusive works to tales that explore very familiar themes.

In 'The Birdcage' Rosalie Parker tells the story of a haunted pub about to be taken over by new owners. The legend of The Birdcage is that French prisoners were kept there during the Napoleonic Wars. However, the ghost said to occasionally disrupt things at the bar is absent at first, leading the incoming proprietors to fake an incident. This produces a genuine poltergeist backlash that causes major problems until they hit upon a means to placate the spook.

This is a nice enough story, but nothing special. As always, when the element of threat is absent - there is no suggestion that the ghost wants to harm people - it is difficult to make the story seem anything but whimsical. It reads like an account of a real haunting, but unfortunately for me such stories are always rather flat and uninteresting. Such is the case here, where there are no compelling characters or events.

Oh well, onward and upward. More from this collection very soon, I hope.

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