The Bird Keeper


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Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 7:39 PM  Comments (1)  
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They Said There Would Be Cake

This was my submission to the SFX 2009 Pulp Idol short story competition. The story was short listed but didn’t win anything. I’m still quite pleased with this although it does suffer from the same problem I always encounter with short story competitions – the word limit. Even though it’s a very short piece it does suffer from the 1000 odd words I had to hack out of it to be under limit. At some point I hope to revisit Patrick and his little agency, see what types of ghosts he might encounter.

They Said There Would Be Cake

The house at the end of Wickham Drive was set back slightly from the rest, almost as if the others had drawn themselves away to a respectful distance. It clearly hadn’t been lived in for years, windows thick with grime, weeds swallowing the rusting fence. Patrick pushed his way round to the back door, intending to force it open but found it already hanging ajar. At this point, many people would have turned back but Patrick was here because he had a job to do – Patrick was here because he was a Ghost Detective.

“Cake? What’s so important about cake? And who’s they?”

For clarification, a Ghost Detective is neither a detective who is deceased nor a person that detects ghosts (although that is involved to a degree). A Ghost Detective is an investigator who works, exclusively, for the spirits of the dead whose souls, for some reason, are unable to move on. They would come to Patrick (well leave a note on his office desk during the night) and he would figure out what needed to be put right and fix it for them. A bit like assisted self-exorcism. Soon after a case was closed, it was usual for some sort of payment to appear on Patrick’s desk, cash or old jewellery mostly although value and form varied greatly. It was a lonely line of work but Patrick enjoyed doing it.

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Published in: on April 4, 2010 at 1:12 PM  Leave a Comment  
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