No I haven’t forgotten about this, it’s just been a busy few weeks… Not only have I been working on these but possible submissions to two other places as well, neither of which have panned out. Still, I suppose the good thing about these pieces is that if anyone ever asks me where I get my ideas from, I can just say “you haven’t read my blog, then?”
This is one of those grew as I wrote it. It wasn’t a particularly clever idea, and probably a bit obvious, but it was loosely based on a news item I read years ago of a farmer going into a bank to do some processing and being refused by a teller to cash a cheque on the grounds that he didn’t look like he’d have enough money in his account. Actually, he had over a million in there, and he closed the account immediately – despite the manager’s grovelling offer to fire the teller on the spot. I just retold it a little differently.
Both stories have in common that I discussed them with my other half on dog walks. This one came to me as we were rounding the corner by the bank. I wanted to do something with the idea that buildings that are normally full of life can become dark and scary when the lights are off. And the idea of having a malevolent ghost involved was too delicious to resist. The puddles were essentially the ghost leaving a trail. I didn’t explain why there was water – although I didn’t, as has been suggested to me, imagine that it would be “The Woman In The Water” again – mainly because she had a particular moral code, and this ghost is just plain nasty.
Hey, guess where I got the idea for this one? That’s right, it’s those dogs again… Strictly speaking, when we were passing an apartment building. The flat itself is modelled, loosely, on one I used to rent a few years ago – not that its layout actually matters beyond it being opposite Bill’s. Bill himself was intended to be someone who had crippling arthritis, couldn’t go out much, and ironically found death to be a new lease of life. You’ll notice he never actually touches anything in this story, of course. Having done two ghost stories in a row seems quite enough for anyone, although I was maybe trying to pull a bit of a “Sixth Sense” here, I suppose. I don’t, alas, have Shayamalan’s flair for twist endings, but then again, few people do.
The idea from this one came from a chat with someone about past lives. I suddenly got the idea that someone might decide to get revenge on someone who messed up all of their previous past lives. And then – why? Because a dodgy hypnotist wanted to kill two birds with one stone, that’s why… it ended up quite well, although I don’t think I had the time to polish it as well as I could have done. Maybe I’ll come back to this idea – one day…
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