Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Tale of an Empty House

Fiction ~ short story [AKA: A Tale of an Empty House]
Published in Hutchinson's Magazine, June 1925
Collected in Spook Stories (1928)
5,170 words
(First read 23/08/2012) 

On his way to a golfing holiday with his pal Hugh Grainger, here bearing the very thin Bensonian disguise 'Jack Granger', our Unnamed Narrator stumbles across what sounds to me like an utterly ghastly place on the Norfolk coast.  He thinks it's wonderful, though, so invites Hugh-I-mean-Jack to come and join him there.  On a desolate spit of land stands an empty house, where our duo of chums are forced to shelter from a storm, and wherein Jack has an extremely close encounter with an invisible ghost-with-a-limp.  Apart from the climax, which is over in 18 lines, the whole thing is pretty yawny and, as happens all too often, the final sewing-up left me simply reeling with boredom.
It's available online here

A Tale of an Empty House concerns the unsuitable ambitions of the despicable 'day-labourer' Alfred Maldon, whose fate is to inherit the story’s abandoned and unwanted property as a clause of his damnation.
~James Mooney at “Tychy”, 25/07/2011. Quoted from here.


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