“…and up on your left is the site of the gruesome murder of Sir Charles Dunstan of Horwich. Sir Charles fell out with the local land owners and was strung up like a pheasant, gutted and left to die with his entrails hanging out. ”
Oh my God, this is boring, thought Josie. I should be at home with a bottle of wine, box of Milk Tray and the Mad Men box set. The warm feeling from thinking about Don Draper even took the edge off the pouring rain for a few seconds. Snapping back to reality, she realised that the rest of the group had moved on and had to scurry to catch up. Getting left behind around the back streets of York on a dark wet night was not her idea of fun.
When her boss, Editor of the local rag, had picked up on a new Town Ghost tour and suggested she cover it, she expected it would be dreary, but not this bad.
York, a city full of historic monuments and some quite horrific murders, was an ideal place for aspiring actors looking to make easy money. By dressing up as funeral directors they could earn extra cash between stints on Casualty, telling stories to tourists. For most, the best they could hope for was a role at the York Dungeon, scaring higher fee paying day-trippers by jumping out at them.
Having moved to the city from Derbyshire armed with a degree and loads of unpaid newspaper experience under her belt, Josie was hoping to make her mark on the crime desk, or even some investigative reporting. Everyone had to start somewhere, so when the post of junior reporter at the York Post came up, she had jumped at the chance, promising herself one year there and it would be off to London for something on the Nationals.
Earlier that morning, while delving through the scut work of writing up the births, deaths and marriages, the Boss ambled in.
“I want you to look into one of the Ghost walks, it’s been a while since we’ve covered one for the “Things to do in York” section. This one seems new,” he said, waving a flyer under her nose, “Get yourself down tonight and give me 500 words for the morning.”
500 words for the morning. That’s my night gone. Looking out of the porthole of a window from her dungeon-like office she stared at the pouring rain. No one is going to be doing anything “ghostly” tonight, she realised putting her face in her hands, it’ll just be me and the down-trodden luvies.
Later, grabbing her coat on the way out, she stood under the door over hang outside the office and looked upward. The rain had eased into just a light drizzle under a leaden sky. Avoiding the puddles as best she could as she walked away, she pulled the coat further round her, tying the belt to try and keep the cold out. No one would realise it was nearly May, she thought, trudging on.”
Does that leave you hanging…