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Stories & Scripts

Source: Adults

Author: Hugh Hazelton

Title: Hob's Lane. (A Ghost Story for Christmas) Final Bit

“So did you receive any impressions?” a senior member of the Society eagerly asked the Vice-President a little while later as the cheerless, washed out dawn finally arrived.

“I certainly felt a presence, yes,” the Vice-President replied. “Or more precisely three or four individual presences with one more dominant than the rest. The overriding emotion though was one of elation, exaltation almost. Definitely not fear or darkness or anything of that nature.”

“So do you think it could be connected with that dreadful accident here last summer involving those ramblers?” pressed the enquirer.

The Vice-President tried hard to sound non-committal. “It's far too early to judge at this stage yet, notwithstanding what's happened here an hour ago, and even allowing for the recently reported experience of the publican's wife. And in any case, as we know this place has had a reputation for being haunted for centuries. Perhaps something may show up on the film in the camera that was triggered off.”

With that the Vice-President turned away, and as he did so he noticed Julie looking intently around at the various groups of investigators who were now starting to pack away their various pieces of equipment. She appeared to be a trifle lost, so smiling benignly he went over to her.

“And did you enjoy your night out with us?” he asked. “Not too chilly for you, I trust?”

Out of politeness Julie returned the smile. “Yes, thank you. It's certainly been different. By the way, have you any idea where Michael my boyfriend has got to? I saw his party coming down this way shortly before everything started to happen, but now I can't seem to find him anywhere.”

The Vice-President appeared genuinely taken aback by the question. “There's been absolutely no one walking on the track in either direction since two o' clock precisely. You must understand, my dear, that an investigation of this kind has to be conducted under strictly controlled conditions. Which means we have to regulate our movements exactly in accordance with a previously agreed timetable. As far as I'm aware your young man and his companions are still maintaining an observation a mile or so up the lane. In fact somebody had better go up and bring them back as we are packing up. I expect they will be feeling pretty cold and stiff by now.”

Within the space of twenty minutes the investigators had cleared away all their electronic paraphernalia, cameras and recorders from under the dripping oaks, Michael had returned to be reunited with a still visibly shaken Julie, and the whole group had set back for their various homes for hot drinks and much welcome sleep.

Hob's Lane was returned to its quiet solitude once more.

A little under half an hour later and the four hot and tired walkers tramped over the crest of the hill, and again set off down the shady, sun dappled lane. Again they stopped to consult the map, and again Mary fetched out her guide book. She was quite right of course, Hob's Lane was still haunted, but would she ever realise by whom?

Copyright Terence Hugh Hazelton, 1979

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