Andrew Steele

Voices from the Grave

50 Berkeley Square

By Dylan Ritson

Working in a boarding house as a prostitute, Molly meets two men, Martin and Angel. Discussing whether their work as sailors has them seeing anything mysterious or weird, Martin offers to take them on an adventure to what is known as the most haunted house in London - 50 Berkeley Square. Managing to get in to the house, Robert recalls that people who have lived in the building have either died of fright on gone mad. Fin a letter addressed 'To whom it may concern', they discover a letter which indicates that they have been expected. Hunting around the house, the three find a locked room and are eventually able to bust the door down. Finding the master of the houses bedroom, Martin plans on spending a night in the room with Molly, and Angel next door. While in bed, they begin to hear loud, banging noises. Knocking on the door, Angel asks if they want anything from the kitchen and manages to separate Molly from Martin, and encourages her to leave as he feels they aren't alone in the house. The service bell begins to ring, and pleading with Molly to leave, Angel runs back to the room to find Martin screaming as he is being attacked. However, he finds that the door has become relocked, and hears a crash as Martin's body is thrown from the room window, and lands on the spiked railings. Molly hears of Angel surviving via the local newspaper, though he is committed to hospital as he spends his time raving.

Middlewitch

By Lucy Catherine

Modren, an elderly woman keeps watch over her Welsh village which is reputed to have been living under a curse since 1823, which is claimed that all the young people will leave the village. Drew and Rhiannon are teenagers and the last young people remaining in the village, and whose love life is beginning to bloom as the pair discuss whether to have sex though Rhiannon believes it is a sin before marriage. Drew is also preparing to leave for college in Swansea. A new Methodist minister, Bryhs, arrives in the village and begins to conduct his first sermon, though Modren's ramblings interrupt the event as she proclaims that a reckoning is coming for those who have committed sin, and that Bryhs is weak and the bringer of the coming events. The following day, Drew heads to see Bryhs, and questions whether he believes that sex before marriage is a sin. He leaves happier when the minister suggests that the two should consider whether they really love each other, as his outlook is more modern than the traditional teachings of the church. Heading to the beach that night to drink and light a fire in a nearby cave, the minister eventually admits to his earlier conversation. The young couple make love, before watching the tide come in, which eventually cuts them off and becomes too rough to swim out from. The minister's attempt to rescue them fails and the village loses its last remaining young people.

The Lie

By Lynn Ferguson

Lisa recounts the story of her whirlwind romance with Colin, who she met on holiday. The pair quickly move in together, though Lisa quickly finds that he has rather old-fashioned notions about their roles in the house. Travelling back home from a pub quiz, Lisa spots an old building which Colin says was a former psychiatric hospital. Eventually deciding on entering, she meets the friendly Angela who walks around with her and the pair find a way to enter the building. Back at home, Lisa begins to believe that her relationship with Colin was a mistake though she is reluctant to go back home to her abusive family. Scheduled to meet Angela again, she instead finds a woman named Martha who is going to show her around the hospital again, as Angela can't make it. Peering into a lift shaft to see a stained glass window, Angela turns up as Martha slinks away. Angela also questions when she is going to get to meet Colin. Returning home, she finds that Colin knows she has been out leading to him becoming more aggressive as she refuses to tell him about her trips to the hospital. Out at the pub quiz again, Lisa manages to coax a drugged and drunk Colin into the hospital where Angela and Martha await. Lisa is willing to give him another chance, though via Angela and Martha, they get him to the top of the lift shaft with the promise of a party, but Martha ends up pushing him down the shaft. Ringing her mother, Lisa's mother implores her to come home, but she states that she is at home in the hospital.

The Parson

By David Varela

Returning from missionary work in Africa, Reverend Martin Stokes is sent to a village parish in Leicestershire. He meets a number of the villagers at a parish council meeting where they discuss the bottle-kicking event which is popular in the village. The reverend discovers that the bottle-kicking can be rather violent, and fatalities rare though occurring. Stokes upsets the villagers at his protestations that he is not happy to allow the event, and soon hears from the bishop who has heard the complaints of the villagers. Late at night, hearing a noise outside, the reverend hears a voice whispering 'the land demands blood'. The villagers also attempt to convince him that the village needs the event, and suggest that past bad fortunes such as foot-and-mouth on the farms are down to previously not having held the event. The scraping noise is heard again, and the reverend finds the ghostly father's of some of the villagers in the vicarage who threaten him to change his mind. The following morning, he awakes to find the church has been daubed with graffiti. At his sermon, he tells the congregation that he will not be intimidated and will not allow evil to triumph. The ghosts return again, and as they begin to attack the reverend, he performs a tribal ritual with a chicken, which banishes the ghosts from the world. The following day, the bishop arrives and the two discuss the lack of bottle-kicking seemingly having no effect on the village. The reverend remarks that he believes he is getting stronger from the peace.