Searching For A Short Story

BaronHardacre

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I'll be super shocked if anyone has any idea what I'm talking about, but I remember reading this short story back when I was but a callow youth back in the early 90's (could have been written before, but not too long before as I'll come onto); a couple, devastated by the death/suicide (can't quite remember the details) of their son, go to their remote country retreat (where the son died), where spooky going on begin, including the sound of a trapped cat coming from the dishwasher, when the husband puts his hand in to release it, his hands go into the liquified corpse of said cat.

Pretty sure it was set in the UK, but other than the above, I can't remember an awful lot about it.

Any ideas would be appreciated, but I realise I'm not giving anyone a lot to go on!
 

Coastaljames

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No, you're really not...:p

Sorry, I did try a bit of sleuthing. Regret googling "cat in dishwasher horror"...but there you go.

KInda reminds me a bit of Shaun Hutson's "The Magic Cottage", but it's not.


Can you remember anything else? Vague idea of the author? Publisher?
 
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BaronHardacre

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I think it's been solved; I asked the same over at Reddit, and they advise it's likely to be "Power Cut" by Joan Aiken in one of her short story collections
*heads over to Amazon for a cheap second hand paperback*

Thanks all, anyway.
 

Spookdaddy

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I think it's been solved; I asked the same over at Reddit, and they advise it's likely to be "Power Cut" by Joan Aiken in one of her short story collections
*heads over to Amazon for a cheap second hand paperback*...
That rings a bell. Joan Aiken wrote some fantastic short stories- often quite macabre, and with a dark sense of humour; The Story About Caruso has been lodged firmly in my mind since I first read it back in the 70's. I've still got some of her collections in a box full of books from my childhood.

I was introduced to her by a Mr Cope, a fantastic primary school teacher who read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase to us. Probably not long after showing us a photograph of a string bag full of skulls taken from just before he joined us, when he'd been teaching for an educational charity in Borneo. They were the local top man's trophies from WW2 - the bag hung above the doorway to his hut.

That's the so-called Haunted Generation for you: school trips to Chester Zoo, stories about marauding wolf packs, and severed heads. Brilliant.
 
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escargot

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That rings a bell. Joan Aiken wrote some fantastic short stories- often quite macabre, and with a dark sense of humour; The Story About Caruso has been lodged firmly in my mind since I first read it back in the 70's. I've still got some of her collections in a box full of books from my childhood.

I was introduced to her by a Mr Cope, a fantastic primary school teacher who read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase to us. Probably not long after showing us a photograph of a string bag full of skulls taken from just before he joined us, when he'd been teaching for an educational charity in Borneo. They were the local top man's trophies from WW2 - the bag hung above the doorway to his hut..

That's the so-called Haunted Generation for you: school trips to Chester Zoo, stories about marauding wolf packs, and severed heads. Brilliant.
Can't beat it. We had a primary school teacher who, with a bit of prodding, would explain mediaeval torture and execution methods in gruesome detail.

We too had the Chester Zoo trips. There was a pub on way called the Headless Woman with an eponymous statue outside, head carried under one arm like Ann Boleyn's ghost.

The statue was stolen and recovered a couple of times before finally vanishing for good in the late '60s.

The pub was at Duddon, near Tarporley, and was reputedly haunted. It was unsportingly demolished and built over a while ago.

Duddon's Wikipedia page has a nice section about it, including mention of the Packhorse Bridges which we visited à bicyclette last year.

Hockenhull Platts 3.jpg
 

GNC

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No, you're really not...:p

Sorry, I did try a bit of sleuthing. Regret googling "cat in dishwasher horror"...but there you go.

KInda reminds me a bit of Shaun Hutson's "The Magic Cottage", but it's not.


Can you remember anything else? Vague idea of the author? Publisher?
The Magic Cottage was by James Herbert. And that's my pedantry quotient filled for today!
 

Spookdaddy

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...There was a pub on way called the Headless Woman with an eponymous statue outside, head carried under one arm like Ann Boleyn's ghost...
There's a pub out in the boonies near me called The Quiet Woman. The image on the pub sign is of a headless lady, accompanied by the motto, 'Soft words turneth away wrath' - which I think is from Proverbs.

Somehow the name Quiet Woman seems much more sinister to me than the more obviously macabre alternative.

It's many years since I've been, but they had some unusual tables in the bar. They were clearly quite old and had drainage grooves on the top, around the outer edges. I was told they were laying out tables from an old undertakers.

Just in case you weren't spooked enough by the sign, like.

(Edit: Just checked out some recent photos - looks like the old tables are gone, unfortunately. Maybe back to the day job.)
 

Min Bannister

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Oh I loved Joan Aiken as a child. In one of her books a character waits up one night in order to see a ghostly coach and six which is supposed to appear at a certain time. Ever since reading the description, I have ached to see a ghostly coach and six. :loveu:
 

escargot

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Oh I loved Joan Aiken as a child. In one of her books a character waits up one night in order to see a ghostly coach and six which is supposed to appear at a certain time. Ever since reading the description, I have ached to see a ghostly coach and six. :loveu:
Some 'real' ghosts are supposed to appear at set times. We have a thread about them!

One that I read about as a child was believed to walk along a certain path every ten (or summat) years and I resolved to be there when I was old enough.
The ghost's previous appearances had been awaited by sometimes rowdy crowds and it seemed a great day out!

I eventually made plans to visit and invited others to join me.

Sadly, although the path still existed despite extensive local housing development and could still be visited, I missed it.
The time when the ghost was due to walk came just after an event which left me in no mood for ghosthunting.

I'm sure Sir Geoffrey turned up anyway.
 

ChasFink

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I have a story that I'm trying to find again. Spoilers are necessary to describe it.

It concerns a seer who's assembling a large assortment of stones and pebbles into a sort of oracle that helps him understand the world. He goes out on long journeys to find more stones. It becomes obvious during the story that everyone in this world is immortal or nearly so. Eventually we learn that immortality was scientifically achieved for everyone eons ago, but no one remembers that time very well. As the story ends, the main characters realize the immortality is finally wearing off.
 

lordmongrove

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I was driven man by trying to recall the title and author of a couple of horror stories i read as a kid. One was about a little girl who was scared to go upstairs and always slept down stairs. She also feared something she called 'The Grandfather Moon'. It turned out to be Joan Aiken 's story She Was Afraid of Upstairs. The other was about a giant killer flea on the London Underground that terrorized cleaners at night. It was The Bakerloo Flea by Michael Rosen.
 

FrKadash

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I was driven man by trying to recall the title and author of a couple of horror stories i read as a kid. One was about a little girl who was scared to go upstairs and always slept down stairs. She also feared something she called 'The Grandfather Moon'. It turned out to be Joan Aiken 's story She Was Afraid of Upstairs. The other was about a giant killer flea on the London Underground that terrorized cleaners at night. It was The Bakerloo Flea by Michael Rosen.
I'm the same with a fantasy book I bought around 2005. It was paperback, and was a debut novel of a young American (male) author, published no later than 2005, print on demand I think, a fantasy novel, the cover art was greenish or green/blue and had an oval framed centre image if I recall correctly, of a knight on horseback, and the title was something like (but not obviously) Tales of Avalon, or Knights of Albion, Isle of Avalon... The title is lost from memory and it drives me mad when I think of this lost book. I must have seen it advertised and bought it on a whim.
 
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