Coffee Break Read – Most Haunted

Paula came forward. ‘Okay. Listen up people. Danilo and Grandmother will lead, followed by the camera crew. The rest of you come along behind. And please keep quiet. Everybody got that? Let’s move out.’
Danilo and Grandmother moved off and the rest of us followed in relative quiet.
They led us to a point in one corner of the beer garden, where there were some tables standing on an area of flagstones. Danilo bent and touched the stones. He spoke in deeply formal tones, and with the cadences of his Rom heritage very evident under his slightly estuarine accent. ‘Beneath these stones is where Christopher Acres buried his beloved Rosalind. She calls for us to find her bones.’
One of the digging crews came forward and carefully moved aside the tables. Angela signalled to a tall young man with ginger hair, who peeled off the group and took a small video camera out of his pocket.
Danilo offered his grandmother his arm, and they turned away from the car park and headed towards the oldest buildings on the site, those to be found around the courtyard at the side of the pub. The oldest of them was empty, but it was obvious that someone had started, and then abandoned, a restoration project. Danilo walked inside and threaded his way through a forest of metal props and heaps of abandoned tools. He put his hand flat against one wall.
His voice rang out strong and sure. ‘Within this wall lie the bones of Aline Midwinter. A woman driven to suicide, who now begs to be found.’
The second digging crew came forward, and Angela left a thin, dark young man with another little camera.
‘And that’s the easy bit over’ Danilo said. ‘Now we head into the unknown.’ He bowed to his grandmother and she took his arm once more. This time, everyone who followed them was absolutely silent. The walk to the barn took a few minutes and the mood became more and more sombre as we progressed. As we got near, two of the crew ran forward and opened the gate. We filed into the field and Ben went to unlock the big double doors. He stepped back, and the same two crew members pulled back those doors and secured them open. We all stayed where we were, while Danilo and his grandmother walked slowly inside. For a moment, nothing happened, then the very air around us seemed to crackle. Beside me, Angela shivered.
‘I don’t like this.’
‘You ain’t seen nothing yet. Just wait.’
Then the singing started, softly and plaintively.
‘Ding dong bell.
Pussy’s in the well.
Who put her in?’

From Who Put Her In? by Jane Jago

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