Vodka and Spirits

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Vodka and Spirits: A Short Scottish Ghost Story

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...A well-constructed ghost story which builds up the tension until the end...

Hired to work overnight in Aberdeen’s oldest pub, Spencer and Darren are not expecting any trouble while decorating out of hours. After the strict instructions given about what they can and cannot do, they settle into the pub to wait for closing time. They listen to a few of the patrons hearing stories of the inn, some ghost stories and other tales before time is up. After the patrons have filed out, the two of them explore round finding a few odd rooms hidden away before they get down to work. But as the hours pass on their job, they keep hearing voices or strange noises. But after the noises fade away, finding no-one around, the decorators relax and make haste with their work. But this lasts only until they hear shuffling in the empty room above them, leaving them the decision to find out what is making them.

A short ghost story that steers clear of shocks and outright horror, settling for a more intriguing and mysterious telling. The plot is fairly simple but sets the scene well, keeping the story within the four walls of the pub, but providing plenty of backstory and tales that all feed into the one night. This cleverly sets up both the story and the reactions of the two main characters during their disturbed night. I also enjoyed the way the ending was handled, leaving some mystery for the reader to think on. The characters help to make the story, Spencer and Darren acting as everyman in the story, and the regulars in the pub all play their part in adding a sense of history and foreboding to the pub. The descriptions bring the story to life, showing not just the public areas, but the much larger and hidden world behind it, that people don’t see. Presentation wise, the grammar and formatting are fine, although there are a few spelling mistakes, but nothing major through the story.

This is a well-constructed ghost story which builds up the tension until the denouement and then shows the impact of what happened to Spencer and Darren after the events.

Rating: 4
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