Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Ghost Hunters Meet Rathbone Kydd

I’m breaking all the blogging rules by posting something that is longer than a thousand words but it’s a Ghost Hunters Club special, so make a cup of tea, sit down, snigger and enjoy …

The time is drawing closer, the world is holding its breath as the UK takes centre stage of the greatest show on earth. Oh hang on, I’m getting mixed up, that was the Olympics.  But the world’s most talented and beautiful screen stars are gathering in Hollywood, waiting with baited breath, agh no silly me, that’s the Oscars.  And the other event to rock the world’s media?  Why, that would be the hotly anticipated sequel to The Ghost Hunters’ Club of course, cunningly entitled The Ghost Hunters Return.  And in celebration, and to show off the new cover of The Ghost Hunters’ Club, I’ve got my good pal KJ Bennett to drag his character, Rathbone Kydd, from the novel Rathbone Kydd – Sex n Drugs n Quantum Stuff to interview Linda, Karen and Anna from my novel.  Fictional characters interviewing each other – this is so post-modern, even someone as full of crap as me can’t believe it! 

RK: So, er, hi chick ... and chick, and, erm, chick. Great to be in the company of three such great-looking women. Make yourselves comfy, fluff the cushions, make coffee if you like ... mine’s black, no sugar, thanks. Right: anyone up for a massage? I ache like hell round the shoulders, I was wondering if one of you would be willing to volunteer ...

LINDA: Chick? Chick? Where do you think I came from, a chicken’s bottom?

RK: No. Huh, wouldn’t that make you an egg?

KAREN: I’ll give you black with no sugar, mister, and I’ll have milk and sugar in my coffee thanks.

ANNA: Well you can fluff my cushions, I like the moustache ...

RK: OK, OK, don’t get tetchy! Only joking. So, three single ladies in good jobs and in need of lurve, eh? How about you each tell me a little about yourselves, y’know, jobs, interests, scandalous tales of your love lives, cup size, full contact details, et cetera. Let’s start with, hmm, Linda.

LINDA: Well young man, I’ve just been promoted and I’m now a deputy head in a posh private school in Edinburgh.  I’ll get to teach nice children instead of the plebs I had in my last job.  And did you behave yourself at school, Mr Kydd, hmm?  Anyway, I’m off men at the moment, so you can jolly well get your hand off of my knee, or I’ll have to put you in detention.

RK: Sorry, old habits and all. ‘Off men ...’ hmm, a challenge. Anyway, moving on (and checking the name badges) ... Karen. You look fit. A dancer? Stripper, maybe?

KAREN: Don’t push it pal, or I’ll set Linda on you.  I’m a martial arts instructor and I could snap you like a twig.  Except I won’t as you’ve just made me a coffee. 

RK: The least I could do. KJ said the budget wouldn’t stretch to whiskey, or drugs. Might have a bit of cheap sherry stashed away, for later, though.

KAREN: Anyway, we like ghost hunting, we’ve been on a few and I’m the first one to see a dead real ghost.  Excuse the pun.

RK: Not sure about excusing it ... ignoring it’s an option though, right?  Don’t look at me like that, I’m just jesting. Right, that leaves Karen, no, Anna. Sorry, KJ’s writing on those badges is crap – much like his novels, so I hear. So, Kar–Anna (wow, sorry, sounds like some Russian chick) – what is it you do? As if I couldn’t guess.

ANNA: I’m a single parent but don’t let that put you off.  I have very well behaved children.  I work as a personal assistant to the director of a Northern Railway Company.  His name is Graham and he really likes trains – oh, and he likes to come ghost hunting with us as well.  Would you like to come ghost hunting with us, Randall? Linda has a very impressive torch.

RK: Wha – who the hell is Randall? It’s Rathbone. Rath-emphasis-on-the-BONE. RATHBONE. It’s OK, I’m calming down, Kar-damnit-Anna! AN-NA. Anna. Right, got it.

Linda rolls her eyes skyward.

RK: So. Ghost hunting ... OH! Is that why you call yourselves The Ghost Hunters’ Club? I wasn’t taking it literally, I just thought it was ’cos you dated a bunch of stiffs. In your case AN-NA (phew) I guess I’m right. Train spotter for a boss? Is he the Daddy, too?

ANNA: I’m not pregnant, I’m just curvy.  You have so blown it Randall, Rathbone, whatever, and I don’t mean in a fun way.  Anyway, you’re old enough to be my dad.  Bloody men.

RK: No, I didn’t mean you looked pregnant. It’s just that you mentioned being a mother, and I assumed, y’know, train spotters have urges, probably, and there’s you with the curves and the pretty face, and there’s him with the anorak and the note book, and it can’t be easy for you, with the kids an’ all, and there’s those long lonely nights with the screaming and all that. And did you call me old? I’m only old in linear time scales. On my own scale I’m twenty-five, so probably a few years younger than you.

KAREN: Leave her alone!  But you’re right Rathbone, we went ghost hunting because we were fed up of going out with rubbish men.  I mean, how hard is it to turn up on time, remember to go to the cash point and remember whether you’re married or not?  We thought we’d throw our lot in with the ghosts; more chance of getting a spook on camera than finding a decent man.

RK: “A decent man” ... hmm ... I’m sorta decent, so much so that people say I’m IN-decent.

LINDA: (prods Rathbone) So are you actually real? What was time travel like? Is that moustache real?

RK: Am I real? Are you real? What is real? There was that Frenchie guy, Des Kart, I think he was called, who said, “I think, therefore I am”. Don’t know what all that shit was about, but the Moody Blues stole it and used it at the start of their LP On the Threshold of a Dream. Still doesn’t explain if my moustache is real, though. Hmm, maybe the moustache is the only real thing here ...  Right, time travel … what it feels like … it’s a bit like jelly, but faster.

But enough about me (did I really say that?), tell me about your ghost hunting adventures: what do you actually do: go places, pretend to look for ghostly spirits, but hit the spirit of the gin bottle instead? And you, Anna, who looks after the kids, or do you take ’em with you?

LINDA: Oh, now we get to the sensible questions!  Well, we do like going on ghost hunts.  We’ve been all over the country – Leeds, Whitby, Leicester and Edinburgh, which is the home of the scary ghost hunt.  But like the saying goes, looking for ghosts is like looking for a decent man, you can keep searching and you’ll never find one and then one will pop up when you are least expecting it.

KAREN: That happened to me.  I was let down by a man and then when I went to attend a friend’s do, I got a bit more than I bargained for.  I wish I’d had a camera with me but of course, you never do when you need one.

ANNA: I don’t normally have the children with me when we go ghost hunting, they go to stay with their grandparents when I do, but I might in the future.  Besides, that is the time I have to myself and I wouldn’t want them to see me get drunk and behave badly.  We’ve had a bit of a break from the ghost hunting but we’re going on a few more adventures soon, I hear Cambridge, London and even Paris might be on the cards.  Oh la la!

RK: Ooooo-la-Anna! You sound sexxx-sssee when you’re speaking French? Are you fluent? It is the language of lurve, y’know?

ANNA: Oh I am very fluent...

LINDA: Pack it in Anna, you don’t know where he’s been.  Sorry Mr Kydd, but really ...

KAREN: Ladies, please!  I’m sure the men in France are as useless as the ones we’ve experienced in the UK.  We are in the EU you know, I’m sure there’s been a ruling from Brussels about the percentage of bad dates a woman has to go on.

RK: And Karen: why would a guy let you down? Apart from being a hottie, who’d risk the injury? Anyway, I bet that ghost thing was scary. I mean I’ve been in a similar situation when I worked in that gay pub in Exeter. Before I knew the lay of the land, so to speak, I went on a ghost walk round the back of the Cathedral with some of the guys, late one Saturday night, and let me tell you, a few scary things popped up that night, and I ran a mile. Talk about giving me the willies!

LINDA: Well, ghosts weren’t all that Anna saw in the underground tunnels in Edinburgh, but it was the best place for ghost hunting.  It’s a spooky city and full of atmosphere.

ANNA: Ahhh, the Edinburgh vaults, such nice memories.....

KAREN: Anna, I don’t know how you got away with it!  Although you’d be surprised how looking for ghosts and men can get mixed up.  They’re both elusive and at least the ghosts have an excuse for being unreliable, what with being dead and all.

RK: I don’t see they can use dead as an excuse. It’s not like they’ve got anywhere else to go, is it? So, tell me, did you find Dracula in Whitby? Yeah, I’m well read, I know the original story.

LINDA: No, but we did find a lot of tacky gifts, including some edible coffins.

KAREN: And I met a horrible ghost tour guide who didn’t believe in ghosts and tried to nick my wallet.  Good job the girls came to rescue me, I could have done him some damage.

RK: Now, ladies, tell me about these disasters you’ve had at speed dating. I mean, speed? Eh? I’m not surprised it went badly: anyone who tries to form a relationship based around drug abuse is destined to misery.

LINDA: Well I wished I’d taken some bloody drugs before I went, it was ghastly.  Turned out one of the men was a parent at my school, was terrified he would mention me to his irritating son, so I had to lie about my name.

KAREN: And one of the men said I should impress him so when I told him I could punch through wood, he wanted to know if I was a lezza.  I pointed out that he was both rude and offensive, both to me and the lesbian community, and I offered to use his head as a piece of wood.  He declined.

ANNA: I got stuck with a very odd looking train spotter called Graham.  Total odd ball and kept staring at my boobs.  I get that a lot.  I suspect he still lives with this mother but I’ve got this feeling that that wasn’t the last time I would see him and of course, I ended up working for him.  Turns out he likes ghost hunting as well.

RK: What was that, Anna? I sorta lost track, staring at your boobs. KJ’s looking at his watch and making circular gestures. Don’t know what all that shit’s about. Anna, anything else I can, erm, do for you, mon amie?

ANNA: Oh well Mr Kydd, I do have some gardening that needs doing.  The lawn needs a mow, and the rose bushes need a trim.  I like a rugged outdoor man who’s good with his hands....

RK: Gardening – agh!  Ladies, it’s been really great talking with you all. You’re all great looking girls and you’re even more attractive when you talk. If you ever need a friend to talk with after one of the ghost hunts, or just a real man to … erm, you know? … then you know where to find me. Course, I may have teleported to a different space/time continuum by then, but you’ll know where I was.

This interview was originally published on K J Bennett’s blog in December 2012 and was republished with his kind permission.  Rathbone Kydd, Sex n Drugs n Quantum Stuff is available to download from Amazon.

The Ghost Hunters Return is due out in March, not long now …

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