“You are invited to an investiture dinner at the Earl of Ranleigh’s club on Wednesday the fifteenth of December in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and fifty eight at seven thirty pm.
Please be prompt.
Your acceptance as a member into this much revered gentlemen’s club will be held in the company of nine other attendees who will have also been invited to join the much revered members of the Earl of Ranleigh’s club. Dinner dress is expected. A cab will be sent to the address below at seven O’clock precisely to purvey you to the club and return you to the same address later. Dinner will be hosted by The Twenty Seventh Earl of Ranleigh himself, his Lordship Artemis Apollyon, whom you are invited to join for brandy and cigars after dinner, whereupon all potential members will be required to relate a ghost story of their own experience. Those deemed to have told a worthy story will be granted permanent membership to the club thereafter.
RSVP not required.”
"Hush. Hush now. Be still, for the library is ahead and the night grows dark. Listen to me well! This commotion you make would drive away the most gregarious of spirits, make no doubt of that! Come. Hold this candle and I shall strike a match. There. Yes, yes. I know that it is but a pauper’s candle. You think that I cannot see how the flame is weak and guttering, the light it brings to this chill corridor pale and pallid? Yet it will suffice. Come. We must draw closer. My, how the library door creaks and moans from lack of oil when it opens. Please try not cry out when it slams shut behind us. You will disturb our visitor if you do!
It sets my mind wandering as it always does when I stand here in the library, for it is the quietest of places, both dusty and cold, lit only by the sickly light from this torpid wick. Observe how the tired and reluctant wax slowly pools in the candle holder in which I hold it. Yet if a library is indeed the quietest of places, what then if all the words in these books could speak? Then surely it would be the most tumultuous of rooms, would it not? Every word, every vowel screaming out aloud for attention in a maelstrom of speech and words. Just think of it! If every book was a tale of a life, or perhaps many lives. What a seething mass of humanity would whirl and rage about us here! The lies, the sin. The joy, the happiness. The unrequited love and the solitary fool. All would rage and vie for our attention I am sure. And yet. My imagination runs away from me, for there is naught but silence here. As quiet as the grave this place. Yet over on the far side of the room another man sits, candle on table, silently reading. He does not know that we are here of course. How could he? So shall we approach, you and I? Come. Look at his clothes. Fine cloth and fancy cologne I fear. Let us lean over and peer at what occupies his attention so. We shall be the spirits at his shoulder you and I. Come close. Come close and see what it is that he reads…. "
"The Waiting Room" is a collection of ghost and horror stories, tales of mystery and suspense, all linked in a common theme. The Earl of Ranleigh invites you to his club, membership of which is dependent upon relating at one of his resplendent dinners a tale of the supernatural. But beware! All is NOT what it seems…
“The Waiting Room” is a collection of good old fashioned Victorian ghost and horror stories linked by a single theme of
redemption and examining the consequences of their actions. It’s actually a lot more fun than that and is a book that
I am immensely proud of. Again, it is at heart a collection of short stories, but there is also a
central narrative. Most of the titles in the book are available to purchase separately as per the
carousel at the top of this page. The book is also available to purchase in paperback as well
as the usual Kindle format. I have to admit I tried to publish this book traditionally as it
is a particular favourite of mine and at the time I think the strongest thing that I had
written so far. It generally speaking received a fair bit of attention, though there
were always requests to change this and change that, add this and so on. I decided
therefore to keep it for myself and publish it as I thought it should be published. Even
now I am very proud of the book, and don’t really think of it as a collection of short stories at all. I like to
think that it is a kind of book best read at the fireside in a nice comfortable armchair on a cold winter’s night. Just like
the old fashioned books of ghost stories you used to find under monotone book covers in the local library.