Searching for a file for a short story I’ll be posting here soon as part of the Halloween Shorts: Team Mushens WFC2013 Editions, I stumbled upon a word document from 2005 enigmatically titled ‘Future Projects’.
There are only two stories in there, and I can’t remember who I put it together for – possibly my agent at the time, Dorothy Lumley. The first story was Roald Dahl-esque concoction called Felix and the Giant Bath, which I may write one of these days. The second was this:
The Lost Soul (working title)
Eighty years ago, a group of young men made a deal with a demon. They sacrificed a young woman to gain longevity and riches. Now the spell has been broken and the demon is coming for their souls.
Set in present day Edinburgh, this is detective fiction with a paranormal slant. Detective Inspector Anthony McLean is a fast-track CID officer, headed for great things. He is asked to head the investigation into the body of a young woman found bricked up in a room of an empty house in an exclusive neighbourhood. When the body is discovered to be over eighty years dead, the investigation is reigned back, and when one of the city’s wealthiest old industrialists is brutally murdered, McLean is moved onto the new investigation.
He can’t forget the dead girl, however, and as he digs deeper into the past, he becomes more and more convinced that there is a link between her and the recent murder. But to accept that link means to also accept that there are things in the world that could never be filed on a police report. Things that could seriously jeopardise his smooth progression up the promotion ladder.
Soon more bodies are piling up; all elderly men who have been the power behind the city’s economy for decades. Pressure is mounting to find their killer and McLean’s future is on the line.
As the truth is uncovered, McLean realises that one of the original group is hidden, his soul lost. He must track down the missing man before the demon starts to cut a swathe through the city. But how do you find a man who has hidden from himself?
Ring any bells?