Not long after I started writing this I realised it was not going to be a traditional horror story. But on the plus side, it’s quite short.
Nobody ever had anything nice to say about Batty McShay. But there again, Batty McShay didn’t have anything nice to say about anyone either, and they do say that you ought to lead by example.
The example Batty set was not a great one. She ate her food in an obnoxious sort of a way, chewing with her mouth wide open and never cleaning her teeth after. She sat and pleated her leg hair when you were trying to tell her something, or sometimes she just fell asleep then and there and would claim later on it was your fault for having such a monotonous voice. She had a necklace made out of garlic and onions which she wore only when visiting quiet places full of people too polite to tell her to go away – mainly libraries and monasteries. And she always took a pad of post-it notes wherever she went so that she could make ‘kick me’ signs to plant on people’s backs.
There were several reasons why Batty was the way she was, but the main one was probably the fact that her dead father lived in the attic and sang her jingoistic songs of the old times at the top of his voice. That sort of thing will drive anyone to distraction if it goes on for long enough, and the old duffer had been dead for twenty years.