The Rude Woman of Cerne by H.E. Bulstrode
A supernatural West Country mystery with a darkly satirical streak.
The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but Beatrice Clemens is determined to make this adage more 'relevant' to today's society by blithely driving an eight-lane superhighway straight through the heart of rural England. Dubbed the 'Conscience of Dorset' by a newly-launched progressive broadsheet, one could be forgiven for forgetting that this doughty campaigner for social justice in its many forms is actually a B&B hostess (although she would prefer the non-gender specific term 'host'). Alas for her guests, her values and preoccupations are never far from her lips, and her inclusive zeal is something in which she enjoins all to share, even if they are only trying to order a full English breakfast and enjoy a country break far from the clamour of the madding crowd.
Just as Beatrice stands upon the brink of receiving the acclamation that she believes her work deserves, something, or someone, is glimpsed amidst the hedgerows and within the banks of the Trendle; shadowy, furtive - the embodiment of old Dorset? Whoever it may be, he does not, it would seem, share her enthusiasms.
A standalone novella in the West Country Tales series.
About The Author...
The author's childhood and formative years were spent in the English West Country, a region in which reality and fantasy are frequently confused, and where what elsewhere would be taken as peculiar, regarded as nothing more than an everyday occurrence. Soaked in myth, folklore and cider, his imagination eventually whirred into life and prompted him to pen, or at least type, a number of understated tales of the uncanny, drawing upon his wry observations of esoteric subcultures and beliefs, and the rich store of lore that seems locked into the land itself.
From the mist, the frost, and the wind, comes something ambling through the murk, seeking to ensnare the unwary: a village cunning man; a malignant Jacobean mannequin; a psychedelic Crowley wannabe; the sickle-wielding spirit of old Dorset; a pious guide who emerges from the fabric of a venerable minster; a mediaeval animalistic heretic with a still beating heart. Ghost stories, bizarre rites, and mental disintegration populate a world in which the living and the dead meet in an eternal present, and the author dares - the most horrific thing of all - to use adverbs where appropriate.
His tales have frequently been compared to the likes of those encountered in 'Tales of the Unexpected' and 'The Twilight Zone', but the Bulstrodian world, as you will discover, is a realm unto itself, and quite distinct from either.
He is currently working on a number of future publications, including an occult mystery set in Edwardian Yorkshire, and a full-length novel focusing upon the themes of superstition, piracy, and religious fanaticism, set in seventeenth-century Cornwall and beyond. The latter opens amidst an atmosphere of unease unleashed by a supernatural visitation. Both will be published in 2018.
Other Books By H.E. Bulstrode
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