“Of course there are ghost stories!” Mira cried in exasperation. “But they’re not real, they’re just… folklore. And then they became tourism. There’s no actual ghosts!”
“There aren’t?” Holly replied.
“No!” snapped Mira.
“Okay.” Holly paused for a moment. “I have definitely wasted me life.”
And with that, an unlikely friendship was born.
In my last post, I talked about the initial inspiration for the Holly Trinity and the Ghosts of York series, and the idea of turning my home city into an urban fantasy wonderland with something supernatural lurking around every corner. But this was only part of it. Somebody was going to have to encounter what this strange world had to offer. And so there was Holly.
Holly Trinity is over 400 years old, with a vocabulary of archaic curse words to prove it. She lives under a trapdoor, protects the city from bad things, and sleeps in a lot. Really a lot, although never quite enough. The world keeps changing on her, but she never fails to find something exciting in what it does next – even if it’s a mystery, which infuriate her. She can tell you a story for hours but if something’s really important, you can be sure she will do her upmost to just sort of make things up as she goes. It usually all works out in the end, mostly.
But Holly couldn’t do this by herself. Immortal heroes from the spirit world are all well and good, but a narrative rabbit hole only works when you’ve got someone to fall down it, and end up who knows where. More than the ghosts and the monsters and… well, we’ll talk about her another time, what I really wanted to tell a story about was two women from very different worlds, and how they became best mates in the midst of very strange circumstances. A buddy comedy with things that go bump in the night.
And so there was Mira Chaudhri, the woman in the book shop. Bored, directionless, sceptical, and above all clever Mira, waiting for something interesting to happen in her life and reacting with mounting horror when it had the temerity to do so. She was the key to it all. The John Watson of the Yorkshire netherworld. Someone we might know, who can discover this strange and terrifying world with us, and maybe fall in love with it a bit more than is safe.
And so, on one ordinary night, Holly came to call at Mira’s book shop, and her life became nothing she’d ever imagined…
The first published adventure for Holly and Mira, The Carol of the Bells, is included in the Harvey Duckman Presents Christmas Special, available in paperback and ebook from Sixth Element Publishing.
Next: From Waking the Witch to Decking the Halls…