Brian ‘Buzz’ Oldring, Leader of the Coningshall Parish Council, wasn’t a happy man. Their local rival town, Scarsbury, was steaming ahead economically.
Despite Coningshall benefiting from having a booming Ghost Walk, Scarsbury’s new civic amenities put them at the top of the pecking order. Something needed to be done! A few seconds after those thoughts came to Buzz, the Red Telephone rang.
The Red phone was a specially designed communication interface between himself and recently deceased local solicitor, Peter Kipper.
Peter’s voice came through loud and clear. “As you know, Buzz, I represent the Coninsgshall deceased community. Several of my clients are unhappy at Scarsbury financially outperforming us. We need to get things back on track, so to speak.” “I’m all ears, Mr Kipper!” “I’m forbidden by Deceased Person Regulations from revealing too much. All I can tell you is, you need to spend some time on the ‘wrong’ side of the tracks. Get your man, Kanye, to Conginshall Railway Station!”
Their once-abandoned station had recently been renovated in a retro style, and a few miles of track installed to run old diesel and steam trains out into the countryside. Unfortunately, the tourists weren’t exactly flocking there. Kanye Bell-Eaves, the local Psychic Investigator, had long suspected there was something ‘not quite right’ about the area.
The next day. Kanye bought a ticket and joined a few tourists on an almost empty train. A man who looked a little out of place was Scarsbury Council Treasurer, George Sterling, carrying a heavy briefcase, with a chain attached to his wrist.
As they reached the only destination on the line, the quaint village station at Little Haven, Kanye’s iPhone Paranormal Activity App started flashing crazily, just before his data and phone signal went dead.
The train pulled into the station and everyone dispersed onto the platform. No-one seemed to want to visit the quaint picture-postcard village that was just a short walk down Old Memory Lane. It was almost as if it wasn’t there. Instead, they milled around the Little Haven Station and Museum Complex, before taking the train back to Coningshall.
Not George Sterling. He was heading down the lane with a purpose. Kanye discreetly followed him from a distance. George looked around nervously before heading into the village Bank. Kanye peered through the window and saw George passing over bundles of notes from his case to the cashier.
Kanye took a walk around the village. The detail they had taken, to recreate the late 1960’s was incredible – the cars, the fashions, even the prices! And yet the place was almost deserted. According to the newspapers, it was 1968. There were headlines announcing Robert Kennedy’s funeral, and a story about the Vietnam War.
But wait a minute. Kanye was getting a funny feeling about this. It all seemed too real. What does George Sterling know about it? And what if it really is 1968 here? If you invest money now, how much do you make on it 46 years later! Well done George. No wonder Scarsdale was doing so well.
1968. That explains the lack of mobile phone coverage. There won’t be any for decades!
Just then, George walked by with his briefcase stuffed with Champagne bottles. Kanye grabbed his arm. “Right, George. Tell me everything! I think Buzz Oldring might have an offer for you…”
So, when they got back to Coningshall, Buzz heard the full story. George had walked into Little Haven by chance and realised that the train must travel through a time portal that takes you back to the past! It seems only a few people are sensitive enough to see the village at all.
Months ago, George had found boxes of old-style pound notes in the Scarsbury Council Vault. No longer legal tender. And nobody seemed to know they were there. Using some creative accounting, he re-invested the cash and shared the profits with the council. George was making good money for himself and his employer, but never revealed his big secret. Why would he?
Buzz allowed George to name his own terms, and George was happy to sign up as the next leader of Coningshall Parish Council. On a very generous salary, with extras.
And what of poor old Scarsbury Council? Last I heard, they were having to borrow money from Coningshall. At “special” interest rates of course.
Peter Kipper and his clients were very satisfied indeed.
The photo and story were prompted by Pixel Prose Challenge, hosted by Amanda Lakey at www.UniqueArtChic.com
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For other entries to this challenge, click the Blue Frog!