Ghost Pub.

Harlaxton Manor, Lincolnshire. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Big Dave was a taxi driver who ferried students back and forth between Harlaxton Manor and the nearest town of Grantham. He called himself “Big Dave” because there was another driver with the same company named Dave, and also he took up most of the front seat, always wearing the same gray-green sweater that made him look like a big mossy boulder, which is why there were four of us—Regina, Liz, James, and me crammed into the back. We told Big Dave we’d been at The Gatehouse.
“Oldest pub in Grantham, you know” he said. “Used to be called The End Of The World back in the old days, back when most folk didn’t travel more than five miles from home. Back then the edge of town might as well be the end of the world, though if you traveled you might find a pub on an otherwise empty road. Most of those are gone, now. Ghost pubs, like the one I took some Americans to a few years back.”
“You took people to a ghost pub?” asked Liz.
“Well I didn’t know it then. They told me they wanted to go to a place I didn’t know, outside of town, but the fare was good and they were well-dressed so I said yes.”
I looked out at the shadowy pastureland rolling by.
“When we got there they was pretty upset,” Big Dave continued. “Insisted on getting out though it was just a dark, deserted building. I went in with them and looked around. Whole place was falling apart. I could see stars through the holes in the roof. They swore they’d been to the same place the night before and that it had been a bright, cheerful place. The driver who’d brought them was with a different company so no help there.” Big Dave sighed. The lights of Harlaxton village glowed ahead. “Well, I took ‘em back to The Gatehouse and they tipped well so that was all right. But the next night I was off and went out looking again. And I found it! Bright, cheerful place, full of people. Long bar, a Scottish band playing. I thought I’d found bloody Brigadoon.”
“Oh, come on,” said Regina.
“Truth!”
As he turned onto the mile-long drive at the end of which Harlaxton Manor glowed like a beacon, Big Dave glanced back at us.
“They’d given me the wrong address.”
We all laughed. Then, as he brought the car to a stop James said, “Hey, maybe you could take us there some night.”
“Sure,” said Big Dave, “if I could find it again!”
We could hear his deep, reverberating laughter as he drove away.

Source: Tenor

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2 Comments

  1. ANN J KOPLOW

    Great story, Chris, and these days I’m grateful when I’m not scared.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m grateful this story entertained you, Ann, and, while I can understand being grateful to not be scared sometimes a little scare is a good thing.

      Reply

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