British Horror Anthology Hell
THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN by David Forrest

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  THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN by David Forrest
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marksamuels
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THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN by David Forrest
« Thread started on: Aug 22nd, 2007, 05:25am »




THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN
by David Forrest
(Tandem 1974)

Terror can have such simple beginnings---a child's letter to Father Christmas...a lovely girl glimpsed in a London street...a spin down the Brighton Road...a night spent in an empty mansion for a bet.

And the consequences can be so fearsome, as the unsleeping dead walk again, as strange emotions stir inanimate things to murderous life, as horrors beyond our imagining cross the threshold into everyday life; can anyone be sure that all is as it seems?

After you have read this book, can you?


Contents
THE CYNIC
THE GHOSTWRITER
SHINGLE
WHEREVER YOU MAY BE...
BOYS WILL BE...
THE PILGRIMAGE
THE WRONG CHRISTMAS SPIRIT
THE VOYAGER
THE FINGER MAN
PILLION RIDER
THE BLACKAMOOR
THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN
SPARE PARTS INC.


THE CYNIC

Greville is thoroughly annoyed by his wife's preoccupation with trying to contact the spirit world and would much prefer her to cook him a warm meal and for them to watch the telly together in the evening. Moreover, he has no belief in the supernatural. In desperation he makes a bet with her. If she can prove that such things as ghosts exist he will join her spiritualist group. If not, she will become a good housewife. She soon learns of a manor haunted by the revenant of an evil monk and they arrange to spend the night there ... but beware of kittens

THE GHOSTWRITER

Marcus Benedict was once a famous television actor but is now a notorious drunk who hangs out in the pubs of the Kings Road in Chelsea, scrounging drinks from the landlords in return for collecting empty glasses. His ego had got the better of him when he was famous and he earned a reputation as being "difficult", finally being written out of the TV series that made his name. His only solace is his long-suffering girlfriend Janet on whom he takes out his frustration. When she leaves him, he decides, in his drunken rage, to write her a filthy letter of accusation, but, as he types, the words take on a life of their own and he finds himself writing a play...a play that finally makes him a lot of money and brings huge success. Unfortunately Benedict soon descends into his old egotistical habits and, one day, whilst dining with his trophy dolly bird, he encounters Janet in a high-class Chelsea restaurant and things take a turn for the worse ... much much worse

SHINGLE

A young couple spend their honeymoon at a lonely seaside cottage on the Kentish coast. She falls in love with the place. He comes to detest it. Slowly the shingle on the beach seems to rise up towards the cottage, as if drawn towards it. And the cottage falls in love with her, not wanting her to leave ... ever

WHEREVER YOU MAY BE...

Randy is a Jamaican bus-driver whose route takes in the Fulham Broadway. One day he spies a beautiful Caribbean girl and resolves to make her his own. However all his attempts to woo her come to nought, and Bill, his Alf Garnett style bus conductor, suggests that he try Voodoo, since he saw a film about it on the telly where someone successfully uses ju-ju to get a bit of crumpet. Randy takes his advice and asks around the London Caribbean community where he manages to contact an old Obeah witch who grants his wish to make the object of his affection come to him ... without fail

More soon ...
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demonik
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Re: THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN by David Forrest
« Reply #1 on: Aug 22nd, 2007, 05:59am »

Oh no! Severely distressed copy or otherwise, how could I ever have slung this back in the rack?

Much appreciated Mark. Later I'll put a credit and direct link back to this thread from Terrible Tandems. From your plot outlines these sound unmissable.

I despair!
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The inn sign ... was in the nature of a coffin supported by six headless bearers goose-stepping towards a white headstone, and underneath this somewhat forbidding daub with grim irony, the legend 'Ye Journey's End' - Guy Preston, The Inn.


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Re: THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN by David Forrest
« Reply #2 on: Aug 22nd, 2007, 07:30am »

As I boasted to Mark, my copy cost me the princely sum of 18p. I think Zardoz has copies for 1-95
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marksamuels
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Re: THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN by David Forrest
« Reply #3 on: Aug 23rd, 2007, 05:47am »

John

I paid a quid for mine!

Back to the outlines....

BOYS WILL BE....

Bill Hargreaves finds his son Gerald rather a disappointment. He once shared his father's enthusiasm for playing and watching cricket but has, of late, claimed he no longer has the time and spends his days locked away in his room watching television. On his mother's birthday Gerald presents her with an antique Asian statuette made of gold. Mr and Mrs Hargreaves are at a loss to understand how Gerald obtained it, and he insists he simply found it lying around. Then Gerald finds more and more curious items that are supposedly just lying around: wallets, purses, photographs, letters and currency from all over the world. One evening Mr and Mrs Hargreaves are watching the television when news breaks of an earthquake in Syria. A report shows the harsh treatment meted out to those who've taken advantage of the tragedy for their own gain. And one of those about to be punished is very familiar. Bill Hargreaves rushes upstairs to his son's bedroom but bursts inside too late ... far too late

THE PILGRIMAGE

The battlefields of the First World War have drawn back many an old soldier who wants to pay their respects to fallen comrades and Stan Pitch is no exception. He and his wife Ada travel to one of the French graveyards and there Stan makes the acquaintance of an old comrade, a comrade he was sure couldn't have made it out of the blood-filled trenches alive ... so he simply must introduce him to Ada

THE WRONG CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

Christmas Eve at the Victorian manse. The Minister, his wife and their three lovely children. All seems perfect and the only blemish is the fact that old Bill Giles died of a heart attack the day before, and his baritone will be sorely missed at carols in the church. Christmas just won't be the same without old Bill. Meanwhile the children are worried. What if Father Christmas doesn't come? They do so want him to. So they write him a personal letter asking him nicely to please come and then they throw it on the fire. It catches light and is carried up through the chimney by the flames, finally landing in the churchyard, a bit charred, a bit illegible ... who wouldn't oblige after reading such a sweet letter?

THE VOYAGER

The "Ocean Cruiser" is finally on the home stretch after her non-stop voyage around the world. The ship is listing to starboard, and is battered and scarred; her sails torn, her boom shattered. There's a huge welcoming committee at Falmouth, with a host of boats in the harbour, television cameras and reporters waiting on the quay. But something is wrong... and what the sea has once taken belongs forever to the sea.

Last lot soon....
« Last Edit: Aug 23rd, 2007, 05:48am by marksamuels » Logged

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Re: THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN by David Forrest
« Reply #4 on: Aug 24th, 2007, 04:44am »

Here we go, the home stretch

THE FINGER MAN

"The young man" is desperate to catch the five forty-five from Waterloo so he can be home by six, and settle down for a full night in front of the telly. His long-haired and bearded form can be seen skilfully weaving and dodging through the crowds of commuters at the station, until, breathlessly, he makes it onto the train just seconds after it has begun to pull out of the platform. As he piles into the carriage he collides with the knees of a bowler-hatted businessman who protests loudly. The only seat available is next to this man, "Knee-owner", and it's a tight squeeze. The young man lights up a fag and Knee-owner curtly points out that the carriage is non-smoking. "Piss off" is the response to this information ... Knee-owner informs the guard, it all goes to court and the young man is fined thirty nine pounds and seventeen pence despite the fact he only earns eighteen quid a week. So he's forced to sell the telly and can't even go to the pub.

He's not happy and he wants revenge. He's missing watching the wrestling and the Westerns. What Knee-owner doesn't know is that the young man works in a London hospital as a mortuary attendent and soon chopped-off fingers start appearing in Knee-owner's overcoat pockets ... but really, you shouldn't take things that don't belong to you ...

PILLION RIDER

Seventeen, fresh, wild, a chick out for kicks. Racing down the Brighton Road with her legs wrapped around the back of her new boyfriend, Tom, as he drives his superfast motorbike. She's never felt so alive.

A patch of damp leaves on the road surface ... and this is one thrill ride that ends in a living hell of horror ...

THE BLACKAMOOR

The house at sixty-nine Brompton Crescent is run down but no different to all the others in the street. Except that it's haunted. The old couple living there are disturbed at all hours by a noisy presence which is "black from head to foot like some hobgoblin". The poor folk are at their wits end. Too afraid to go to the police in case they'd be thought mad, hope suddenly arrives at their doorstep in the form of Father Magraw who's recently arrived in the parish and is introducing himself to his flock. Why hadn't they thought of it sooner---an exorcism! ... but be careful what you wish for ... it might come true ...

THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN

The Director and the Major are watching the protestors massed outside the fence of the high-security biological research facility out in the English countryside. Once the crowd consisted "of hippies, layabouts, student trouble-makers, drop-outs" but now it contains businessmen, housewifes...just ordinary people." The protestors want the place shut down. They know it produces biological weapons, any one of which could wipe out the U.K. population if it were released. But the chances of anything happening are remote.

Two hundred feet below ground. Laboratory 7D. A stress fracture in a flask. An explosion. A chance in a million. The viruses threaten to escape. The Director must make the decision. Total shutdown of the facility. Lockdown. His conscience is clear. Those inside must already be dead ... because the alternative is too horrible to imagine ...

SPARE PARTS INC.

International Electronics has no time for losers. Its employees must sell, sell, sell their products. They're the market leaders and they intend to stay that way. And Christopher Forbes is in trouble. His sales have dropped. He knows that without a big deal he's finished at International Electronics. But then along comes Okura Makasuku from the Japanese company Spare Parts (Tokyo) Inc with an offer that seems too good to be true ... and all Forbes has to do is sign on the dotted line ... after all a contract is a contract ...

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Re: THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN by David Forrest
« Reply #5 on: Aug 24th, 2007, 06:49am »

Sweet Jesus! London-based horrors, "it's like Amicus" endorsements, a guest appearance from a Vault delegation ("hippies, layabouts, student trouble-makers, drop-outs"), dolly-birds and motor-cycle mash-ups ... how on earth could I have not heard of this before?

Great write-ups, Mark. Expect to see it recycled all over WordPress when I get around to the A-Z of Tandem shorts
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The inn sign ... was in the nature of a coffin supported by six headless bearers goose-stepping towards a white headstone, and underneath this somewhat forbidding daub with grim irony, the legend 'Ye Journey's End' - Guy Preston, The Inn.

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Re: THE UNDERTAKER'S DOZEN by David Forrest
« Reply #6 on: Aug 24th, 2007, 5:03pm »

This is one I remember from an early age ,great stuff ,wish I still had it ,its up there with the best if you ask me (which you wont but I only read them not write them }
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