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Mr Godley's Phantom

by Mal Peet

Martin, a returned soldier from WW2, suffering from what would now be diagnosed as PTSD, takes a job as a chauffeur driving reclusive Mr Godley's Rolls Royce Phantom. The reader may have sympathy for Martin to begin with, but this sympathy may be misplaced as the story develops - the clue is in the word Phantom! A sad, but oddly amusing and convincing read. I enjoyed it!

Extract

He turned away and bleated a cry of alarm. There was a man standing behind the door. A soldier. Martin's breathing beat its wings in his chest. His brain flustered.
No, not a man. Not a real man. A tailor's dummy in army uniform. Khaki cap and long skirted tunic, Sam Brown belt. Martin approached it, cautiously. An officer's parade uniform from 1914-18 war; a captain's, possibly. Medal ribbons some of which he recognised. The faceless head was unbearable. Martin backed away and left the room, closing the door very carefully.

Parallels

Eight Ghosts: The English Heritage Book of New Ghost Stories by Mark Haddon et al
The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories by Peter Haining
A Month in the Country by J L Carr
 

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