Kate Meyer-Currey

The (re) turn of the screw 2 by Miles and Flora (with some assistance
from Miss Jessel)

As the years encroached upon its 

Defending walls, Bly Manor took 

To the fields, hoping that its hoard

Of secrets would be safe there. It 

Did not welcome uninvited guests; 

The spectacled antiquarians who 

Pored over crumbling maps in old 

Libraries and tried to sneak in via 

The tradesmans’ entrance. A few 

Flashing lights, thuds and judicious 

Groaning saw them off. But ghost 

Hunters were a twenty-first century 

Nightmare. A TV crew had Bly 

Manor besieged for its new show

‘Haunted Hang-Outs’; the servants’ 

Hall was abuzz with gossip; its

Green baize door thudded in the 

Wind of rumour and fires guttered

In twig-crammed chimneys. The 

Mildewed curtains bowed like tired

Shoulders with the worry of it and 

Plaster ceilings hovered protectively 

Over empty rooms. Moths fluttered

Skittishly as tapestries billowed in 

The breeze, while Death Watch 

Beetles knocked warning messages

Through secret passages. The 

Uproar woke the resident spectres: 

The Grey Lady went an even 

Whiter shade of pale; whilst the 

Mad Monk had to be placed in a 

Straitjacket and confined to the

Dungeons and the Headless 

Horseman lost it and went on 

A bender in the wine-cellar. His

Wild Hunt trashed ‘The Highwayman’

And were banned for life. But not 

All the denizens of Bly Manor were

Disturbed by the news. Some of 

Them had moved with the times. 

Quint, the shady valet, (well-known 

To Mr James) and Miss Jessel, the 

Ghostly Governess, besides her 

Charges, Miles and Flora, were all

In need of some excitement and 

Enjoyed melodrama in the nursery.

Samplers and pothooks did not 

Suffice. Thus a new plot was hatched 

And the filmcrew was invited to tea

On headed paper, in elegant script. 

At first, it was taken for a hoax

And the director, Tony Timberlake

Threw a hissy fit and yelled ‘Haven’t

These spooks heard of email? It’s 

The Twenty First Century, for crying 

Out loud!’ He calmed down after a 

Brandy, proffered by Gemma, his 

PA and some Valium (don’t ask).

Acceptance was duly sent and the 

Team set off on the appointed day 

With all their phantom-hunting 

Paraphernalia, tested and ready. 

A smiling Quint greeted them at 

Bly Manor’s imposing entrance and 

They were ushered to the Yellow

Library, where Miss Jessel, in her 

Black silk, and Miles and Flora, 

Starched in Sunday best, poured 

Tea and proffered cakes, on their 

Best behaviour. Yes, they were a 

Little shadowy in form and outline 

But they were in tune with CBeebies,

Netflix and aufait with Roblox and 

The Kardashians. The children did 

Their party-pieces; Flora lip-synched

With Lady Gaga and Miles did a 

Freestyle rap. ‘Aren’t ghosts meant 

To groan and stuff?’ asked Tony

‘And haven’t you got poltergeists 

here? They really connect with 

Viewers!’ ‘I hear that’ replied Miss 

Jessel, sweetly, ‘but Miles and Flora 

Outgrew that phase about eighty years 

Ago, didn’t you children?’ ‘Yes’ said 

Miles ‘It was like, lame; everyone 

Knew it was us anyway.’ ‘We’ve seen 

All those ghost movies’ piped up Flora

But they made us feel rather stereotyped,

Didn’t they, Miss Jessel? We much prefer 

Films like ‘The Others’ which portray us 

In a more holistic light. I said so in a 

Tweet to Greta Thunberg only the other

Day. You should follow my Insta

@ghostsarepeopletoo’. ‘Thank you,

Flora’ Miss Jessel added ‘By the way, 

Pas devant les enfants, we don’t 

Use the G-word. We say ‘differently

Dead’. It was a done deal after that,

With toasts drunk in port and contracts

Signed. Now Bly Manor is haunted by 

Tourists and has a new lease of life: 

As a themepark. Its erstwhile residents 

Are back from the dead, feted as celebrities 

And social influencers. Miles is dating 

Kelly Osborne, Flora now identifies as 

‘They’; her new song ‘Born Dead This Way’

Topped the international charts. Miss

Jessel is a supermodel (never eats or gets

Tired) and Grint has set up his own drill 

Label ‘Turn of the Screw You’. The Grey 

Lady is making a packet from ‘Cruelty

Free Corpse Cosmetics’, the Mad Monk 

Is on an extended yoga retreat, the 

Headless Horseman is studying equine 

Therapy and the Wild Hunt have formed 

A charity called ‘Save the Undead Badgers.’

Filming for their Christmas Special ‘Bly 

Manor does Downton Abbey’ starts soon.   

After all, ‘Dead doesn’t mean gone’; it’s

Rather a case of Netflix and chills…

Kate Meyer-Currey moved to Devon in 1973. A varied career in frontline settings has fuelled her interest in gritty urbanism, contrasted with a rural upbringing. Her first chapbook County Lines (Dancing Girl Press) comes out this Autumn. Her second Cuckoo’s Nest (Contraband Books) is due in February 2022.