|That cover's all my own work. And fair enough, it shows...|
"They say a disastrous dress rehearsal is an omen for a great production, but retired art teacher Rosie Hadfield is about to discover just how wrong the old adage can be. At the dress rehearsal for Whitstable Players' Christmas production of Jack And The Beanstalk, a sinister figure stalks the church hall theatre, striking when the plucky amateur actors least expect it.
The Whitstable Players are about to be taught a lesson in pantomime history, with acts of sabotage so audacious it would make the Phantom of the Opera himself hang up his chandelier."
Even by my standards, this is a pretty silly story, and in terms of its festive content, it's a Christmas story in exactly the same way that Die Hard, Batman Returns and Iron Man 3 are Christmas films. In the end, reviews for this story demonstrated that people weren't quite reading it in the spirit in which it was written. Without a certain amount of context, it does look pretty mean-spirited in places, and so I took a deep breath and unpublished this story. When I next put out a collection of short stories, I'll have to take a very serious decision about including it, with or without substantial rewrites...