Review of Cardiff Ghosts by Vincent Stephen: an unpublished novel

“Every cleaner in this building is black. Or every one of them that I’ve ever seen. African black. Dressed in white shirts like the one I’ve got. Pushing and pulling for the illusion of hygiene. I think these are the same men and women who keep the toilets clean. They are here when I arrive in the morning and they are here when I leave. He came around the corner and he gave me a smile. I raised my hand to him open palmed. He is half invisible here. Cardiff ghosts live in the stairwells and on the train station platforms. Under the bridges which the trains take above street height. In the lifts stuck between floors in derelict buildings. The unfinished foundations of the halls of residence.

Back on my floor I had five minutes left of my lunch and I was standing in the toilet staring at myself in the mirror. From the centre of my head, down the right hand side, between my temple and my ear, a long white hair streaked down to my chest. A single line of white in a blanket of black. Like the rings in a tree trunk. The lines around your eyes…”

Cardiff Ghosts is not a ghost story.  Or is it?  More