Publisher's summary Edit
"If you get out, you'd think you'd be one of the lucky ones. But you're not. The house infects you."
There's an old stone house near Coal Hill School. Most people hurry past it. They've heard the stories. But, if you stop, and look up, you'll see the face of a girl, pressed up against a window. Screaming.
Tanya finds herself drawn to the stone house. There's a mystery there, and she's going to solve it. But the more she investigates, the more she realises that there's a presence in the house. One that wants her.
Something is waiting for Tanya in the stone house. Something that has been trapping others in its web over the years. Something that is far worse than any ghosts.
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- Tanya Adeola
- Andrea Quill
- Charlie Smith
- Matteusz Andrzejewski
- April MacLean
- Ram Singh
- Vivian Adeola
- Tanya Adeola's aunt
- The Queen
- Alice Parsons
- Catherine Grace Parsons
- Alan Turnpike
- Constantine Oliver
- DC Carpenter
- DC Turner
- Female bone spider
- Baby bone spider
- Tanya Adeola has a neighbour named Mrs Cartwright.
- Of all ghostbusters, Matteusz wants to be Kate McKinnon as the one with the best hair.
- Miss Quill compares Tanya's invisibility with Derren Brown's magic tricks.
Alien species Edit
- Miss Quill mentions Daleks.
- Miss Quill mentions fire stallions.
- There are aardvarks on the planet Rhodia.
- Miss Quill does not give one Aulian's breath for what Alan Turnpike thinks.
- Bone spiders have a thorax.
London locations Edit
- The old stone house is at the end of an East End street in Shoreditch.
- Tanya has been to Spitalfields market.
- Tanya's aunt met the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
- Miss Quill, Ram, April and Tanya meet at Elephant and Castle tube station to visit Alan Turnpike who lives on Meadow Row.
- Offices of Constantine Oliver Ltd are in Highgate.
- Miss Quill bought her extraterrestrial knives on Camden Market.
- A laboratory in Brompton is fully aware of aliens.
- Alice Parsons's coffin was taken to Kensal Green cemetery.
- Catherine Grace Parsons was adopted by a couple from Stoke Newington.
Other Earth locations Edit
- Amira with her father, mother and sister Yana lived in Damascus in Syria until the war started.
- Amira, Ummi and Yana crossed the border from Syria to Kahramanmaras on the Turkish side.
- Ummi drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on their way from Turkey to Greece.
- Tanya's aunt went for a holiday in Spain.
- Among national dolls in the house there is a Spanish and Iranian dolls.
- The last refugee camp Amira stayed in before England was in Calais. There she shared a tent with a family from Homs.
- Yana suffocated while crossing the Channel in the back of a lorry with a refrigerator unit.
Extraterrestrial locations Edit
- Dandelions and overgrown roses grow in the garden of the old stone house.
- Tanya sees geraniums.
- The windows of the house are covered with ivy.
- The back garden of the house is overgrown with nettle and dock leaf, which looks like nettle.
- Trochulus hispidus is a species of snails with hairy shells.
- Mrs Cartwright has a Collie.
- Charlie draws ants.
- A cat pisses on dandelions.
- Tanya notices a pile of earth scurried up by a badger.
- The hedges in the back garden of the old stone house have the shape similar to a squirrel or a woolly mammoth.
- Tanya sees a dead wasp.
- Earth spiders have no eyelids.
Human biology and psychology Edit
- Tanya read that even having not slept the night, a human still catches bits of non-REM sleep. She also read about five tricks to wake up from nightmares: concentrate, observe, scream, blink and run.
- Human bones are wrapped in periosteum.
- Shifting brainwaves from theta to gamma and beta results in waking up.
- Stimulation of amygdala during sleep causes adrenaline flow and opening of the eyes.
- Tanya thinks that Amira exhibits Stockholm syndrome towards the house.
Food and drinks Edit
- Tanya often eats Shreddies in the evening.
- Charlie and Matteusz Andrzejewski drink orange juice.
- Miss Quill really loves coffee.
- April MacLean gives Tanya and Ram Singh apples to eat.
- Vivian Adeola prepares lasagna for dinner.
- Miss Quill eats sausage and egg for breakfast.
- Ram eats waffles with bacon and maple syrup.
- Teachers at Coal Hill School eat a lot of jam doughnuts.
- Amira feeds off tomato soup, tinned pasta, beans and mandarin segments.
- Miss Quill can tell amontillado by the smell of an empty bottle.
- Amira uses alphabet spaghetti to spell a warning to the Coal Hill defenders.
- Tanya smells garlic, rosemary, cinnamon and batter.
- Charlie eats a burger.
- Tanya drinks hot chocolate.
- Vivian is good at baking molasses and ginger cake.
- In prison, Miss Quill receives biscuits.
- Tanya often tries hacking the Pentagon.
- To gather information about the house, Tanya impersonates a representative of the Mass Observation Centre at the local library.
- Reyland Developers puts up an announcement for nightwatch staff in a local newspaper.
- Alan F. Turnpike runs the urban legends website "Myth City" featuring stories about the old stone house.
- Miss Quill mentions underlying prames of the Renyalin series. April thinks that she means primes.
- Miss Quill is wondering if the Rift is causing an uplift in temperatures.
- Tanya studies three-dimensional trigonometry and Bragg scattering.
- Miss Quill assigns a problem about the link between photoelectric effect and ionisation. Tanya mentions that a typical mistake is to link work function to electrons escaping from individual atoms.
Earth technology Edit
- April uses Nair tubes to remove hair.
- Tanya and Ram communicate via DM and FaceTime.
- During a heat wave, April uses a battery-operated fan.
- Amira communicated with Baba using Whatsapp before losing her phone in the sea.
- Tanya mentions Instagram.
- When Charlie says Miss Quill's pen might be a special device, Ram suggests it is a dildo.
- Miss Quill has EMF readers, like on Most Haunted, that measure fluctuations in electromagnetic fields.
- X-pro II filter modifies photos by blackening the edges.
- Alan Turnpike drives a Mini.
Alien technology Edit
- Miss Quill mentions an authenticating gun capable.
- She has a pen that works as artron energy detector.
- Flowers such as roses are supposed to be deadheaded.
- There are dolls in Victorian dresses in the attic of the house.
Earth culture Edit
- The old stone house would have been too gothic for the Addams Family.
- Miss Quill warns the Coal Hill defenders that her relationship with them is not similar to the one depicted in Dead Poets Society.
- Tanya calls the bag packed for her and Ram by April "Mary Poppins handbag".
- Tanya thinks the overgrowth in the back garden of the old house looks like topiary.
- The inside of the conservatory reminds Tanya of a scene from Great Expectations if Miss Havisham were a keen gardener.
- Spain was famous for flamenco and castanets.
- Miss Quill enjoys Orange is the New Black.
- The Coal Hill defenders find old issues of Beano and Dandy comic books for children.
- Tanya's aunt does Zumba.
- Tanya mentions J-horror.
- Alan originally thought that Faceless Alice could have been Alice Parsons, dressed up Psycho-style.
- Alan broke into Alice Parsons' house during the night to make sure that Alice was really sleeping, that there was no bolster in the bed or pulley system like in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
- Tanya wears pyjamas with unicorns.
- Tanya has an idea to use EMF readers like on Most Haunted.
- Charlie compares them with ghost busters.
- Miss Quill compares Constantine Oliver to the Cheshire Cat in reverse.
- April wonders if their investigations of the house will have a Scooby Doo ending.
- Since the house seems to clean up on its own, Tanya compares it to a creepier version of Beauty and the Beast.
- Covered in webs, Miss Quill's suit looks like a Halloween costume.
- Alice Parsons' letter mentions Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes' Night.
- Jasper Adeola sang "Rock-a-bye Baby" to young Tanya.
- Tanya asks if Alan like jazz. He replies that he is a prog person.
Rhodian culture Edit
- Miss Quill has a knife made from rare Kalthagon stone.
- Although, based on the dates mentioned in television episodes, the main events of this story are supposed to be happening in October-November 2016, repeated mentions of a heat wave and pictures of "packed British beaches" in newspapers suggest that A. K. Benedict intended the story to take place in the summer. This makes dating some of the events of the story uncertain.
- Matteusz's identification with Kate McKinnon makes even more sense given that she is openly gay.
- When the Coal Hill defenders split up investigating the house with Tanya going upstairs with Charlie and Matteusz and Miss Quill, April and Ram trying to find the basement, Tanya suddenly interferes in the conversation of the latter team happening downstairs. (Presumably, these are Ram's words, erroneously assigned to Tanya.)
- April says: "My parents aren't going to let me out of the house ..." even though her father is not living with them and is not even allowed to approach April without permission.
- Miss Quill asks if her students have been replaced again. (PROSE: Joyride)
- After their first kiss (TV: Nightvisiting), Ram and April started dating.
- Matteusz has moved in with Charlie. (TV: Nightvisiting)
- When Ram calls April Miss Quill Mark 2, Miss Quill says that it is an insult to the real Miss Quill Mark 2, who "did her best but war was not for her". It is not clear whether she is speaking about her sister. (TV: Nightvisiting)
- Miss Quill recognises hands she held when she was a kid, hands of a friend lost in a war. Later she would tell Ballon about her partner killed during the war. (TV: The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did)
- Amira sees Tanya's nightmare in which her father died. (TV: Nightvisiting)
- The main events of this story are set between Nightvisiting and Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart, placing it in November 2016.
Audio release Edit
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