Deep in the Cornish countryside, there is a legend as old as time itself. A legend so ghastly, so blood-curdling, dear reader, that I am loath to utter it. For in the shadows, in the whisper of the trees, there resides a ghoul. Consumed with torment, she haunts the village with her anguished wails and icy breath.
Whether people are birthing a sheep, paying their respects at a funeral or watching reruns of Top of the Pops on BBC2, the ghoul will appear and start breastfeeding her ghoul baby indignantly. Only if you say “Please can you put your breasts away so I can eat in peace” three times will the ghoul float away, screaming, to the Daily Mail.
Living in constant terror, the country folk are unable to sleep or eat. The life expectancy is now 37. Crops are withering away. Cattle are perishing. So that’s where I come in. Timothy Rothchild, ghoul hunter extraordinaire, pleased to meet you.
“This’ll be your lodgings for the night,” Martin Jackson, the landlord of the local pub says as he places my suitcase on the bed.
I glance around the room. It’s not much, just a single bed and a rickety wooden chest of drawers that looks like it will collapse at any moment. But there’s a pile of lovingly-folded blankets and a pitcher of warm milk to keep me cosy.
“This shall be more than adequate,” I say, taking off my flat cap. “I bid thee good night.”
Once the door closes, I change into my night garments and huddle beneath the blankets. Sleep is slow to come, but when it does, it embraces me fully.
Some hours later, I am awoken by a curious suckling sound. Striking a match, I light my candlestick and gasp. It is she. (The breastfeeding ghoul I mentioned earlier, please keep up).
“Be gone, ghoul,” I command, my voice wavering. “You are not welcome here.”
“Be gone!” I shout, throwing some frankincense and eye of newt at her.
Her pale eyes glare in the darkness.
“You must leave this village and never return, do you hear me, ghoul?”
“My name is Sarah.” She floats to the window, gazing sadly into the distance. “I wasn’t always like this, you know. I didn’t assume that people were sadists if they’d prefer not to watch me lactate into someone else’s mouth while they’re eating a steak bake at Greggs. I wasn’t always hated so.”
“It can be so again,” I say, reaching my hand out to her. “Breastfeeding is a normal, natural part of life. No-one thinks it’s gross. Just stop being so smug and self-righteous about it.”
“You’re right,” Sarah says. “Thanks, Timothy.”
“Wait, how do you know my name?”
“I have always known,” Sarah says as she fades into the darkness. “I have always known.”