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Here there were different genres of ghosts. Not only the ghosts that a person might think they glimpse, those that gain life as sights passed down through stories and warped and amplified by generations, but also spooks as a form of loss and small ghoulishness; a residue locked inside stuff.

An undercurrent. These ghosts hummed and ticked, meowed and tapped; the communal buzz of the station, the stealthy thud of metal on metal somewhere inside the clock tower. Skirmishes of atmosphere and decaying thoughts, becoming perpetually present as looming landmarks and reference points in the street.

Weather-sculpted and cathair unshaven, William Rushcroft travelled restlessly through the corridors and passageways, often being met by his exhausted eyes, reflected, by accident, in bus-stop shelter glass, or glimpsing in cafe-fronts the tragic gate of his walking towards some terminus or other.

When he didnít travel he slinked around the caverns of the printing machinery, joyfully watching as his work spooled off the rack and down into a pile of inky glory, and then regretfully watching the conveyor belt and lights simmer to a halt when the run was over.

Part of his glee at the process was down to the order and repetition and, as a whole, the sanctuary found in such a mundane ritual. And it was needed to such an extent that when the routine was fractured - even for a few hours - a horrible inertia, at best, and mild depression, at worst, set in, that resulted in fidgeting and staring out of windows interspersed with reading appallingly twee articles in the grease-dotted Metro.

But he found a little comfort in knowing the effort that had been expired was probably going to be worth it, if only by way of some things that were not tangible, at least in the sense that they were not visible to him; small joy in the faces of readers spotting a minor delight, recognising a shared interest or a chunk of info that might change their lives. Bill Rushcroft soothed himself thinking of the fact. It made the gaps between editions shrink, and eased the boredom, which could be restricted further with lazy sips on strong, deep-beige English breakfast tea.

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