Saturday, 6 April 2013

341: Agatha Ravenfarm

Agatha Ravenfarm had that sort of name.  It was the sort of name that people expected things from.  Agatha thought it was because the only Agathas she’d heard of were famous like Agatha Christie or Agatha Raisin.

Sometimes people thought she was Agatha Raisin and if she could be bothered, she would play along with them.  She’d regale them with stories of rural murders, gentle ones only of course, and how she had tracked down more killers than the Cotswold police ever had.  She had one particularly funny tale about how Penelope Keith almost turned down the Radio 4 role until she’d phoned her and pleaded that she was the only one who could make Agatha Raisin come alive on the airways.

Sometimes she patiently explained that Agatha Raisin was a fictional character and that as she was a real girl, she couldn’t possibly be her, could she.  Sometimes she explained less patiently.

Others thought she might be something to do with farming, what with her surname.  Perhaps it was a family name and property name in one.  But Agatha had never even been on a farm and suspected she would have a severe phobia of mud in the quantities likely to exist on an average farm.  Besides, she was allergic to pig hair, which she knew because she always sneezed three times when she went into the back office of the warehouse with the 1980s hardwearing carpet tiles.

In her local area Agatha was becoming close to being an ‘It Girl’, famous just for being famous.  She quite liked that idea but she had no trust fund income and no driver and no city bolthole for shopping trips before society parties and planned on keeping her nasal septum, so Agatha knew that it would never quite be her.

Agatha Ravenfarm eventually decided she should probably change her name, do it officially by deed poll to make sure.  It seemed like such a good name at first and the Control approved it.  None of them had foreseen the problems, although maybe that was just the area she had chosen for residence.  If she had set up in a large city, perhaps even an Agatha Ravenfarm could have been anonymous.

So she packed up and left, pretty much overnight.  She left no forwarding address and had given no neighbours details of her family or where she had lived previously.  Nobody should be able to find her. as it should be for someone in her trade.

Abbie Raven surfaced a few weeks later, 200 miles away, hidden in a large city and much closer to the people she had been hunting for all along.

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