In the last post: Dick Charmer attracted paying crowds to Ye Olde Inn. Shame this was his last evening...
Dear friends, if you like a good chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series.
On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ stories. You can check in regularly and read them free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 09
“Look at him go,” said Styles, tapping his walking stick to the driving rhythm and urging his stiff old hips to rotate like Dick Charmer's. “Dances like he’s got a weasel up his bum.” He slapped the cane across the bar. “Drinks all round." A cheer went up from all but Bert.
What’s the matter with you? Don’t be such a party killer!”
Bert glared at him, jowls and eyes sagging. “What’s the time?”
“What a stupid question to ask at a time like this. Why ask me?”
“Because I lost me watch.”
Styles blinked at Bert and then gawked at him. He'd envied Bert's watch, a flashy Rolex that had cost a fortune. “Tough! Where’d you lose it?”
“If I knew that it wouldn’t be lost, would it.”
Styles slapped his knees and cackled. “You got me there."
Since Bert and Olive had engaged to marry, and Bert had moved to a house at The Stables, Styles had seen a lot of him at Ye Olde Inn. Bert was the biggest man he'd ever met, a blend of solid fat and steel-hard muscle. And by the looks of his face, you'd think he was a bogeyman: a fitting security guard for the neighbouring Cloud Mansion and Estate. "You on duty tonight?”
“No, it’s Alf’s shift. Ain’t my turn until tomorrow afternoon.”
“Cheer up then you grumpy bugger.” Styles chortled and shuffled his feet. He knew he could say what he liked to big man without him taking offense. It was only when you'd known Bert for a while that you saw his soft centre. Apart from the occasional brawl, he wouldn’t hurt a fly. Put in jeopardy, he'd protect children, friends and animals with his life.
“Seems like the devil’s got into the youngsters tonight.” Styles turned his attention back to the disco and waved his arms and walking stick in the air. “Never seen them having this much fun.”
He whacked Bert’s broad back with his cane, raising a haze of glittery dust in the disco’s pulsating lights. “Go and dance with Olive. Aren’t you two engaged?” He smacked his gums and snickered. “She can’t dance to save her soul, but she makes me horny just looking at her. If she were my girl I wouldn’t be sitting here moping.”
To be continued…
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Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A curious book this, about an Englishman searching for his lost infant son in France just after WW2. Laski wrote this book just after the war too, and it shows its age, stuffed with adverbs, adjectives, and telling rather than showing.
It's a heartbreaking story, well worth a read for its stunning portrayal of war-torn France, but the hero, because of his weak morals, is a tough person to cheer for. Also, the plot is obvious and falls flat on its face at the end.
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James at Goodreads