Bert felt jealous, cheated on, and blue. Then he discovered he could morph into a giant nightmarish slug...
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On Wednesdays and Sundays I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ novellas. You can check in regularly and read them bit for bit, or leave a message in my 'contact' page, and I'll send the entire digital story to you for free when published.
Life in the Clouds #6: Take a Slug ® James Field.
In the last post: Dick Charmer chose a grotesquely lifelike scarecrow. Now he has to steal it before daybreak...
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 for free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 22
Dick Charmer removed a few bulky rocks from around the scarecrow's base, rested it on the ground, untangled it from its wooden poles, and hoisted it onto his back. Its weight surprised him. Although it looked like a fully grown man, it felt lighter than a toddler.
The work had taken longer than expected and the brief summer night was drawing to an end. A hazy glow of red on the horizon made him hurry. Sweat soon trickled down his spine and dripped from his brow, and just as the first cockerel squawked he saw a farmworker in the distance, strolling towards him.
Dick Charmer jumped into a ditch beside the gravel road and threw himself down. Thank God it was dry after so many warm summer days. When he dared to peek over the edge, the farmworker was no longer there, probably attending to the horses in a nearby stable.
Hoisting the scarecrow high on his back, Dick Charmer ran. Dogs barked somewhere, and as he dashed past the stable, he heard the farmworker chatting to the fillies. At any other time, the early morning sights and sounds would have soothed his soul and made him glad to be alive. Right now, he thought his heart might explode.
But he reached the row of three terrace houses without further trouble and slipped the scarecrow’s head through the noose hanging in front of Olive’s frontdoor.
The strawman swung gently by its neck, head slumped forward and facing the door, feet inches above the ground, arms dangling by its side. It looked so much like a corpse that the hairs on the back of Dick Charmer’s neck bristled, and a shudder tickled his backbone.
When Bert sees the result of his murderous plan, he thought, it'll be his heart that explodes. And then, hardly able to stop himself from laughing out loud, Dick Charmer slithered off to bed.
To be continued…
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The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
There’s a lot to like and a lot to dislike in this story. I like that it’s cosy, funny, and heart-warming. The plot, however, is a tragedy. There are two murders, and every character in the book, of which there are many, has a motif. With so many twists, turns, and red herrings throughout the narrative, it lost me in a virtual maze.
But the author commits the gravest crime: he introduces a new, guilty character right at the end of the story. Tut, tut, naughty.
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