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.
Olive sauntered to the kerb and peered into a store window, puckered her lips, and pretended to show interest for the wares within. With the corner of an eye, she followed the approaching man. He stopped when he reached her and gazed over her shoulder into the shop window. “Hello, Olive.”
Olive acted startled and fanned her fingers across her breastbone. She couldn’t recall the man’s name. He was new, and dishy. “Oh! Hello, how are you?”
“Better now I’ve seen you. Anything here takes your fancy?”
“Oh, lots of things. You know how we women are.”
“That’d look good on you.” The man pointed at a barely clothed manikin.
Olive’s knees locked together. She suddenly realised the shop sold sex toys and erotic lingerie. Slowly, she wheeled around and anchored her attention on the man. He was tall, a few years younger than her, with broad shoulders and a twinkle in his eye.
For a moment, his eyes hung on the manikin, then he shifted his gaze and whispered into Olive’s ear. “Always on the look out, eh! Bert’s a lucky fellow if you ask me.” The man winked and passed on.
Back in her car, Olive cruised through Chipwick’s high street and made for home. As she left, she peeped at her watch. It was five minutes before seven in the evening.
At a quarter past seven, she veered into The Stables. A few modern villas shouldered the entrance, but once inside the hamlet, the rutted lane meandered through meadows spotted with grazing horses, the lush-green land covered with scatterings of dry leaves and bark.
As she reflected on the cocky man, she drove a little too excitedly and almost ended in the ditch. A fling would be easy. All she needed to do was place a saucy message between the notes of his wages. But she sighed and cast the idea out of her mind. An affair would put her plans at risk, and that she wouldn’t do.
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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