Bert felt jealous, cheated on, and blue. Then he discovered he could morph into a giant nightmarish slug...
Would you like a FREE copy?
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.
Sibyl flipped the bacon and three eggs. Sausages, mushrooms, hash brown, beans, and tomatoes hissed and popped in other pans.
“Don’t you believe me?” said Alf, a distressed expression on his face. He grabbed a knife and fork in each fist and banged them on the table. “A plague of man-eating slugs has invaded us, out to murder us all, starting with Morris, and you stand there making breakfast?”
Sibyl glanced over her shoulder. “How many slugs did you see?”
“Just one, but there must be more.”
“A giant slug?”
“Yeah. Big as me, but fatter. I saw it with all three eyes.”
Sibyl heaped the food onto a plate as large as a dustbin lid and placed it in front of Alf.
Did you follow?”
“Yeah, but I kept out of sight. It carried Morris’s pickup into the forest and trapped it between loads of trees so he can’t get out.”
“Eat,” said Sibyl, hands on broad hips, shoulders squared, stocky legs spread. “Why didn’t you try to help?”
“I’m employed to keep trespassers out, not tackle the supernatural. That’s more in your line. Anyway, I’m off duty soon. It’s Bert’s watch in an hour.”
Sibyl held her stiff stance but tapped her toe a few times. “A giant slug, you say. Are you sure?”
“If you don’t believe me, come and look. If the slug is still around, you can deal with it, and I’ll get Morris and his pickup out of there.”
“Right. Finish your breakfast and let’s get going.”
At the same time Alf ate breakfast at The Cloud Mansion, Bert swallowed breakfast in his terrace house at The Stables. He’d moved out of the gatehouse that he’d shared with Alf over at The Cloud Mansion and now lived at number one, Flintstone Terrace. His fiancé, Olive, who lives next door at number two, Flintstone Terrace, came to make him breakfast, but he had to admit that Sibyl was a better cook. Olive’s eggs were burnt and solid, the bacon was tough as old leather, and the sausages were still half frozen in the middle. It didn’t matter, because he knew Sibyl would give him another breakfast plus mouth-watering dishes for elevenses, lunch, and dinner.
There was no doubt he missed Alf and Sibyl’s company, but Olive filled his life with meaning and he loved her so much that his heart bled. If only she would set a date for their wedding and stop flirting with every Tom, Dick, and Harry.
Olive sat opposite him, eating iced buns and leafing through a romance magazine. She’d already studied the ‘Find a friend’ pages and had stopped at the horoscope. “See what it says under your stars,” she said. “You’re in for a romantic shock, so enjoy the spell.”
Bert reached across the table and stabbed the magazine with a fat finger. “See what it says under your stars: Neptune is in your anus.”
Olive giggled, licked the icing from her fourth bun, and patted the back of Bert’s hand. “Shame you’re on duty tonight and can’t come to the masquerade party.”
The touch of Olive’s hand sent a thrill along Bert’s arm but it didn’t improve his mood. Olive had shown him a lot of love lately; something this masquerade party nonsense would put a stop to. In her usual style, she’d try to seduce every man there.
To be continued...
The real world:
Rather than miss an instalment, it’s easy to follow my blog on bloglovin’. They’ll give you a friendly nudge as I release new parts.
Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth.
Image by Łukasz Cwojdziński from Pixabay
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
You can also Find me on
subscribe to get a free copy
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.
View all my reviews