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.
The village centre clustered around a large green, formed in the shape of a triangle. In the centre mushroomed a large oak tree, its canopy almost as broad as the green. A stone-built church, the vicarage, and its graveyard dominated one side of the green. A Smithy, a convenience store, and Ye Olde inn with its stables ranged along a second side of the triangle. Mr Styles, the owner of The Stables, lived in a stately town house that shared the third length with administration buildings.
Penelope passed Ye Olde Inn. She advanced slowly; her features smooth and expressionless, headed for the church.
The church was small and practical. Above the entrance porch, painted in large flowery text, was the church’s name: All Saints. It contained a railed off sanctuary at the head with stained-glass windows. Within was the altar, tabernacle, raised pulpit, and a chair for the vicar. Maggot-eaten oak pews filled the church’s body with room for three hundred people. Organ and choir occupied a small loft at the back. The church smelled of candle wax and incense.
A group of devout members gathered for the evening service, and when the steeple clock chimed eight, the meeting began. Theirs was a tiny, tight-minded group. They asserted they alone obeyed the scriptural doctrines full out. On the day of judgement, God would save them alone. All other denominations, part-time worshippers, unbelievers, and those who practised homosexual behaviour or sex out of marriage would rot in hell.
Vicar Bitter conducted the service, a bulbous man who loved to preach doom and gloom. He was a tall, heavy-boned man, with a vacant look on his leathery face.
One after another, the members rose to receive the body and blood of Jesus at the Holy Communion. They were a gaunt and plainly dressed lot, rather elderly and complacent. The most honoured among them was Penelope.
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.
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