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.
Excited about Olive’s book, Vicar Bitter often begged her to recite it to them. So far she’d read only a few pages, consisting mostly of quotations from ancient treatises on the prophecies. Sunday and Wednesday evenings, she appeared at the church. She lectured from the pulpit in a halting, scholarly way, on the worldly evils.
Tonight she spoke briefly, using long, complicated words, about the apostle Barnabas and the Judaizers. As the congregation grew drowsy, Penelope glided into a sad earnest speech about her corrupt sister, Olive, and told them of her fears with Olive’s itch for money.
“I worked in Africa doing missionary work, when word came to me of Olive’s fall from moral values. I heard of her loose behaviour with men, her disgraceful style of dress, and her obsession with money. Her mania with money bothered me especially. I dread she will commit a crime. Without delay, I returned and hired the house next to hers. Olive almost swooned when I showed up. She slammed the door in my face and refuses to see me.”
Gasps spread through the flock.
Penelope squeezed a tear from the corner of her eye and spoke with a shaky voice, “Olive is my entire family. I love her and urge you to pray for her.”
All fell to their knees and asked God for aid and mercy.
The service ended at nine. Penelope sighed and shook hands with the vicar and congregation. “Fine meeting tonight, wasn’t it? Such a free outpouring of the Spirit!” Carrying her groceries and the bottle of ink, she made her way home at seven minutes after nine.
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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