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.
“I suppose I ought to be glad to hear you praise poor Olive,” said Penelope, “but I'm more concerned with her lack of respect for the affairs of the spirit.”
Although Mr Styles considered himself a friendly person, and because he didn’t like her type, he found little to say to the caustic woman, and therefore he sat back, fiddled with his pen, and listened politely.
“She never comes to visit me,” continued Penelope, “and when I went to visit her, we quarrelled. How can I make her see her sins when she shuns me so?"
Mr Styles couldn't care less and he gave a simple little half shrug.
"I was hoping to catch her here.” Penelope clenched her jaw and spoke through her teeth with forced restraint. “That Olive is so shameless and flippant.”
“We don’t think she’s flippant.” Mr Styles swallowed gently and murmured. “We think she’s a pretty steady worker.”
“But her play-acting, and those horny love stories she reads, and the way she dresses. Well, I try to keep in mind the teaching ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged’, but I am pained to find my dear sister dropping immortal promises for mortal amusements.” She sighed. “Well, I’ll call on her, but I doubt she’ll let me in.” Her stiff, black dress rustled as she rose to her feet, and with her hands clasped and her chin high, she said, “I trust that some day we shall see you at All Saints. Good day, Sir.”
The following Monday, when Olive reappeared at work, Mr Styles gave her shoulder a squeeze and said, "Nice to see you back. I'm going to give you compliment. You're nothing like your sister."
Olive sighed: “Oh, Penelope is a good person in her own way, but she’s a religious nut, inside and out.” She rocked back in her chair, gave a little giggle, and sat forward again. “If I murder Bert, or rob a bank, I bet you the finest lunch in town that she’ll do her best to bring me to justice. That’s how freaked out she is.”
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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