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 headed for Bushey. At a spot she knew well, two miles from Chipwick, she veered off the road onto a farmer’s track. Her car bounced along until she reached an extensive copse of trees, most of them oaks and maples. There she turned her car lights off, parted ways with the track, and inched her car along a seldom-unused woodland road. The car splashed through puddles, and every so often a boulder or tree root scrapped and knocked the underside of her car.
Stiff after her long drive, she climbed out, stretched, and switched on a torch she’d brought with her. With the torch held down, she lunged through the woods and up a rise of ground to a low bank overlooking a wild and swampy pond. In that pale light, she made out the reedy expanse of the pool. It was so muddy, slimy, and tangled with weeds that nobody used it for swimming or fishing. It stank worse than Bert’s outside toilet. Olive shone the torch over the water and bit her lip. She had no way of knowing the pond’s depth, but out in the middle, where it was clear of growth, she reckoned it would do.
The deep rutted farmer’s trail led to the pond’s bank, continued around the perimeter, and melted into the woodlands on the other side. She paced the rough path back to her parked car and smiled. The track was straight, dotted with tufty grass and weeds, and had no serious obstacles.
Satisfied with what she’d seen, she flew back to the main road. There she waited until a considerable gap opened in the traffic, and then renewed her northward course toward Bushey, driving fast.
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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