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 hastened to the town’s underground station. The underground is a great way to travel: discreet and fast. It was ten minutes to eleven. She bought a ticket from a machine, and rather than sit in the waiting room, she stayed outside in the shadows, hidden in a dark corner. When the train wheezed and sparked into the platform, she slipped into the last seat of the rear carriage, and with the hood of her jacket tugged over her eyes, she pretended to sleep. She had to change trains often on her course across London. When she reached a station close to The Stables, she jumped off and started a two-hour trudge to her house at number two Flintstone Terrace. She reached home at two o’clock in the morning.
She slept beautifully that night, hummed in her morning shower, and popped in to visit Bert in his house next door at midday. He was drowsing on a large settee against the wall in the lounge. “Wake up!” she shouted.
He snorted and squeezed open one eye. When he sighted Olive, he rubbed both eyes and opened them fully. “Aren’t you at Harrogate?”
“I ran into some hard luck. My car broke down and I left it at Epsom.”
Bert swung his legs to the floor and scratched his bald head. “You left it at Epsom?”
“That’s what I said. Epsom.”
“Oh.” Bert glanced around, then pointed his fingers this way and that. “I thought you were driving north. Epsom is south.”
“Yes, that’s right, south to Epsom. I don’t know about you, but I’m starving. I haven’t eaten breakfast yet.”
Throughout the meal of egg, beans, bacon, toast and marmalade, Olive complained of her headache and swollen feet. “As soon as we’re finished, I’m going to pick my car up at Epsom and drive north to Harrogate. I need that spa and a rest.”
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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