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.
Part 22: Lightweight suitcases…
Bert dabbed his mouth on the back of a hand. “Can I give you a lift?”
“No, thanks. I’m just taking a couple of lightweight suitcases with some old clothes, and my make-up, and plenty of room to shop. I packed them already, before I came here. Anyway, it’s time you went to work.” Bert worked at the nearby Cloud Estate as a security guard, and he seldom took time off. “I’ll probably take the noon train North if I can get the pay packets ready in time. We’re busy at the moment, with these payrolls for the extra part-time workers.”
“Okay, I’ll give you a lift to the office, then I’ll mosey on up to the estate.”
Five minutes later, Olive arrived at her office, carrying the two small suitcases and a neat, frilly handbag. Mr Styles helped her to carry the suitcases inside.
“Be careful with that bag,” she said. “My make-up is in it.” That was a lie; it contained her Penelope disguise. “I can’t wait to get started for Harrogate and the spa.”
“Wish I could go along, Olive. How is the head this morning? Does it still ache?”
“Somewhat better, but now my feet ache, too. Guess I’ve been using them too much, but the spa will soon sort that out. I’ll try to catch the train North at eleven-thirty. Can you have a taxicab here for me at eleven? I need to get to Edgware.”
“Yes, my car broke down there yesterday, but they promised to fix it by noon.” Another smooth lie; her car was at Sidcup.
“Okay, Olive. Taxi here at eleven. You should buy yourself a new car.”
“I plan to. Something sporty.”
“Good.” Then Mr Styles disappeared into his own office, muttering under his breath about taxis and sports cars.
The secretary at her desk close to Olive called heartily: “All right for some people! You wait! Next summer holiday, I’ll go for a month spa!”
To be continued…
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Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth.
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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.
View all my reviews