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.
“There’s one advantage of living one hundred years in the past,” said Olive.
“Well, it’s not this clumsy typewriter.” The secretary wrinkled her nose at the bulky monster.
A modern computer terminal sat in the office's corner, but Mr Styles insisted that a vintage typewriter is best for all normal office duties. “The advantage for Styles is that payment in cash means he avoids paying taxes”. He’d never registered the part-time workers to the authorities. He was a bigger rogue than she and Bert put together. But that was okay. She was about to change all that. Soon, she would be England’s most infamous crook.
In her usual methodical manner, Olive went about her ordinary routine of business. She counted out money to amounts as listed on a typed payroll schedule.
She’d placed both suitcases at her feet, and though one of them was heavy, it contained nothing but the pages of her encyclopedias, cut to the size of paper money. With a slight movement of her foot, she opened the suitcase and exchanged a worker’s wages for roughly the same number of false bills. She then stuffed the worthless sheets of paper into his pay envelope, sealed it, and dropped it into a black pouch with dozens of other envelopes.
Whenever the secretary spoke on the phone, or her typewriter clanked, or the low screen hid her, Olive swapped money for rubbish. All the while, Olive rubbed her eyes as though they hurt her, and moaned at the headache that was about to split her head in two. Mr Styles, as usual, remained in his office, drinking coffee and taking small naps.
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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