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.
Someday, Penelope would pen a masterpiece! One day soon, during her haphazard leafing through her many sacred tomes, God would reveal the greatest discovery that mortals had faced. Everything, she determined in that moment, was a symbol—not just the book’s holy signs, but all physical omens. With excitement, she tried to foretell the future and reveal the unknown. Outside, the sun shone brightly, sending a shaft of brilliance that illuminated a globe of the Earth by her bureau. She ventured, “If it continues to shine on the globe for five minutes, then it will mean I’m to travel to South America. There, I will live under a new disguise and spend my money.”
She chewed her fingernails and watched the hands on her alarm clock. The sunlight almost lasted four minutes and then faded as a cloud passed before it. She gasped.
It was a warning, and she quaked. Would she ever leave this place of dull brooding? She had once thought it a clever refuge, now it imprisoned her.
She suddenly saw it all. “I ran away and hid in a prison! Justice doesn’t catch the criminal, he or she catches himself or herself!”
Again she tried, the best of three. She speculated about whether the number of carrots stored in her pantry was greater or less than five. If greater, then she had sinned. If less, then she was beyond the law. She pushed her chair back, rose, and raced to the bedroom door, sweating with the suspense of the test.
Suddenly, she stopped at the head of the stairs and cried, “Am I going crazy?” Her brain smouldered with confused inklings of mystic numbers and hidden warnings.
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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