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.
From the first, they had accepted Penelope as the most eloquent among them, and it had amused her. Now, it wearied her, and she resented their friendship. Among The Stable’s entire population, and possibly all London, she was doubtless the sole woman who saw beyond the world’s materialistic and egoistic illusions. She alone saw heaven's potential for pure enjoyment and inner calm.
It was on a Wednesday, towards the end of November, during a tedious meeting at which the red-faced Vicar Bitter had preached the evil of sin for one long hour, when Penelope sprang up. She snarled to all those present: “You make me sick. You think you’re so certain of God’s blessing that you can’t do wrong. So did I, once. Now I know we are all wretched sinners—no exceptions. You proclaim your sins, but secretly you consider yourselves saints. I tell you, Vicar Bitter, that I, whom you regard as the most virtuous among us, am an unhappy woman. I must repent, confess, and expiate my sins! And I will confess right now. I stole—”
Terrified, Penelope clapped her mouth shut and darted out of the church. In her haste, she left behind her hat and coat, and tumbled past the village green of The Stables, not stopping until she had locked herself in her house. She trembled with fear because she had almost revealed her secret. Yet she agonised because she had not confessed and gained peace—the peace of punishment.
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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