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.
Penelope never returned to the All Saints church, and, for a week, she did not leave her house, save for midnight prowls in the alley behind Flintstone Terrace. Suddenly, she became frantic with the silence. She flung herself out of the house, leaving the front door swinging open. She raced up to the village green, no topcoat over her festering garments and her thick brown hair matted and bedraggled. People stared at her, but she continued with a resigned fury.
The glimmer of her old life as Olive drew her into Ye Olde Inn, where she hoped to sit inconspicuously at a table in a secluded corner and listen to normal people talking and laughing. The bartender gaped, and Penelope caught a mutter from a man close by: “There’s that crazy hermit!”
“A glass of cold milk and a cucumber sandwich,” said Penelope to the barman.
The half dozen young men loafing at the bar surveyed her, stunned into amused silence, ear-to-ear grins on their faces. They made her feel so uncomfortable that she couldn’t eat or drink her sandwich and milk. She thrust them away and fled, a woeful failure in her first attempt to eat out in eighteen weeks—failed to revive that Olive whom she had coldly killed.
Previously, Olive would have enticed the young fellows with her smiles and the appeal of her body. They would have returned her stare, wishing they dared to court her. Now, they wouldn’t touch her with a ten-foot pole.
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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