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.
Away from the church, Penelope stepped inside the grocer’s store and bought a hip flask of whisky. She took joy from throwing away her abstinence. But when, on the street, she swallowed a large mouthful of the liquid, it made her dizzy and she was afraid she’d fall. She sunk to the curb and sat, her head giddy. People gathered. Maddened, she refused help, staggered to her feet, and swaggered up a road.
For hours she paced, sipping cautiously at her flask, making and discarding the most contradictory plans: to go to Styles and come clean or to spend the money riotously and never confess.
It was midnight when she returned to her house. Stopping before it, she stared with bleary eyes and gasped. The front door was open. In a flash, she remembered that in her haste to leave she had not closed it. She sauntered in, locked the door, and headed for the backyard toilet.
Her foot struck an object the size of a book, and she sprawled to the carpeted floor. She lay a moment, muttering oaths, then turned to see what had tripped her. It was a hollowed-out encyclopaedia, and it was empty. Instantly sober, she listened. There was no sound. She groaned to her feet, crept across the floor, and flipped the light switch.
Now she could see. Someone had wrenched the doors of the bookcase open, pulled out every book, and slung it to the floor. All the encyclopedias that had held a fortune were in a pile, empty. She searched for ten minutes, but the only money she found was one five-pound note, which had fluttered into a corner. In her purse, she had one pound and sixteen pence.
Stunned to a degree where she couldn’t breathe, Penelope realised with stricken horror that she had six pounds and sixteen pence to her name, no job, no friends—and no identity.
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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