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.
Olive’s darkest hour came at this point in her life. She was still Penelope, and she had no choice but to return to her rented house at Flintstone Terrace, number three. She had no car, no food, and no income. If she couldn't pay her rent, she would soon be homeless.
While plodding home, her head and shoulders slumped, she did something completely out of character, both as Olive and as Penelope. She cried. Huge sobs racked her body, and she felt so tired that she considered jumping into the ditch to sleep forever and forget her sorrows.
But her feet dragged along, and before she knew it, she was home. There was only one solution to her deep depression: a cocktail of pills and a large glass of whisky. It sounded like paradise.
She stopped and stared at her house. There were lights in her bedroom and lounge. As crazy as she was, she couldn’t remember leaving them on. But then again, hadn’t she left her front door open and allowed a thief easy entry?
There was more. She could see through the lounge window that a fire blazed in its hearth, and a shadowy figure leant an elbow against the mantelpiece. It occurred to her then that she was dead. On her way home, she really had fallen into a ditch and probably drowned. Now ghosts watched to welcome her to the afterlife. Are ghosts real? She asked herself.
Abruptly, she realised she wasn’t ready to die. Yet the warmth and light in her house called to her. What did she have to live for? Nothing. Her long deceased relatives waited for her, waited to engulf her in their love.
She hesitated, uncertain whether she should enter. Life or death, which should she choose? She bit the inside of her cheek, and it hurt, which confirmed she was still alive. She shuffled towards the door, her mind made up. As soon as she crossed the threshold, she knew she would die. So be it.
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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