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.
Dear friends, if you like a good chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series. On Wednesdays and Sundays, I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ stories. You can check in regularly and read them for free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
#2: Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 46
In the last post: Bert offered a hand of friendship. He clamped Dick Charmer's mitt and squeezed…
At first, the bones in Dick Charmer’s hand ground together in a tangle of knots.
“If you scream,” said Bert, squeezing ever harder, “you’ll bring the police running. We don’t want that, do we?”
Then the bones cracked and twisted out of joint and air exploded from Dick Charmer’s lungs in a squeal of agony. “Oops!” said Bert, “Sometimes I forget my strength. Still, it’ll stop you pick-pocketing young ladies for a while, won’t it?”
Dick Charmer staggered to his feet, careful to hold his mutilated hand away from his body, out of harm's way. His chin trembled and tears streaked his cheeks.
“If you ever come back,” said Bert. “I’ll break the other one too. Understand?”
Keeping his eyes averted, Dick Charmer answered with a slight nod. He grabbed his small suitcase in his left hand and darted away into the woods.
Bert followed the departing man until lost from view. He shook his head and glared up at the sky. It was over. The troublemaker had scattered like a cat with pepper on its tail and wouldn't come round again. Life could return to normal and Olive would turn her affection back to him. “Sorry, Chums,” he said to his Alsatians. “No fresh meat today. Let’s get home, quietly, I don’t want anyone to notice us.”
Before Bert came from the cover of trees, he checked to see if the coast was clear. A horse and cart rattled along the pebble road, but the driver stared into his smartphone, thumbs twiddling across the screen. After it had passed, Bert darted to his house, hid the pouch of stolen jewels in one of the Alsatian’s kennel, and returned to the place where his handcuffs still dangled to a scaffolding pole.
In the distance, he caught the wail of police sirens. He froze, and his forehead creased with worry. They were coming for him and he didn't know what to do.
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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