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.
#3: Gamblers who Cheat ® James Field. Part 01In this post: Alf's life was in a rut. But not for long…
Alf loitered outside his ivy-covered gatehouse one morning, scratched the stubble on his chin, and stared off into the distance with half closed eyes.
It was spring again, and birds sang in the treetops, but somehow there was no sparkle in their songs, especially when the constant drone of traffic from the nearby road dominated all other sounds. What he craved was adventure. His way of life as security guard at the Cloud Mansion was in a rut deep enough to smother him.
There was no thrill in his heart these days. He'd won his last three bare-knuckle fights with dreary ease. There had been no trespassers on the Cloud estate to deal with, and apart from his sparing fights with Bert and the company of his dumb robot, Crusher, he was almost always alone.
He missed his wild youth, when he'd been free and frank, a different woman in his arms each week and stopping men in dark alleys to steal their wallets. The only responsibility he'd toted was to himself. There were no bills, no house to keep, and it had always been easy to pick fights with stroppy guys in the pubs.
Now he lived in a comfortable tenancy, ate as much delicious food as he wanted, and had a steady income. Dull, dull, dull.
With a profound sigh, he closed the door behind him and sauntered off across the estate. He soon joined an overgrown lane that wormed its way through a dense and ancient forest. Reaching its end at a lofty stone perimeter wall, he passed through a high-security gate.
He now found himself in The Stables. In the old days, the village had been part of the Cloud Estate, a hamlet where servants and farmers lived. These days, it was a thriving privately owned riding stables for the rich.
Alf hovered at the gate and rolled his neck and shoulders. From a distance, the small village looked drowsy. But if nothing was going on, he'd soon find some mischief to liven things up.
To be continued…
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Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth. here to edit.
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Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A curious book this, about an Englishman searching for his lost infant son in France just after WW2. Laski wrote this book just after the war too, and it shows its age, stuffed with adverbs, adjectives, and telling rather than showing.
It's a heartbreaking story, well worth a read for its stunning portrayal of war-torn France, but the hero, because of his weak morals, is a tough person to cheer for. Also, the plot is obvious and falls flat on its face at the end.
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James at Goodreads