We’re all writers, right?

In a way, yes we are, whether we are penning quarter million word best sellers, carving the name of a lover on a tree  or spraying Baz rools orlrite on someone’s brand new Bentley. Though I would strongly recommend there are other, more positive ways of exercising one’s latent literary talent otherwise you mind find yourself  writing letters that begin….Dear Mam and Dad, prison food isn’t so bad….

Here’s something to make you smile….I hope.

The Nine Amendments is a fantasy novel with a humorous religious theme that is set on a post apocalyptic Earth.

The story tells of Judysear undertaker, Isack Knewtun and his trip to Sunniclimes, ostensibly to remove and relocate the newly discovered Mummy of Mo Sez, a Prophet who is believed by the Theocracy of Judysear to have been burnt to a frazzle by The One God atop Mount Sinisitis for being a dreadful sinner.

It says so…right there in The Book.

Other translations suggest it was because he was a dreadful singer. The issue has never been resolved and caused more schisms than the head of the church has had hot dinners. Or hot somethings.

But this is all a ruse…and Isack is far from being a simple undertaker and Mo Sez is far from dead!

Chapter 7.

The burial chamber was large, as befitting one of such importance, and full of all the accoutrements a former Pharaoh could possibly need in the afterlife.

Although there were no servants. That was something to be grateful for.

Convincing those stupid old sods that he did not need five hundred handpicked members of the Royal Household, including twenty-five of the most nubile and energetic concubines had been quite a feat of diplomacy.

He was relieved not to have that on his conscious

Though he remembered having to threaten them with all manner of dire and grisly death if they ushered anyone into his tomb after he had made his final journey.

He had made one concession: his favourite camel, Flem.

They were correct; he would need transport when he arrived.  However, arriving back here was not part of their plan.

It was most definitely part of his. Although, in reality, he had never left.

The walls were full of carvings, detailing his life’s achievements, for all that was worth, he thought, as he scanned the archaic symbols.

Didn’t I add one of my own somewhere, he wondered? He looked at the wall above his sarcophagus.

‘There it is,’ he announced. He read the inscription aloud. ‘Mo was here.’ He chuckled. ‘I wonder what they’ll make of that. If they ever find it, that is.’

In the shadows, at the far end of the tomb stood Flem, snoring gently

‘Wake up, you cantankerous, moth-eaten old git.’

The sound of the Mummy’s voice echoed eerily around the chamber.

Long eyelashes fluttered. A wisp of breath escaped from its nostrils and a small plume of dust appeared from the camel’s rear-end.

‘Hrungnff’, said the camel.

‘Oh, for crying in a bucket. We’re cooped up here for I-don’t-know how long and the first thing you do is fart? The last meal you ate was so long ago there can’t possibly be anything inside of you that could warrant such a stink.’

Mo covered his nose with a bandaged hand. In a muffled voice, he continued to remonstrate with the camel. ‘The least you could have done was to wait until we’re out in the fresh air. Something that is now decidedly lacking in here.’

Flem turned his head slowly in Mo’s direction, gave one languid flutter of his eyelashes, swished his tail, and farted again. Then adding insult to injury, he belched loudly.

Mo shook his head in resignation.  ‘Limber up a bit, I would,’ Mo advised the camel. ‘It’s been a while since either of us had any proper exercise. Don’t want you pulling up lame after five minutes out on the sand.’

The camel gave him a look of disdain; nevertheless, he began to move his legs while remaining in the same place.

Even such a limited amount of movement had the effect of kick-starting the camel’s digestive system and immediately produced several foul smelling ‘parps’ of ancient dust.

‘Okay, okay,’ Mo pleaded, ‘enough limbering.’

The camel came to a stuttering halt but continued to swish its tail suggesting an attitude of, ‘Any time you’re ready, chief?’

Mo contemplated the effect on a regiment of enemy infantry if one hundred farting camels were turned rearward at the moment of charge. Maybe it could be bottled he mused.

‘Food and water are a priority. I’ve got enough for a week,’ he said, hoisting a dripping, ice-cold crate from the sarcophagus, ‘but we’ll have to find something for you.’

The camel snorted in agreement.

‘Once we’re out in the desert, the nearest oasis is around fifty miles away, so we’ll have to make sure you have a full tank. We’ll wait ’til it’s dark before we leave. There used to be a bar near the palace called Seti’s, if memory serves? They had several water troughs and food bins for camels. If the place is still there, we’ll be all set.  Mind, you, that was a long time ago. Keep your fingers crossed.’

The camel gave him a sideways look.

‘Figure of speech.’

Flem moved his head in an up and down fashion as if appraising Mo’s attire.

‘Yeah, I know. But what can I do? If I take the bandages off I’ll burn up like a thousand year old piece of papyrus.’

Flem jerked his head to the left, towards the sarcophagus.

‘I already checked. Nothing. It was a new-fangled idea some of the priests believed in. Something about being re-born. Except for the bandages, you entered the afterlife wearing the same gear as when you first came into this life. Well, if need be, I’ll try to find something when we get outside, alright?’

Flem smacked his lips and ground his teeth.

‘So what if we’re confronted? I’ll make a few woo-woo noises and wave my arms about. That should be enough to scare the you-know-what out of anyone.’

Flem snorted.

‘Okay, not you, of course, because effectively, you don’t have any you-know-what inside. Ha, ha. Not funny.’

The light began to fade as the sun dipped into late afternoon.

‘I suppose I’d better look for a candle or something, but with you farting every five minutes, I doubt there’s enough oxygen left in here for one to burn. By Dog, you stink. ‘Okay, let’s get ready to leave. Oh, I almost forgot.’

Mo reached into the sarcophagus and retrieved something oblong and metallic. It looked similar to a Tablet. Remarkably similar, in fact. ‘Don’t want to leave this lying around.’

He walked stiffly over to Flem, packed the saddle with supplies then slid the Tablet and the sceptre into a specially designed velvet-lined leather satchel.

‘If you would do me the honour, old friend?’

Flem knelt down and Mo swung gingerly onto the saddle.

‘Whenever you’re ready, old friend.’

 

Copyright ©Douglas Pearce

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Book Extract…

I haven’t posted here in ages, but my Altered Ego, the Ark, did a post over here 

http://atheistenquiry.org/2014/02/11/if-god-does-not-exist/

about sailing off the edge of the world and during a further conversation it brought this to mind.

From the fantasy novel, The Nine Amendments.

Undertaker, Isack Knewtun is having dinner with Captain Blithely. He is sailing to Sunniclimes….

Isack, who fastidiously avoided most things to do with the Church, didn’t seem to think excommunication sounded too bad until  Captain Blithely explained that although they were only planning to throw him out of the church, it was the six-storey drop from the bell-tower that would have been the problem.

‘Ah, I see your point. What about the prayer and the circle thing?’

‘You prob’ly know that when the wardens mark you for excommunication they make the sign of a cross, like an ‘X’. Three crosses and that’s a strikeout. The sign of the circle, or nought, ‘spossed to counteract it. Mr. Winky’s little prayer is sort of forun. Means, Please keep me out the sh—’

‘I think I understand,’ Isack interjected. ‘We were talking about your brother, Captain.’

‘Oooaargh that we were. Well then. ‘Parrantly one of their lot had come a cropper while convertin’ the ‘eathens up in the jungles of Wethafkarwee. Are you familiar with the place in question, Mister Knewtun?’

‘I know of it, but have not visited the country.’ Isack’s idea of well-travelled was having visited all the cemeteries in and around Port o’ Bill.

‘Visited. Right. Doubt it’s the type of place you’d choose fer a visit. Those what ‘as visited, as it were, didn’t return to tell the tale, oooaaargh. In fact, none that I’m aware of even had chance to send a postcard.’

‘Yes, I had heard it to be rather foreboding.’

‘Oh, I wouldn’t know nothing ‘bout bodin’, Mister Knewtun, I’m only a simple ship’s captain. What I do knows is that it is a very portentous place where they ‘ave very interestin’ culinary ‘abits. Sometimes involvin’ visitors.’   Blithely pulled on his pipe in a sagely manner and finished the draw with his familiar phrase.

‘Good gods, cannibals!’ Isack exclaimed. He was aghast.

‘Aye, caninballs, Mister Knewtun, caninballs. So’s you can p’raps understand the C-word’s urgency on settin’ off on their rescue mission.’

‘I can indeed, Captain. What an awful business. Very rum,’ Isack added for maritime effect.

‘Oh, sorry, Mister Knewtun, where’s me manners. Pour us all a drink there, Mr. Winky, if y’please.’

‘Aye, cap’n.’

Winky got up to oblige.

Isack had never drunk rum from a tankard before and certainly not one that was full to the brim.

‘Er…’

‘Don’t worry about it, Mister Knewtun. There’s plenty. Wonderful cleanin’ properties. Removes encrusted salt and loosens up the barnacles a proper treat, it does. On the ship too, fer that matter.

‘Where was I? Anyways, they was in such an ‘urry they wouldn’t let any of them poor sales-ladies off the boat ‘afore they set sail. Said that although this was a rescue mission, the girls would be able to help the C-word with other positions of missionary work. They also took with ‘em several tools of their trade, includin’ one hundred fully armed and caparisoned soldiers. My brother was not an ‘appy man, I can tell you, Mister Knewtun.’

‘Doesn’t seem as though he had much choice, Captain,’ said Isack sympathetically.

‘Oh, ‘e ‘ad choice all right. There’s always that, Mister Knewtun. The choice ‘e was offered was, relinquish control of your ship to the servants of the Mighty, or swing. So he relinquished. For a while, at least. Well, the ship landed at Wethafkarwee and they found their warden. Some of ‘im, anyways, so I ‘eard. But the wardens of the C-word reckoned that as they was already there they might as well do some convertin’. Can’t say fer sure what they converted them Fkarweans into but it was probably similar to the conversion undergone by that unfortunate T-word warden.’

Isack noticed a look of disgust and contempt on Blithely’s face when he said C-word. A look suggesting that while not condoning cannibalism, it had even less respect for the Church.

Although Blithely didn’t ‘hold none fer foruners’, at least the Fkarweans didn’t invade Judysear and force everyone to worship their god, which just happened to be a five-toed sloth called ‘OO-OO.’ And of course, they had to eat something, he supposed.

‘They set sail shortly after their convertin’ and ‘eaded ‘ome. But what Fkarweans was left was proper…you know, like when you ‘as too much to drink.’

‘Er…drunk?’ Isack suggested.

‘The other word.’

‘Ah,’ Isack nodded, eyeing his own drink cautiously.

‘So they sets off in pursuit and gave chase, forcing my brother to alter course. Those little canoes o’ theirs can go right fast with enough motivation.

‘Well, my brother pointed ‘is ship at the horizon and hoisted ev’ry sail ‘e ‘ad, believing they wouldn’t give chase to the edge of the world, like. But they did. Meanwhile, them wardens was screamin’ blue murder, knowin’ full well that my brother was set on sending ‘is ship off the edge, if necessary, rather than fall into the ‘ands of the Fkarweans.  ‘E wasn’t about to let anyone make a whore’s derves outta ‘im.’

‘But that’s an old wives’ tale. Surely your brother knew the world is round?’

‘Not ever ‘avin a wife, young or old, ‘e was in two minds about what shape the world is. Flat or round, made no difference to ‘im, long as the water didn’t fly off.

‘But the Chur…sorry, Mr. Winky, the C-word, knows it’s flat and they’ll sail right round t’prove it. That’s about the time they got all the sailors t’mutiny and key-holed me brother, Mister Knewtun.’

‘I’m dreadfully sorry, Captain Blithely. Truly I am,’ said Isack.

‘S’okay, Mister Knewtun, Fkarweans got all but one of ‘em anyways. Found the poor wretch washed up on a beach a ways up the coast. Tha’s ‘ow we was able t’piece together the story. Died shortly after, ‘e did. Boat drifted ‘ome on its own a few days later, and at least my brother was already diced.’

©Douglas Pearce 2013

 

Book Extract – Gloop

A short extract from the fourth novel, Gloop,  in the Mining of Lif series

Chapter 5 

The Siege of Brothelingham

‘I could probably hit it from here, sir.’

‘Hit what, corporal?’

‘Their barn, sir.’

‘You may refer to it by its proper name, corporal.’

‘Just don’t like to say the word out loud, sir.’

‘I realise it may look like a barn corporal, but nothing dire will happen by using the word Mosk.’

‘No, sir.’

‘So. You were saying. About hitting the Mosk?’

‘Yes, sir. Reckon I could.’

‘Oh, really? As we have no canon I can hardly see the point of taking pot shots, other than alerting them of our presence. And I am not about to indulge you merely so you can demonstrate your marksmanship, corporal.’

‘Sorry, sir. I meant with this.’

‘A signal flare?’

‘Yes sir. I’ve made a sight for the tube. Like my rifle, sir.’

‘So I see,’ said the captain, his curiosity rising.

‘So…er, if I rest it on my shoulder like this,’ the corporal demonstrated,

‘Ah, I think I follow. Mmm.’

‘If we wait ‘til they’re all inside, praying…’

‘Yes, corporal, I get the picture. A weapon of mass destruction, you might say.’

‘Only a proper church has a Mass, sir,’ the corporal said indignantly, not picking up on the pun.

‘You are correct. And quite a large one if one considers all the stone.’

‘Beg pardon, sir?’

The captain sighed.

‘It doesn’t matter, corporal. However, I do not think fire-bombing a religious building full of worshippers would be the right thing to do. Even in war there are some lines I will not cross.’

‘’Scuse me sir, but our priest back ‘ome said it weren’t a sin to kill anyone who practices infidelity.’

The captain’s eyed narrowed. ‘The term you are looking for, corporal is Infidel. It refers to one who follows King Infidel Castrol. Also, if it was morally right to kill the other kind a fair portion of Judysear would be wiped out in the first attack and that would include most of the priests.’

Copyright© Douglas Pearce

Book Extract…for Ish.

Discussing this with blog pal, Ishaiya I said the part I was going to reference was only a couple of paragraphs long. This turned out to be around 1000 words.

Forgive me. But in my defence,  there has to be some context, right? 

From the third novel in the Mining of Lif series.

Whenever a volcano threatens to erupt near a major metropolis, a giant lizard runs amok, or a huge chunk of rock threatens to induce a worldwide headache it creates a Situation.

To deal with these larger-than-life events those In Charge require a gathering point to Direct Matters and when it’s all over, give clenched fist salutes or high fives, hug each other, sing national anthems (somehow managing to remember the words) and utter such memorable platitudes as, “Yeah, right on,” or “We did it!” or “Effin A”. Although they never appear to be doing anything, other than swear a lot, sweat profusely and cheer.

A precursor to setting up a Situations Room always seems to involve a group of military-types bursting into a building close to the site of Imminent Destruction.  They usually wear protective clothing with the initials T.W.A.T. (Tactical Weapons Advance Team – or something) emblazoned across the front and back.   Behind these stalwarts, you will always find someone with rolled-up shirtsleeves and several rolled-up plans, or drawings of the disaster area in question. (Although, when the whole world is at stake, the map is electronic and wall mounted in front of hundreds of computer monitors.)

One of the T.W.A.T.’s sweeps his arm across the first available flat space, (so as to lay out The Plans) invariably destroying priceless pieces of Dresden china, one or two Faberge eggs and a small piece of innocuous paper that has the name of the hero on it or the crucial formula that just happened to be lying around. And the moment someone announces, “Right, let’s see what we are getting ourselves into, shall we?” a lost dog will wander in and go “Woof!”

In the slightly less sophisticated world of the Sueridge Canal garrison, they also had a Situation and a Situations Room.  Only, the immediate Situation was inside the Situations Room.

‘Is it poisonous, do you think, Sarge?’ asked Corporal Zimmer, nervously.

‘Fifty-fifty, Corporal. Only way to find out is to milk it, am I right, sir?’

‘That is correct, Sergeant,’ Captain Poohbah agreed.

Corporal Drivel Zimmer had a limited knowledge of dairy-farming but a picture formed inside his head nonetheless.  ‘Wouldn’t work, Sarge. Couldn’t get a bucket underneath it.’

The others, gathered around the entrance to the storeroom where the plans of the canal were stored in wax-sealed hollow tubes, turned to stare at their serious-looking colleague.

It was obvious from the amount of dust and cobwebs that this room had not been opened in quite some time. The startled looks from many of the room’s current occupants added to this impression.

The snake, coiled on the table in the centre of the room, reared up sinuously and stared at them. It had an air about it that said, “I was in the middle of lunch. Do you mind?”

The hollow tubes containing the plans of the canal were behind the snake in pigeonholes on the far wall. So were a few pigeons.

‘Reckon it must be poisonous, sir. That’s the longest, thinnest tongue I’ve ever seen on a snake,’ Zimmer offered as a qualifier.

The others turned to stare once again at the snake. The long, thin, pink tongue flicked from side to side for a moment then disappeared inside the snake’s mouth.

‘That, “tongue”, Corporal Zimmer, is, or rather was, a tail,’ said Captain Poohbah.

Zimmer gave his captain a look confirming his belief that all officers were mental.

Poohbah noticed.  ‘A rat’s tail, Corporal.’

‘Oh, riiight. Ha-ha. Silly me, sir,’ Zimmer replied, as a metaphorical light of very low wattage began to glow inside his head.

‘Isn’t that a relief model of the canal on the table?’ Poohbah asked.

‘Si, Senor Captain,’ affirmed the wiry, moustachioed individual standing next to Poohbah.

From the amount of droppings, it appeared rats and pigeons had been relieving themselves upon it for some time.

‘It would be very useful for our strategy, wouldn’t you agree, Sergeant?’

‘Certainly help when it comes to troop placement, yes, sir,’ Flogin acknowledged.

‘Well we can’t stand around indefinitely. Has anyone got a suggestion?’ Poohbah asked.

The snake, having swallowed its lunch, began to hiss in a disconcerting manner. Disconcerting for those watching it that is. It was perfectly normal for the snake.

‘Oh, the gods,’ groaned Corporal Zimmer, the colour draining from his face.

‘What is it, man?’ Poohbah asked sharply.

‘It’s ‘im, sir,’ Zimmer exclaimed. ‘We can’t go in there. It’s a sign.’ Zimmer swallowed thickly and edged away from the entrance.

‘Him? Sign? What are you talking about?’

‘The One God’s nemesis: Stan,’ croaked Zimmer.

‘Stan? Who the ‘ell is Stan, Corporal?’ Flogin demanded.

‘Everyone knows who Stan is, Sarge. We learned all about him as kids. The One God’s numero uno pain-in-the-arse. Turned up in that garden as a snake and made Evelyn eat her fellah’s banana. That’s Original Sin, that is, Sarge. We can’t interfere with Stan. It’s an omen.’

‘Corporal get a hold of yourself!’ snapped Poohbah.

‘That’s also a Sin, sir!’ Zimmer blurted.  ‘And I intend to always have good eyesight, sir. I can’t go in there with Stan. No way. Sorry, sir. But I just can’t.’

‘It is not a sin to eat bananas. Or any other fruit for that matter. And there is certainly nothing original about it either. People have been eating fruit since before they climbed down from trees. As for “Stan,” I think you will find the name is Sayten. Am I right, Sergeant?’

‘Definitely in the right legless-lizard ballpark, sir.’

The snake decided that this lot were not going to provide it with any sport and slithered off the table and down an old rat hole to digest its meal in peace. There were several squeaks of relief and one or two coos.

Captain Poohbah caught a last glimpse of the snake’s tale.  ‘Ah. Seems our little problem has resolved itself. Corporal Partz, please assist Corporal Zimmer to retrieve the table. See if you can clean it up a bit beforehand though. We shall set up a Situations Room in my office. Senor Brunel, you may now enter and retrieve the plans for the canal, I believe.’

Copyright ©Douglas Pearce

In the mood for…..

claude bolling

Inspiration – for me at least – is a funny old thing, and it usually arrives while in the shower or in the garden or on the run. Something triggers a rush of ideas and on occasion I am able to write out a whole scene in my head then it is just a case of getting to the wordprocessor ASAP and get these thoughts typed.

When I am banging away on the computer at full tilt I usually work with music and often I will have a particular piece of music depending on what I am writing.

During the writing of the novel, The Pourne Identity ,  I had one particular favorite: Claude Bolling – Picnic Suite, which I have on LP and I listened to it almost exclusively during the entire time spent at the keyboard.  I stress almost, as to listen to it without any variation would have driven me mad   madder.

For some reason I got it into my head that this was a very French piece of music and as the book is set in France it seemed appropriate.

Anyway, see what you think?

This is track 1 Rococo.

The Pourne Identity. Extract

Jim Logan sprinted through the concourse but reached the pick up point too late, just as the back of the limo began to weave its way through the nighttime Parisian traffic.

‘Damn,’ he swore, then hailed a taxi parked twenty-five metres further along the pavement. He waved frantically but the driver, who was plainly visible under the bright lights of the airport, remained impassive and did not respond. Logan walked a few metres closer and tried again. Still no response. After a third attempt he walked to the taxi, yanked open the back door and yelled.

‘Taxi!’

‘Oui monsieur, I ‘eard you the first time. Zere is no need to shout.’

‘So if you heard me yelling why did you not come pick me up?’

‘Ah, monsieur, it is only twenty-five metres. Mon dieu, you are not a fit looking man. The walk did you good. Besides, monsieur, zis is my spot. If I leave it I might miss a fare.’

‘But I was hailing you, for god’s sake. I am your fare.’

‘True, I suppose. But what if you changed your mind? Then I would   ‘ave wasted the drive, wasted petrol and lost my parking spot. Tu comprend?’

Logan, feeling exhausted and exasperated climbed inside the taxi and handed the driver a piece of paper.

‘You know this address?’

‘Mais oui. Le safe house.’

‘Can you take me there, then? Sil vus plate?’

‘But of course. In a moment please.’

‘I’m in a hurry. This is a national emergency.’

The cab driver suddenly looked shocked.

‘Mon dieu, Thierry Henry is defecting?’

‘Who?’ Logan asked, almost at his wits end.

‘Thierry Henry. Ah, my god. One of the greatest footballers on the planet and you don’t know ‘oo ‘e is. That is a tragedy.’

‘Just drive, for god sakes man.’

‘Hold on, monsieur, I ‘ave nearly got it.’

‘Got what?’ Logan asked.

‘Ze combination for the lock on my sandwich box. Ze other drivers are always trying to steal my food. It’s a conspiracy I tell you. A bloody conspiracy. Ah, there you ‘ave it. Of course, 666, I should have known. My little Emily is such a devil.’

 The Pourne Identity © Douglas Pearce

Something to read. It’s free and for gratis. Enjoy 🙂

http://www.pkaboo.net/bookshop.html#almostdead

In The Pub. Crime & Punishment; it’s just not cricket!

images (3)

 

Alf tapped the newspaper with his pencil.

“S’lot of people that is. A bloody lot.”

“Lot of people what?” asked Bert.

Alf was doodling on his copy of the Daily Express while considering putting 50 quid on the upcoming England/Pakistan cricket test. Apparently the only safe bet currently on offer was which pair of umpires would take the field. Being politically savvy, his money was on South African Darryl Hare and that West Indian bloke Steve Bucknor. Besides, he knew someone who worked for the sponsors, Black and White Whiskey and he told him it was a dead cert and for 10% of the winnings he’d make nearly 300 quid.

“All these murders,” replied Alf coming back to the moment.

“Murders? What murders?” Bert asked.

“Over in South Africa,” said Alf.

“Been there once,” Bert offered.

“You never did? When?” Alf asked.

“Oh, long time ago, it was. Was on holiday and went to see old Basil D’Oliveira. Only I didn’t.”

“Sorry, Bert. You’ve lost me,” said Alf.

“What I mean is, I was due to see him but I didn’t get to see him on account of the colour thing,” Bert explained.

“Oh, right. Apart…. Whatever it was.”

”What?” Bert said.

“The colour thingy they had over there,” Alf said.

“No. Not skin colour. Was on account of the colour of my ticket. I turned up at Wanderers Cricket Ground and I had the wrong ticket. And it was sold out. The ticket I had was green and had Zoo –admit one, on it.”

“Ah, I see. The Wrong Trouser story, yes?” Alf said.

“That’s the one,” Bert agreed. “So what was you saying about murder?”

”Over in South Africa. They’ve just released the figures. Says so in the paper. Seventeen million.”

Bert was incredulous.

“Seventeen million! You’re balmy, you are.”

“Well that’s what it says. Must be true I reckon, otherwise they wouldn’t print it, would they?” Alf replied indignantly.

“Yes, but seventeen million, that’s like …like, all of Wales that is. You sure?”

“Have a look for yourself then if you don’t believe me,” said Alf sliding the paper across the bar to his friend.

Bert quickly read the article in question then breathed a sigh of relief and shook his head.

“You daft old fool. You been doodling on the paper, you have. See these extra zeros? They’re in pencil. You wrote them. Put you bloody glasses on next time. It says 17,000.”

“Oh. I thought it sounded a lot. So only 17,000 you say?”

“Yes!” Bert said.

“Well, that’s all right then, I suppose. Er…how many murders have we had in Wiggleswood then?”

“Seventeen and a half,” said Bert.

“Oh. That’s still a fair amount for such….”

“Since World War I,” Bert added.

“Oh,” Alf said.

 

 

Copyright©DSP

In the Pub- Naturally.

 

 

The_Coach_and_Horses_pub_sign,_16_New_Street_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1471733Down at the Coach and Horses, Wiggleswood’s Premier imbibing establishment, things are not in order at all; naturally!

“It’s the natural order of things, Alf. Women on top,” Bert said.
“S’what I told the missus,” Alf agreed. “I told her you said so, too.”
“So what’s the problem, then? Why so glum?” Bert asked.
Alf was sporting a bandage around his forehead and a nasty looking blue eye.
“The missus didn’t agree, she said it were the man who’re supposed to be on top.”
“But didn’t you tell her that if she was on top she’d be in control?”
“Yeah. I told her,” Alf said.
“And you mentioned it would mean you would have your hands free . . . for other stuff!” Bert said, winking.
“Oh, I told her, all right,” Alf said.
“And she didn’t seem even the least bit interested? Not for a moment?”
“Nope. Not at all,” Alf said shaking his head. “But she ended up on top though. I made her.”
“Ooh, made her. That could have been handled more diplomatically,” Bert said sounding concerned.
“Well, it’s a bit bloody late now, isn’t it? I mean, look at me!” Alf moaned.
“Yes, I was wondering what happened, but didn’t feel it my place to enquire after matters conjugal,” Bert sad.
“Conjugal? What the hell’s that when it’s home?” Alf said, looking perplexed. “This happened while the missus was on top of the ladder washing the windows. I pointed out a spot she’d missed. She bloody swore at me and while she was stretching she dropped the flaming bucket right on my bloody head! Next time I’ll clean the perishin’ windows me self and I’ll thank you, Bert to keep your expert opinions to yourself. And it’s your bloody round!”

Copyright©DSP 2010