The last thing I expected to see that morning was a snowman with a carrot nose standing beside my laptop. Well of course it wasn’t a real snowman – just one of those awful blow-up dolls that you see in cheap shops. But how did it get there? More importantly, who put it there? I live alone with my two dogs and, as far as I know, no-one else has a key to my house.
This was her fourth ice cream in a row. She was out of control. It was probably because she had deprived herself of so much during Lent, but that was no excuse for pigging out on Easter Monday. Brighton seemed to have that effect on her. First go to Harry Ramsden’s for fish and chips – there could be none better in the world. Then saunter down the pier watching the kids pumping their money into slot machines in the amusement arcades, just like she used to do before she became ‘sensible’. Then wander along the front looking to see how many youngsters were brave enough to take a dip at that time of year, as she had done as a teenager, while her parents were sitting wrapped up in thick overcoats on their picnic blanket spread over the shingle. Oh the memories that came flooding back!
“He is such a rambunctious varmint, that pesky fox,” said Aunt Molly, “he’s fair chewed his way through the roots of my cherry tree, and I never get any cherries any more these days.”
“Mind you, the reticulation of the ablaqueated roots of that tree has been used as a hiding place for the bunch of rabbits he’s been after, so it could have been caused by them already.”
James was hiding behind a tree at the edge of the forest behind his sister’s cottage. He wondered how he was going to do it now. His sister had told him that Tony would be in bed by now and fast asleep, but here he was, planning a break-in, and there were lights on in the cottage. He could see the figure of a man sitting at his desk writing, under a desklamp.
His task was to break in and steal the documents in the writing desk drawer. Continue reading
Rachel’s first trip to England didn’t go as planned. A week before the trip, her horse threw her as she was attempting to jump it over a low hedge. The horse was fine, fortunately, but Rachel broke her leg. It was a compound fracture, and she would be on crutches for months, needing regular hospital treatment. A three month visit to England was out of the question.
A postal worker notices that the mailbox at one of his stops is overflowing, even though the family’s two cars are up the driveway. He is a temporary worker and forgets to report this fact to his superiors. He gets another job the next day, and doesn’t bother to return to complete his two weeks assignment on post relief.
Colin Cross, the regular postie, had been away for nearly two weeks doing up his house, but now he had been asked to come back a day early because the temp had left. He was not a happy chappy, but the promise of overtime was hard to resist. It was Friday and he could hopefully finish the job over the weekend.
He hurled the phone against the wall. It had been ringing incessantly for the last five minutes, so he knew it was urgent, but he had checked the phone and it was a withheld number. He presumed it was “him”.
The last twenty minutes were a blur. Continue reading
Janice was meticulous in her preparations for her departure. She wasn’t going to take much with her to America. It was going to be a new start for her. A new life in a new country. She packed one small suitcase with all she would need for her first few days in L.A. Then she planned to go shopping. Oh how she would shop!
In her madness, mild-mannered Martha mistakenly mixed mustard into the miniature meatballs made for the meal at the Mad March meeting of Manchester Masons. Meanwhile, making sure the musical melodies were meaningful, Continue reading
I wanted to sympathise with her, but inwardly I was elated that they had broken up. Rob had been my childhood sweetheart, later my boyfriend on and off throughout my teens. Jenny, my sister, had taken him away from me when I was nineteen. At the time, I was devastated, but I just shrugged my shoulders, saying that we were only ships passing in the night. Rob and I had been good mates, but he was always one with an eye for the girls, and I knew he would break my heart sooner or later.
Now there was likely to be a confrontation, here in my house. Ruth, my best friend, had come round in distress to tell me that she suspected that her husband, Des, was having an affair. My sister was visiting me at the same time, and she sat sympathising with Ruth as she voiced her suspicions. “You can’t trust a man further than you can throw him,” said my sister. “You should kick him out!” I glared at her. I could say nothing – how could I? She was my sister, and anyway, I didn’t want to upset my best friend Ruth any more than she already was.
I awoke to an intense brightness piercing through a chink in my curtains. I sensed the promise of a brilliant view, and as I opened the curtains to the cool white vista outside, a wondrous winter scene lay before me.
Everything sparkled. Jack Frost had visited overnight and painted my entire world white. Only the strangely tinged winding roadway provided tinted relief to the blanket of brilliant white. The haze in the distance merged into the milky sky, making the whole scene appear as if it never ended, and it all belonged to me for that moment. Oh how I wished I could paint!
“There are a few things you need to know before we start,” said the officer as he led me to the computer screen in one corner of my new room. “Everything you will need is on this screen. All you need to do is operate this mouse to point to the item you want to use. There, try it.”
There was a small roller ball set into the steel table, alongside the steel keyboard. It seemed they had thought of everything to avoid vandalism. There were no visible cables, and no obvious way of anyone being able to destroy the equipment.
I tried the ‘mouse’ tentatively, and Continue reading
“There are a few things you need to know before we start,” said the solicitor at Mary’s mother’s will reading. “As you are aware, your mother signed over her house to you three years before she died, which meant that in the last few years of her life you and Cyril had full control of the house. Apparently you subsequently made her life at home pretty miserable. Your mother made a provision for this eventuality in her will, which she entrusted to me before she signed over the house to you. She also took the precaution of recording the conversation you had with her the day you laid down the ground rules for her continued occupancy of the house. The recording of the conversation is also in my possession. The mistake you made was allowing her to keep using her computer, and allowing her to walk into town to see her friends. I will now read the letter she left with me to read to you after her death.”
He had started the morning as just another tourist with a camera. He’d been snapping away at every landmark on his tour around Paris. He was now walking the length of the Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triomphe, capturing on camera all he could of Parisian life.
He heard a car screech to a halt close by, and turned to see what was happening. A large man in black got out of the car, and ran towards him. Continue reading
Monica looked around her sitting room, satisfied. Everything sparkled and twinkled.
The frosted silver fairies hanging above the windows of her patio doors were gently twirling between the loops of silver beads which all glistened with a multitude of reflections from the lights above them. The fibre-optic twig tree which was standing on her sideboard, covered with silver tinsel and white frosted icicles, was twinkling away. The lights on the mantlepiece nestled amongst the branches cut from her yew tree in the garden, where she had placed robins and chaffinchs on fir branches with “snow” covered cones, around her model of an Alsation dog.
Harry sat on a stone wall at the side of the river Lyn, remembering the first time he had sat here. It had been August 1952, just before the devastating floods. That was over half a century ago, when he was on honeymoon with his beloved wife, Sally.