“King of the Castles, good morning!” The girl answered immediately, painting an impression of efficiency.
“Hello, I’m interested in hiring an adult bouncy castle,” I said, feeling slightly embarrassed.
“Is that a plain one or a disco one?”
“Erm, I’m not sure.”
“You could come and see them.”
My boss was busy and had asked me to book a bouncy castle for his daughter’s 21st.
Later, I entered a surreal landscape, castle after vibrantly coloured castle – red, yellow, purple …
A young woman with short blonde hair and huge circular earrings appeared.
“Hello, I phoned about the disco dome,” I said.
“Oh yes, come this way please.”
We proceeded through a psychedelic maze of inflatables to a huge yellow UFO. Inside, silhouettes of disco dancers surrounded us. She smiled. “Try it!”
Feeling foolish, I jumped up and down. Suddenly, Night Fever boomed out and coloured lights started to flash. She leapt around to the music, hair and earrings bobbing wildly. I followed suit, self-consciously at first but gradually losing inhibition; it was fun!
Back at work, I examined her card – Suzy Bright, BIHA. I turned it over. Written neatly – ‘Fancy another demo? Suzy’ – Pleasantly surprised, I thought I just might.

Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories

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