Hen Morning


“Long time no see.” Sam grinned, opening a shiny Land Rover door. “Hop in.“ Jealousy bubbled. We bumped down a track to a long silver hangar, ominous in the early morning mist. Just inside were pallets loaded with blue trays, each containing 30 pristine brown eggs. Sam guessed my thoughts. “750 dozen per pallet!” We … Continue reading Hen Morning

Amid the Winter’s Snow


  “Long before you joined, Featherstone, something happened to me.” Old McMoneagle shifted in the red leather armchair. “Sir?” “I was young, fresh out of Oxford. Master’s in agriculture. Anyway, on my first Christmas Eve here we’d gone to the Wheatsheaf before the service at St. Mary’s. It was snowing heavily.” He paused. “You remember … Continue reading Amid the Winter’s Snow

The 100th Story


- Feeling nervous, Jonathan Rook, a sizeable cog in finance, took the elevator for the 100th floor. Vernon Cumberbatch, the president, was interviewing for VP. The only other candidate was Grant Abrahams, head of insurance. - Exiting the lift, his stomach lurched. Grant appeared. “Hello Jonathan, ready?” “Hello, no, I need the bathroom.” “There's one … Continue reading The 100th Story

Addressing Impatience


“Address labels. Where’s the address labels?” “Why, did you want some?” Mother replied, having returned from shopping. “That’s why I put them on the bloody list for heavens sake! I told you I needed them today.” “Language!” “Sorry, well where is it?” “Where’s what?” The shopping list!” “Oh, probably in my handbag.” - Mother couldn’t … Continue reading Addressing Impatience

Little Pricks in the Night


“Address of target?” “33 Cherry Tree Drive, Marehamby, Lincolnshire,” said Ronald Digby, adjusting thick-lensed spectacles. “What’s.. what’s the cost?” On the other side of a burnished desk, a grey-suited young man (“just call me Steven”) fingered his blond ponytail. “We’re speaking the same language, yes?” “Mmm..” “Well, assassination’s from twenty thousand for domestics, fifty to … Continue reading Little Pricks in the Night

If Two Witches Were Watching…


Aspects of the house were curious; a winged gargoyle hung by a sign - ‘Haunted Cottage’. Full of optimism, Claire and I had come to buy a saddle. An old woman with long, incongruously black hair led us into a conservatory. “Please sit. I’ll make some tea...I insist!” Peach-coloured cushions graced cane furniture and a … Continue reading If Two Witches Were Watching…

Marley’s Spirit


- Aspects of my death were interesting. I’d gone to my granddaughter’s pub for a pint at lunchtime. “‘Ello ‘Enry,” says old Malcolm, a ‘regular’, whilst discussing spade design. Soon I felt unusually tired. “Sorry Malcolm, I need a lie-down.” - Later, I headed to the bookies with Malcolm’s ‘surefire’ tip, ‘Blind Optimism’. Strangely no-one greeted me. … Continue reading Marley’s Spirit

Chivvers’ Foibles


– – “Vulgarity is the poor man’s religion!” said Sheldrake, battling against the loud chatter and raucous laughter of the Crown and Anchor’s early evening trade. “Who said that?” “Oscar Wilde.” “No he didn’t!” Sheldrake banged the table. “Well he should’ve done!” The round, jean-clad behind of Sue from accounts rubbed against my arm as … Continue reading Chivvers’ Foibles

Seeing What Isn’t There


“Vulgarity in my house. Disgusting!” Eugene Todmorton confronted the trio in his lounge. He’d awoken at 2 a.m., hearing sounds downstairs. “Steady on old man!” A young man in a purple blazer raised a glass. “Cheers!” Dixieland jazz blared from a wind-up gramophone. “Come and join us daahling!” A girl in a black tasselled skirt … Continue reading Seeing What Isn’t There

Cilice Sod


- Penance or Purgatory? As a practising Catholic, the daily dilemma. Until yesterday. After the office, I’d address my lascivious thoughts of the women there. I had my little ‘collection’ - hair shirts, a lightweight five-tailed ‘discipline,’ and others. Dissatisfied with Hail Mary’s and the like, I’d mop up the blood with an old towel. … Continue reading Cilice Sod