The Day the Soldiers Came

the day the soldiers came by chris hall lunasonline

I smile as I watch my mother play with my little brother Tommy on the hearth-rug. My father sits in his chair, still but alert. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I detect a movement in the yard.  I turn to look. Soldiers, four of them! By the way they are dressed, I know them instantly as ‘the enemy’. My father has followed my gaze as I gasp in fright and immediately he’s on his feet, sweeping up Tommy in the same movement and shoving him in my direction.

‘You know what to do Annie,’ he says quietly. He nods urgently at me and I grab Tommy’s hand and propel him through the kitchen. I look through the window, checking our route to the barn. It’s clear, so I open the door and we slide through and dash into the slatted wooden building. Behind us, I hear the soldiers hammering on the front door, shouting.

Although Tommy’s only little he knows what to do. Just as we’ve practiced so many times in recent months, I help him up the ladder to the hayloft. He doesn’t make a sound as we creep across the creaky boards and hide ourselves in the straw behind the loosely baled hay. We lie there, waiting. We haven’t practised what happens next. Then I hear a scream; I know it’s my mother, although the sound is like none I’ve ever heard her make. Her pain and terror flood my head. I grip Tommy tightly; he’s trembling and sobbing silently. The minutes tick by; I wonder what’s happening in the house. My father is shouting, but I can’t make out what he’s saying. The shouting stops abruptly and I hear the back door slam against the outside wall of the kitchen.

Heavy boots march towards the barn; I bite down hard on my knuckles. A cold fist contorts my stomach as I suddenly realise I forgot to drag the ladder up behind us. I hear the soldier’s heavy breathing down below. He’s pulling things over, searching. He approaches the ladder and in my mind’s eye I see him grab the ladder and place his boot on the first rung. Sweat runs down my back. Tommy is rigid in my arms.

There is a loud call from the house: ‘Move on!’ I hear the sound of the ladder clattering to the floor.  It settles and there is no sound apart from the blood pumping in my ears. Slowly I get up, my legs are shaking. I grab the rail at the edge of the loft and feel for the rope which we use as a swing when it’s too wet to play outside. Telling Tommy to stay where his is, I let myself down and run quickly towards the back door which is gaping off its hinges.

Inside the house furniture has been overturned and one curtain has been ripped from the window. My mother cowers in a corner. Her blouse is torn and there is blood on her skirt. Father’s face is bruised and bloody. He reaches for her, but she turns her face to the wall.

A Sextet of Shorts Cover pic

That was the first piece from ‘A Sextet of Shorts’, my little book of short fiction pieces.

‘Sextet’ is currently available to download on your Kindle for $0.99 / €0.99 / £0.99 and other currency equivalents  (+VAT) until midnight on 01.01.19.

And, since it’s the holidays, if you’d like a freebie, I will arrange to gift a download to the first 10 people who respond in the comments section below!

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Are email notifications from Wordpress jamming up your inbox?

This is really helpful if you don’t know all the ins and outs of managing your notifications!

Keep it alive

When I started by blog, I didn’t know much about how to manage the notifications in my app and my computer/ laptop.

As I got into the groove, my readership grew and each and every time anyone commented, liked or followed my blog, I would get an email. So in addition to writing, reading and commenting a new task was added. That of deleting hundreds of emails from my inbox. This not only consumed a lot of time but caused a lot of irritation to me.

Every time I received an email with a notification, I was asked if I was getting too many emails and if I wanted to reduce the number of emails. I would try to uncheck the different boxes in the hopes of reducing the influx of these emails, but no substantial improvement happened.

Then one day I hit the jackpot! I found out how I…

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The Mystery Blogger Award

Mystery-Blogger-Award-Cover

A big thank you to Tanya, Salted Caramel, for this nomination!

If you haven’t done so already, check out her blog here: https://saltedcaramel.blog/  It’s a real “bloggers’ blog”!

 

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

mystery-blogger-award-288x300
The “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

Okoto Enigma, Award Creator.

 

The Rules

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
    (note: the link is there, but doesn’t seem to be working)
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. Answer the questions provided by your nominator.
  7. Nominate 10- 20 people.
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  10. Share a link to your best post(s).

 

Three things about me:

  1. I worked in risk management for more than twenty years (how exciting is that?).
  2. I’ve seen three ghosts in different houses.
  3. I collect sea shells (not many, I promise).

 

My answers to Tanya’s questions:

  1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

The interaction and encouragement of other writers and bloggers.

  1. What is the idea behind your blog name?

There wasn’t really an idea; I just used a version of my cat’s name. When I originally set up the site I was a bit nervous of putting my writing ‘out there’. That’s also why my debut novel was published under a pen name.

  1. How do you see your blog growing in 2019?

I’m a writer and author primarily and my blog site was really intended to be an author platform. I’ve been a bit side tracked during November, with these challenges, gifts and awards, which has been really interesting and fun. However, as I’ve said elsewhere recently (and below), I need to draw back a bit and concentrate on writing and editing above all else.

  1. What proportion of your blogging time do you spend on blog promotion?

Not much. I’ve set up my posts to automatically share to my Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts; sometimes I’ll tweak the shares bit. Otherwise, I guess engagement also equals promotion and I try to keep up with all the blogs with which I connect. That’s maybe an hour a day.

  1. Relate one funny anecdote about blogging.

I’m not sure is this is funny or just weird, but I’ve been pulled up by ‘real’ people (in the sense of people I go for coffee with) for talking about the characters from my work in progress novels as if they are real people. I see worried looks in their eyes…

Mystery-blogger-award-500x504

My nominees (with no obligation to participate!)

Gristle Mill, Alice Gristle’s Writing Blog – https://alicegristle.wordpress.com/about/

Thea by Me – https://theabyme.com/

Hitandrun1964, Rethinkinglife – https://gigisrantsandraves.wordpress.com/

JP the Wide-eyed Wanderer – https://wideeyedwanderingspoonie.wordpress.com/

Lilly Eves World – https://whitelillyweb.wordpress.com/

Natalie Swift, The Midnight Ember – https://themidnightember.wordpress.com/

Laleh Chini – https://avoicefromiran.wordpress.com/

Sarah, The Abject Muse – https://theabjectmuse.me/

Desi Videsh, Indians Abroad – https://livinginleuvenbelgiumeurope.com/

Demi Mitchell, The Lupie Momma – https://thelupiemomma.wordpress.com/

I’ll be letting them know in the next few days…

 

My questions – should you choose to answer

  1. What song will always get you on the dance floor?
  2. What’s your signature dish?
  3. If you could meet any author throughout the whole of history, who would it be and why?
  4. If you could only read one book genre for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  5. Which do you prefer: jelly beans or fish fingers with custard (this is the silly question!!)

 

The link to my ‘best’ posthttps://lunasonline.wordpress.com/wip-novel/

Okay, it’s a link to my work-in-progress novel  which I spent most of this year writing. I’m in edit mode now, and so this is going to have to be my last Award participation for a while.

I need to concentrate on my writing in 2019. So, if it doesn’t involve actual creative writing: something I’ve written or a response to an inspiration or writing challenge (short, very short or even medium-sized), I’m going to be a bystander. But it doesn’t mean I won’t be following and commenting on all your lovely blogs!

 

0happy hols

The well-intentioned arsonist

wood-explosion-fire-hot pexels lunasonline
pexels.com

Things might not have turned out the way they did had it not been for the arrival of the new science teacher, Mr Wilde. Keen to engage his Year 8 class at the start of the new term, he had set up a series of elaborate experiments which had resulted in some rather dramatic indoor fireworks. At least no-one had been hurt.

Jimmy was definitely engaged. He was even moved to pursue his interest outside the classroom. Guided by some useful websites he created some modest but interesting explosions in the kitchen until his mother got fed up of cleaning up the resultant debris. He even produced a miniature volcano, much to the delight of Miss Johnson, the young geography teacher; even though it did erupt all over her desk and make a disgusting smell which lingered in her classroom for days.

A few days later during morning break, Jimmy had been searching the school grounds for discarded plastic bottles for his latest experiment. As he scoured the side of lane between the school and the rugby club, he overheard two of the teachers discussing the future of the school while enjoying a surreptitious cigarette.

‘If the club sells to the local authority, we’ll be able extend the school on the site here. If not, the school will close and then who knows what will happen.’ Jimmy recognised the voice of the Deputy Head, Mr Staines.

‘But surely they’ll sell. It’s only a pitch and a tatty old pavilion. How much are they offering?’ The second voice belonged to Mr Davis, his History teacher.

‘It’s not a question of the money. Apparently the rugby captain’s great grandfather founded the club here and his ashes were scattered over the foundations of the new pavilion when it was built in 1956.’

‘So our school has to close, just because of some old rugger bugger’s ashes?’

‘I know, still, one good storm and there won’t be a pavilion for the rugby captain to be sentimental about.’ Jimmy heard Mr Staines reply. He ducked back into the hedge as the Deputy Head stalked past him back towards the school building.

Mr Davidson lit another cigarette and stared glumly at the offending pavilion. ‘Well,’ he muttered to himself, ‘climate change might solve the problem.’

Jimmy found what he’d heard very disturbing. He liked his school. He liked the kids in his class and he even liked most of the teachers. He had never been fond of rugby.

That afternoon during double Maths, Jimmy had an idea. The more he pondered on it, the better it became. It was just a matter of getting hold of the right stuff from Mr Wilde’s chemicals cupboard.

On his way to school on the morning of Tuesday’s science class, he dropped into Mr Khalid’s shop. Proffering a crisp £5 note from his savings, he grasped a large handful of his friend Mattie’s preferred chocolate bars.

Matthew Albright was the class clown. Plump and good-natured, if sometimes a little slow on the uptake, he was quite happy to rise to the challenge when Jimmy suggested he should test out his acting skills in Chemistry in return for favourite chocolates.

Mr Wilde was starting to explain the procedure for setting up an experiment to grow copper sulphate crystals when suddenly Mattie clutched his ample stomach and let out a loud groan. Pulling a series of dreadful grimaces, he slid off his chair onto the floor, where he proceeded to writhe and moan. As Mr Wilde raced to Mattie’s side, Jimmy stole across the room to the teacher’s desk and extracted the key to the chemicals cupboard. While the rest of the class gathered round to watch Mattie’s performance, Jimmy quietly slipped the key into the lock, and let himself into the cupboard. He swiftly grabbed what he needed. Within a moments Jimmy was safely back in his seat, the key was back in the drawer and Mattie had made a miraculous recovery.

Acquiring the step ladder from Stan the Caretaker had been easy. As it happened Jimmy didn’t even need to create a diversion.  He had been hanging around by his workshop when Stan had been summoned to go to the boys’ toilets on the first floor to deal with a flood. Stan stomped off muttering about paper towels and where he’d like to stick them, leaving the workshop door ajar. The step ladder crucial to Jimmy’s plan was swiftly liberated and stashed out of sight in the bushes behind the bike shed.

On a moonless November evening, Jimmy started to make his way towards the old wooden pavilion. He was carrying a torch and a small step ladder, and his duffle bag was slung over his shoulder. Propping the ladder against the side of the building, he climbed onto the flat roof of the shower block. He carefully dragged the ladder up beside him and crept across the roof. Jimmy prised open the skylight, gently manoeuvred the step ladder through the opening and lowered himself after it as it clattered to the floor. Jimmy took a deep breath. He opened the shower block door and stepped purposefully into the main part of the building.

Jimmy surveyed the interior by the light of his torch. Apart from some old plastic chairs stacked in the far corner and a few cardboard boxes piled up near the door there was nothing much inside. Jimmy dragged one of the larger boxes into the middle of the room. It had some writing on the side which looked like French; not one of his favourite subjects. He reached into his duffle bag and took out two containers. He shook out the contents of the first, making a small pile of reddish-brown powder on the top of the box. Then he carefully opened the second and gently added a white crystalline powder to the pile.

Next he took a large ball of thick twine to which he had tied a 1kg weight, taken from his mother’s kitchen. Using the step ladder, he reached up and hooked the twine over one of the beams which supported the asbestos sheet roof. Lowering the weight gently, he placed it on the floor. Returning to the shower block he positioned the step ladder under the roof light. Back in the main room he hoisted the weight up as high as he could, positioning it directly over the box. Grasping the ball of twine tightly he carefully paid out the thread as he climbed back up onto the roof. The twine was just long enough to allow him to reach the ground behind the wall of the shower block.

Jimmy paused, according to what he’d read, the two chemicals would be ignited by the percussive action of the falling weight. The resulting explosion should be sufficient to blow off part of the roof, a bit like a storm might. The sort of damage his teachers had been talking about.

He took a deep breath and released the twine. For a moment nothing happened, then there was a loud pop. Jimmy ran. Behind him there was a series of explosions. From the cover of the bushes, Jimmy saw the roof of the pavilion shatter and a succession of rockets explode into the night sky.

Had Jimmy been as keen at French as he was at Chemistry, he might have understood that the words on the box: ‘feux d’artifice’ meant fireworks.

Christmas Hamper Challenge

0Christmas Hamper

What’s not to like about another little gift challenge!

Originating here from Rory at A Guy called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip and gifted onwards to me here by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith.

This is the challenge:
Pick five items for five bloggers and put them in the hamper. Then explain what you put in and why.


0Bettys Tea Rooms

My first pick is Afternoon Tea at Betty’s Tea Rooms in York where I went to school. 

This is for Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, to thank her for her gifts to me this year as well as for all her wonderful posts which keep us busy reading, writing and admiring her work. And it will be another little learning experience for her about us weird Brits!


 

0the-gin-boxWhile I was in Betty’s, I noticed this rather splendid Gin Box for my second pick.

Now I’m rather partial to a nip of this stuff myself. However, I immediately though of Ellie Scott, a self-confessed gin drinker.

For all those awesomely witty short stories we’ve enjoyed throughout the year.

Cheers, Ellie!


0atlas

My third pick is an Illustrated World Atlas

This is for Foster and Panda at Nana’s Whimsical World, so they can choose where to go on their next adventure!

Have fun little guys! (I won’t tell Debra).

 


 

0map of worldSo while I was picking out the atlas, I came across this Outline World Map. This was perfect for my fourth pick.

It goes to Mickey & Yunni at Freja Travels  so they can colour in all the wonderful countries which we’ve enjoyed hearing about on their travel blog. Thanks for sharing with us!


0Roget
It really was an excellent book shop, because I also found this for my fifth and final pick.

The latest edition of Roget’s Thesaurus, I was tempted to keep this for myself as my copy is so old and battered.

However, it goes to J.I. Rogers, just in case she runs out of words for her Six Word Challenges, as if you would, Jenn!
Keep ’em coming!

 



I hope you enjoy your virtual pressies.

As ever, you can pick this up and roll with it or not!

0happy hols

 

 

 

Carnival Finale

The final chapter of my work-in-progress novel, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
Visit https://lunasonline.wordpress.com/wip-novel/ to read from the start.

Pierre and Lucy stood hand in hand by the large wrought iron gates of Princes Park. Already the sound of amplified music was pounding away inside. People from the local area and beyond were converging on the Caribbean carnival. Both of them were dressed to the nines as seemed suitable for the occasion. Pierre was in his signature black, while Lucy was wearing the beautiful flamenco dress which Cynthia had now given to her as a present. At her neck was the ruby necklace, sparkling richly in the sunlight.

The necklace had arrived in a neatly-wrapped brown paper package at the beginning of the week. There was a short note from Verushka with it:

“My dear Lucy, thank you for helping me. I return the ruby to you with my love and best wishes. By the time you receive this, I will have thrown myself on the mercy of the British Embassy in London. I’m hoping it will be possible for me to defect.

That was all. Lucy fervently hoped the Verushka would get her wish. Pierre was pleased at the return of the ruby. “Although she could’ve put the amethysts in too,” he’d said ruefully. Lucy had shot him a warning glance. “I thought you were leaving all that behind?” Pierre had nodded and that had been the end of the conversation.

They were due to meet up with Gina before heading over to where Godrell and the rest of the Kingston Jazz Cats were setting up in the central marquee. The guys had only arrived in Liverpool the previous day and no one apart from Devon had seen them or spoken to them yet. Mollie and Marie were also on their way, but neither they, nor Pierre was sure whether Pauline would be coming. She’d told Pierre she really wasn’t sure.

Pierre was slowly starting to get to know Pauline. He’d met her twice already in the space of the past week. It was obvious to both of them at their first meeting, that they’d never have a conventional mother and son relationship, but after a few tears, mostly Pauline’s, Pierre had understood he needed to forgive her for abandoning him as a baby. Later, as he lay on the couch in his flat, going over what she had told him, he realised how young and vulnerable she’d been then. And she was such a nice, honest, straightforward woman; what a contrast to Aurora. It was the right time for a fresh start.

Pauline had invited him around to her house again the following afternoon. Pierre made up his mind to give her a nice present to show her that he’d forgiven her. The very fact that he accepted that he had, had taken a great weight off him, he realised. And so that morning he’d paid a visit to Ruth at the art shop to enquire about the painting he’d commissioned.

Ruth and Jules were both in the shop when he arrived. As he’d pushed open the door, he wondered with some trepidation whether they’d remember his nocturnal visit to the basement, or whether the effect of Patterson’s mysterious aura had actually worked. It certainly hadn’t stopped Connor fling the jade camel in the river.

But he need not have worried. As he started to apologise to Ruth over having failed to keep his appointment to meet her the previous week, she seemed confused. She furrowed he brow, slowly remembering ‘The Poet’ and her father’s friend, Phil bring the painting back to her. She still seemed rather vague, but as soon as Pierre started counting out her fee in crisp twenty pound notes, Ruth beamed back at him, asking Jules to go and fetch the painting from the back room.

He returned, smiling a couple of minutes later, carrying not only the painting, but a key. “Look what I found,” he said, laying it on the counter. “It was on the floor by the table.” Ruth picked up the key and looked at it. “The cellar key, I thought it had disappeared; how strange for it to turn up like that.” The two looked at each other in confusion as if half remembering something.

“Sorry, Mr Bezukov, I seem to be a little hazy today,” she said, handing him the painting. “Thanks for your custom.” As he left the shop, Pierre was keenly aware of the two of them staring after him. He would not be returning.

Pauline was delighted with the gift, insisting that he took down ‘that awful hunting scene’ and hanging the new painting in its place over the fire place.

“It looks like a Turner. It’s beautiful.” Pauline stood back to admire it.

“It’s a copy,” Pierre said hastily, “a legitimate copy, of course.” He’d never thought he’d here himself say that.

***

“Lucy love!” Mollie came tottering over from a black cab which had just drawn up by the gates. She looked at both of them approvingly. “You scrub up well. That’s the dress you were wearing in that posh casino, isn’t it?”

Lucy nodded. “That’s a lovely dress you’ve got on Mrs. J.”

Mollie was wearing a glorious confection of a dress in a silky fabric, decorated with big bright tropical flowers, with a flower bedecked wide-brimmed hat. Marie, who was at her side, was also decked out in summer finery, although of a slightly subtler appearance.

At that moment, Gina and Gary appeared from inside the park. Mollie looked disapprovingly at Gina. “You could’ve put a frock on.”

Gina rolled her eyes. “I’d probably never wear it again, Ma. Anyway, it’s bad enough having to wear a skirt to work every day. You wouldn’t think…”

“But you look very nice Gary,” Mollie interrupted. Gary grinned.

“I thought Bob was coming,” said Lucy.

“He is. He’s bringing Cynth and Connor in the van. You know Cynth won’t walk this far.” Gina replied. “She wasn’t quite ready when we left.”

Mollie looked at her watch. “Well we can’t wait any longer,” she said, linking her arm through Marie’s.”

Marie looked around. “Shouldn’t we give Pauline a few more minutes?”

“We can hang on for her, can’t we Lucy? said Pierre, “although I’m not sure she’s coming.”

“Oh, she can catch us up if she does.” Mollie started walking, dragging Marie along with her. “Come on Gina,” she called over her shoulder.

Gina looked at Pierre. “I think we’d better go; even if we don’t know Godrell from Adam, no man should be left to Ma’s mercies without back up.”

Pierre shrugged.

“Must be a bit daunting having to meet two new parents within a week, eh mate.” Gary slapped Pierre on the back. “As well as finding a random half-sister,” he continued throwing his arm around Gina’s shoulder and kissing her cheek.

Pierre grinned and took Lucy’s hand. “Okay, let’s meet him.”

They crossed the park to where various stalls had been set out. People were milling about and children were playing tag among the tents and trees. They followed the sound of the music to the main marquee. Inside the band members were busy with their preparations. Marie spotted Devon taping down a bunch of cables with a big roll of gaffer tape. He grinned broadly when he saw the little group.

“Guys, guys,” he shouted out approaching the temporary stage. “Hey Godrell, man, it’s your family!”

Godrell’s saxophone let out a strange squawk as he turned around. He glanced over his shoulder at Dixon, before setting his instrument down and coming to the edge of the stage. Mollie stepped forward and Gina watched as their eyes met. Her mother stood frozen; lost for words. Godrell halted for a split second, then skipped nimbly down to meet her. Molly extended her hand; her mouth opened as she prepared to speak, but nothing came out.

Godrell took hold of both her hands. “Mollie, it is you, isn’t it? Hey man, how have you been all o’ these years?” He leant forward and kissed her on both cheeks. Then he stood back, still holding her hands. “You are lookin’ gorgeous, if you don’t mind me sayin’.”

A moment later, Dixon jumped down from the stage and strode towards Marie. His head sunk into his shoulders, as he stopped in front of her. “Marie?” She nodded. He put his hand on his chest. “It’s Dixon. Do you remember me?”

“Yes, Dixon, of course I remember you.” Marie said quietly as she smiled up at him.

Mollie looked round for Gina, beckoning her with a tilt of her head. Gina grabbed Pierre’s arm. “Come on, we’ll do this together.”

Godrell’s eyes lit up on meeting his two grown up children for the first time. He’d heard about Gina from Devon, but Pierre…a son. He hugged them both to him, then grinned at Mollie and winked. “I’ll see you after the show.”

The marquee was filling up. Devon signalled to Godrell and he and Dixon returned to the stage. Devon had reserved a couple of tables for his special guests. As they took their seats, Gina looked over to the entrance where a small commotion had erupted. Bob was simultaneously apologising to a woman and reigning Fingers in. Connor appeared and said something in the woman’s ear which seemed to calm the situation. Finally Cynthia appeared in a dazzling blue silk dress, carrying strappy sandals in her hand. Gina waved and beckoned them over.

The band struck up. After a few bars Pierre stood up and took Lucy’ hand. “Let’s dance.”

***

A few weeks later Gina and Gary were sitting compatibly at opposite ends of the couch. ‘The Price is Right’ had just finished, and Gary was looking forward to Match of the Day where Liverpool were about to defend their place at the top of the league at the start of the football season

“D’you wish you’d gone out there too, G?”

Gina looked up from the law book she was studying. “No, why d’you ask?”

“I dunno, Jamaica sounds kind of exciting; you know, exotic.”

Gina placed the heavy text book on the floor and rubbed her eyes. “Our life is here though, don’t you think? It’s a bit different for Pierre and Lucy, isn’t it? More the adventurous type, both of them?”

Gary nodded. “Definitely.”

Anyway, we’ve Godrell’s invitation to go for a holiday anytime, like Ma and Marie. Nice of him to pay, too.”

“Well, he is your father.”

“True, but I don’t suppose I’ll ever think of him like that. Ronnie will always be my father.”

Gary moved a cushion behind his head. “Quiet here, with Lucy gone, and Cynth and Connor up at that book thing.”

“Did you ever find out what happened to the guys upstairs?” Gina nodded towards the ceiling.

“No idea.” Gary stretched out his legs so they were resting either side of Gina’s. “I like having the flat to ourselves though.” He rubbed his left leg up and down Gina’s thigh.

Just then they heard the distinctive sound of Bob’s van drawing up outside. Gina rolled her eyes. “No pre-match nookie for you then,” she said, laughing and pushing Gary’s legs off hers. “I’ll go and let him in. Mine’s a cider if you’re going to the fridge.”

Fingers squealed with delight as soon as Gina opened the front door. He jumped from Bob’s shoulder into her open arms, chirruping happily. Bob followed them up the stairs.

A few minutes later, there was a knock on the lounge door. It was Tony Wong, “I made a new batch of fortune cookies,” he held up a laden bowl. “Would you like some?”

***

Down by Otterspool Promenade the tide was out and the river Mersey was giving up its latest treasures. Joey was ready. As the evening sun cast its light over the sludgy mudflats he spied something. He hurried over and picked it up. He rubbed the dirt off with his fingers. It was a little statue of a camel, jade if he wasn’t mistaken, and surely his best find this year. Maybe his luck was about to change.

[THE END]

©2018 Chris Hall

Well done, if you have read all the way through to the end! It is still a draft, but I hope you got some enjoyment out of it. And now to the revisions and edits.

2018 Christmas Charity Appeal – Help Me Raise £250 For The Dogs Trust By Leaving Me Links To Your Blogs And Books

In a good cause!

Hugh's Views & News  

The Christmas tree is up, but something is missing. There are no gifts under it, and I need your help to put that right.

#christmastree #christmas #charity #dogstrust

For this year’s Christmas charity appeal, I’m asking you again to help me raise some money for The Dogs Trust.

The Dogs Trust, formerly known as the National Canine Defence League, is an animal welfare charity and humane society in the United Kingdom which specialises in the well-being of dogs. Click here to go to their website.

Want to get involved? Here’s what you need to do.

  1. In the comments section of this post, leave the name of your blog and a link to it. This can be a link to your ‘about me’ page, a favourite blog post you’ve published, or the home page of your blog.
  2. If you’re an author, you’re also welcome to leave a link to any books you have published. So, for example…

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