“Well, your father is right love. You can’t go around asking your friends to punch you in the face to knock a tooth out. The fairy will know.
This is far from being a novel a novella or a rhyme.
You couldn’t call it a haiku as it is taking up too much time.
Fiction and non it isn’t one of those. There are some who may argue that it touches on prose.
You can sarcastically call it a tragedy before you hear the plot, whatever you think I really care not.
These are just words spilling out of my head, I thought of them last night while tossing in my bed.
Oh, now you’re laughing at inuendo, but it isn’t as comedy.
It’s not flash or a six-word prophecy.
Ah, then it must be mixture, a hybrid work of art. You’ve taken something from all genres and baked them like a tart. Very clever.
Again, you’re wrong so I will come clean. It’s just nonsense I come up with after sniffing propylene.
There are many ways to describe it and the best one is probably a ‘ditty,’
although I think the majority of you have already decided that its nothing more than shitty.
Pottymouth High School.
School report Year 3
Maths. Teacher: Mr Abcus
I am told that Joshua is a likeable lad with lots of potential and gets on well with everyone. As I haven’t seen him in my class this year I can’t comment on his progress. I must say though, he has that look about him that says he is a highly creative type that wouldn’t be good at numbers, so I don’t think we’re wasting each other’s time. I have spotted him a few times through the window as he legs it over the playing fields before my lessons. He has great athletic prowess. The way he can leap over the school fence which has got to be at least five foot is a quite remarkable, especially after a good fifty-yard dash. I was looking forward to meeting you on Parents evening. I did receive your letter and I am sorry to hear about Joshua’s grandfather. I mentioned your loss in the staff room, and it seems that he has had eight pass away this year. I write this report with the gut feeling that you will never set eyes on it.
Attendance: Poor. Way forward: Pair of spiked running shoes?
Physical Education. Teacher: Mr Baton
Josh shies away from ball sports which is a shame. He is exceptionally good and enthusiastic about sprinting and the high jump. He is unwilling to partake in any competition the school holds as he says he only wants to excel at the fifty meters race… which of course doesn’t exist and will only practice the height of five-foot in the free jump. I’m sure he could go much further and higher. He says he has his reasons and who am I to argue with such a fine polite young man.
Attendance: Depends on the weather. Way forward: Do fifty more meters carrying a rugby ball.
Domestic science. Teacher: Ms Sugarbottom.
Whaat can I say about Joshuua that I’m shure all his other titors haven’t already shed?
Such a punktual fin young bouy who never mrs a lesshon. Always the fist to start and complete any tisk given him during our kookerie periods. I have taken this head shef in the making under my wing and parted with shecret recipes I wouldn’t dare share with the other losers in this fucking class.
Oh, my days!!!His sherry trifle is to die for and like myshelf, he knows it’s all about the tasting as you go along. We often enjoys the fruits of our labour well afster the lasht bell of the day has gone. I do giggle as I watch him swayyy across the schoolyard on his way home. You should be very prood.
Attendance: Would live in the kitchen if he could. Way forward: Try and drink me under the table.
History. Teacher: Mr Shackle
What can I say about Joshua?
He a complete waste of time. He does my head in. He daydreams and stares out of the window in the most stealthily way that I’m not always sure he actually is. He has a gift but not for the past. Actually, he doesn’t have one for the present either. God knows what the future will bring, but as much as he pisses me off you can’t help but to think he’s going to make it big. I daren’t ask him to answer any questions in class anymore. The whole room erupts with laughter at anything he says. It’s not comical it’s just that he brings his geography books with him to class and refers to them when replying to me.
Attendance: There but not always there if you know what I mean. Way forward: Who knows?
English. Teacher: Ms Spear.
Out of pure selfishness, your son should be allowed to attend every English class I teach in each year, every year.
His ability to conjure up and paint the most amazing scenes with the words he pens are quite honestly, breath-taking. The stories he writes are destined to become novels, plays and films. I am in awe of Joshua’s talent, no…gift. I find it hard to ask other students in the class to read their work out. Please make sure he goes to university. Not as a student but to teach. The day he leaves this dump is the day I hand in my notice. I have written to you many times and hopefully this time you will respond.
Attendance: The class was dark, cold, and lifeless when he was off with broken leg. Way forward: He would suit a moustache.
Religious studies. Teacher: Ms Moses.
Joshua is a fast runner and good at jumping.
Attendance: Apparently, he likes Easter and Christmas time. Way forward: God knows.
Headmaster. Mr Cane.
It is left up to me to sum up the overall progress of Master Siler.
Unfortunately, I have had to withdraw the comments from Joshua’s Biology teacher as they were too graphic. Other teachers declined to comment.
In the unlikely case of you getting to see this report, I would like you to know that despite remarks by some of his tutors I believe in Joshua and can see a bright future for him.
We both know that one day he will be famous for something, hopefully not bank robbery… although we do have an understanding if he does. Joshua Siler is going to make his mark in the world. All I want is for him to thank me when he’s being interviewed on TV and say it was all down to me and not to mention the scandalous rumour that I use to send him on quick errands to the bookies and make him miss certain lessons.
Overall attendance: We’re not sure. Way forward: Never admit to anything.
Let me know how you would like to see the following story end and win a personalized poem.
I’m sitting in an Indian restaurant about to order. I hate Indian food. Not that I’ve ever tried it, its just the smell and I don’t like anything remotely spicy. That and because my grandfather had died eating some. They say that he was choking on a chick pea which made him pause mid-way from crossing the Khyber Pass while being shot at. Then a British truck hit him at forty miles an hour. Maybe it was such a hot curry that it gave him a heart attack. Whichever it was, death wasn’t messing about when he decided his day had come.
So here I am, tempting fate perhaps but worth the gamble.
My heart skips a beat and I do a double take. There’s a man across the road at a bus stop looking over at me in a black hoodie and black jeans with a silver stick which could be a scythe. His eyes fixed on me, his face motionless. A bus arrives and he taps his way onboard with the help of another passenger. I’ve never been so happy at someone being blind.
I had been passing this Indian restaurant on my way home from my weekly ‘Those Sexy Victorians’ evening class, for last eight weeks. The first week I had spotted her serving at a table near the window. She was stunning. I waited a few minutes and walked past again at a slower pace. She was at the kitchen pass. The third time she was back at the table window again, serving drinks. I made out I was looking at the menu. She looked up and smiled at me. It wasn’t until the diners were being served their deserts that I realised I had been standing there for a while. The fourth time I went by slapping my pockets and looking at the pavement pretending I had lost something while sneaking a peak at her cleaning the same table.
No rings on her fingers I noticed. Plenty of bangles though. Far too many perhaps. With all the lifting she must be doing every day, her biceps must be a good size. Until now I had never had a preference on a woman’s autonomy, legs, breasts, bums, I could take or leave them. All of a sudden, I was into lady mussels was lost in thought yet still slapping my pockets. I caught her looking at me with raised eyebrows.
I pretended that I had found what I was looking for on the pavement. With a fake face of joyful relief as if I had lost and found the crown jewels while Still in her gaze she watched me swoop down and see what I was going to pick up. The only thing on the floor was a rather large piece of knurled chewing gum. I picked it up and holding my ecstatic face, I held up my prize. One of her eye brows sank which left her with a ‘really’? face.
There was nothing for it so I popped the gum into my mouth and chewed it like it contained the serum to a venomous snake bite.
I was totally besotted with this beautiful Asian girl. I wondered how I could get closer, even talk to her.
Where do you think this should go ( in the bin is an option )
Message in the comment box.
A slight cold saw me in bed early.
The bedside phone rang and interrupted my tandem skydive with a nude Felicity Kendal. A reoccurring dream since I was 12.
I fumbled for the retro slim line, and heard my son bellow in a merry voice that he had decided to come home for Christmas after all, and was bringing his new girlfriend.
“She’s a scream Dad, total bonkers, from Iceland. A vegetarian, you’ll love her, here, she’s here now, say hello”.
I rolled my eyes and listened for a voice, none came.
“Aww, she’s shy Dad, she also doesn’t speak any English, but she’s really pretty. Anyway, were coming to Cardiff tomorrow, Agnes passed her test yesterday so you won’t have to pick us up, should be there about 3. Got to go now Dad, Agnes is being sick”
I sat bolt upright in bed, no amount of concentration or night nurse would take me back to Felicity or away from what I had just heard.
It was 2.43 am. I don’t know what I should be more concerned about, cooking for a vegetarian or my son giving directions from London to someone who didn’t understand, and who had just passed their driving test.
I soon fell into a troubled sleep after scouring the internet for some decent nut roast photos and Icelandic translations.
In the morning, off to the supermarket I trundled on my bicycle to get ammunition.
I don’t cook, I can’t cook, but I try. I have little patience; I want what’s on the picture in the cookbook and just glance to get a gist of what to do.
Christmas eve at 4 o’clock a battered red Renault Clio stalled to a halt outside the neighbours drive. I twitched the curtains and saw Lloyd swap places with mortified looking young lady, as he completed the car’s journey to the correct house.
I greeted them on the garden path, gave Lloyd a hug and kissed Agnes on the cheek, and welcomed her in Icelandic and said what a pleasure it was to meet her .I’d spent the afternoon practising. She looked puzzled.
In a beautiful Scottish accent, Agnes said how nice it was to meet me and how she looked forward to spending Christmas with us.
I tuned to Lloyd who had a big smirk on his face. I would get him back.
I vowed to make a special effort this time.
I wanted to faff about with the vegetables, id steam the broccoli whole, green beans and sprouts. Add some truffle salt seasoning, nob of butter and brown sugar. Blend to a pulp and make some fine dumpling cases for it. Perhaps 8 each, present them freshly steamed in a wicker basket.
Use the broth and vegetable stock for the gravy, splash some red wine in it and reduce.
I looked at the boring loaf tin for the nut roast and decided to do something different. I’d get the usual mixture off nuts and pulses and crush, cook, soak, mix and loved them to the right consistency. I’d use walnut and avocado oil and butter to bind them all together. The beef tomatoes would case the mixture and some Madera soaked porcini mushrooms would crown the top and with a grate of moliterno infused cheese would see them into the oven for 20 minutes. Blow torch the top to a golden brown and serve.
The starter was butter squash, parsnip and carrot soup from a tin and desert was a Christmas pudding from last year but still in its use by date.
There was a limit to my cooking patience.
The day came and everything went like a dream. So nice to have my Lloyd and his girlfriend home for Christmas. The main course was the business, even though I say so myself.
Agnes said it was the first vegetarian meal she’d ever had and how a welcome break it made from turkey, beef and lamb she had at home each year.
Lloyd didn’t even look up.
The dusty hand embroidered hotel welcome mat, which met me last night, was having a good beating in the Ottoman yard as I walked out onto the slightly overcooked morning. I had one day to get back home from Istanbul and not be missed. The butterflies mingled with an immense sense of adventure deep in my belly.
I’d gone to bed hungry to ready myself for the day ahead. Returning from my stroll in the magnificent manicured gardens I made my way to the breakfast hall. A pair of freshly ironed beaming doormen perfectly timed the opening of the tall oak doors to coincide with my leisurely gate. I was greeted by an aroma. It was if it wafted me up on to its back and carried me to my table. A waitress who wouldn’t look out of place on the front cover of Vogue sat me down.
I was overlooking the blue mosque. Not by chance though. ‘What do you expect? The bloody Taj Mahal?’ Basil Fawlty had asked. I’d paid for this view. I was going to savour and eat it in. I was tucked into place and told the name of the Michelin star chef and that his ingredients were grown on the grounds and locally sourced. I knew this but such was her beauty I let her continue. She could have been telling me that they only had porridge.
Breakfasts from around the world. Fresh salmon, trout and kippers brought over from their own stone smokery.
A lush rumble of accents lit up the room as much as the chandeliers. These people had money. I’d saved up for two years for one night, created an argument with my wife so she would leave for her mother’s for a couple of days, and I could escape.
Chefs in the whitest tunics and tall hats unhurriedly busied themselves in effortless swishes and as I approached. There was a silver service menu but wanting to see it all, I chose to envelope myself in the self-service feast, a present for my eyes before my taste buds joined in. I skipped back with my first dish.
The spinach obviously had put its hand up within the last few hours and declared itself ready to pick. Flash steamed, it continued to cook on route to service. Poached golden yoked quails eggs nestled on top. Crowned with shaved feathers of white truffle brushed with goose oil. I delicately pierced the eggs and let their liquor spill and mingle. I trod the silk carpet back and for to smell and taste for a slow hour being mindful to not overindulge.
Next! Month soaked Aegean clear seaweed marinated in thyme and saffron.
Lardons of wild boar licked with truffle oil stuffed and grilled in plum tomatoes over a chicory and garlic fire. I pinched myself between each forkful. Looking out of the window at the spectacular view of the dipping and reaching antique skyline of Istanbul reminded me this was indeed real.
I was off on an adventure. I left the hotel for the real world and swaggered east along the Bosporus.
Waiters outside seafood restaurants touting for my custom. The more expensive places shone out, no need for a pitch. Giving the international gesture of tummy tapping I was full, I carried on.
An hour later, the sky yawned out a balmy breeze and blew me a fish-scented kiss.
Pastel fishing boats tied up to the wall. Lifting up and down. Balancing fishermen bobbing expertly with the tide.
The smell was as sweetly intense as the timber stove smoking the fruits of their catch.
I gestured to a plump mackerel fillet. He back handily tossed it into half a loaf of crusty bread, juggled some ripe sliced vine tomatoes along with herb dressed sliced shallots, diced cucumber and a shake of paprika and salt. Wrapped it in newspaper and waited for the tide to shunt him up to my hand. A well-timed exchange of money and food took place before the swell subsided and he sank to prepare his next order. Off I scurried along to a bench and unfolded my prize. The taste was exaggerated tenfold by my surroundings. I took a mental picture of this moment and tucked it gently in the archives of the food files of my mind and taste buds. Oh, how the simple dishes can sometimes make the complicated blush.
A long walk around the beautiful bustle and scented Istanbul grand bazaar would ready me for tonight. A truly exquisite top table layered with the finest foods and wine awaited me. I debated getting the wife a souvenir.
( See below for your chance to lose some money )
Come on Praline ( full story)
Ten minutes had passed, it was obvious no one was coming back to eat the delicious looking slice of cake. It sat there on the plate, alone, unloved and the saddest thing of all uneaten. A half cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice hovered nearby some of it spilt on the table. Perhaps whoever it belonged to had to rush off, maybe a twinge of guilt had pounced upon a dieter’s conscience. I did one last sweep of the cafe. A smiley waitress was busying herself towards me. It was now or never.
I went to move in when an elderly couple were walking in the cake’s direction. Oh well, it wasn’t to be, I was being greedy anyway, I had just polished of a gooey slab of lemon drizzle and clotted cream. They sat down at the table and smiled at me, I matched it with a lame disappointed one.
“Sorry, are these yours?” Asked the old man, pointing at the gateau.
“Um, yes indeed it is.” I heard myself say. “Well, just the cake actually.” Why did I say ‘indeed’, I never say ‘indeed’.
Just at that moment the waitress arrived on the scene.
“These drinks are finished with” said the old lady but the piece of cake is that young man’s. “
Judging by the three faces, it wasn’t just me who was questioning my location to that of the cake.
I could not believe what I heard myself say next.
“I bought two because one was for my ex-girlfriend, Julie. She finished with me three months ago. She dumped me because I made fun of her Dexys midnight runners’ dungarees. We used to come here every Saturday. I still come here alone and always get two, just in case she turns up. It’s her favourite you see. I put it on the next table and pretend she is sitting there, and we meet and talk for the first time and the dungarees never get mentioned. I feel that one day she will be there. I’ve almost stopped crying about it, but it still gets me right here.”
I prodded my heart.
“My friends think I’m mad. You probably do too. It’s OK though. I am a bit mad, madly in love.”
My nervous laughter echoed in my head. I could not believe I was still spinning this out. My brain was fascinated to where this was going, and my mouth went into auto pilot while I cringed inside. It’s just a piece of bloody cake.
I went on “We were together for years. It took me ages to get to snog her and double that to get her to agree to use tongues.”
I sensed I had touched a nerve with my audience as they nodded sympathetically.
“We even decided on names for our children we would have one day.” Deep sigh from the old lady and waitress. The old man asked if I had got any further than the tongues, his wife elbowed him in his ribs.
The waitress had a tear in her eye as she handed me my prize. I beamed at everyone and took a jaw stretching mouthful.
At that exact moment, at the other side of the cafe a mother and child coming out of the toilets were heading our way.
“There you go love, your new dress is dry now and you can’t see the orange stain, now let’s sit down and finish our drinks, eat your cake and we can finish your birthday shopping.”
My mouth stopped mid munch. The contents of chewed up praline, sponge, jam and cream on view for everyone to see. The mother, confused at first, looked around thinking she may have the wrong table. She looked at the cake in my hand, the coffee and orange juice. I focused my gaze on the old man, willing him to say something to make this extremely awkward situation seem like an innocent mistake. As if reading my mind, he spoke.
“Seems this thieving git here stole your cake love and gave us some cock and bull story that it was his girlfriend’s.”
The little girl started to cry.
Thinking things could not get any worse, Julie came through the doors in her full Dexy’s gear, smiling and waving to me.
“I can explain.” I said while getting up.
I took one last bite of the cake and ran shouting to Julie to follow me.
Mile High Snub.
What have you written on my back? Was how the argument started. It ended with…
“And I don’t believe you’re an airhostess either, you’re too old. Also, who goes writing ‘I love you’ on the back of a person they hardly know?” Were my last words before slamming the hotel door on a very arsy; in both senses of the word, woman that I had a brief holiday romance with. The same woman who was at this very moment coming down the aisle with the food trolley.
“Would you like something to eat sir?”
“Sure, what are the options?” I asked.
“Yes, or fucking no” She replied.
After devilled eggs salad, which I’m sure she covertly spat on and another beer, I needed the loo. By the time the queue dwindled down to me next. I could hardly stand still and did a jig while through both pockets squeezed my willy half to death. Thinking I had won the day by a whiskers, then frantically trying to free myself, the zip crunched and jammed to a halt. Unfortunately, my brain in its alcohol infused state had already given my bladder the go ahead to release. There was no mistaking what the stain down my leg was. I sat on the toilet to ponder my predicament. I could ask for help from one of the crew. I peeped out of the door. Along with a few people stealthily doing the hold it in dance was the hostess from Grudgeville.
I could just imagine her paraphrasing my plea to get me out of this.
“Ladies and gentlemen. I have been asked by the bastard now currently walking down the aisle back to seat 323A to say that the patch down his leg is not piss but he spilt tango on himself while in the toilet, an unlikely tale. we don’t serve it on board and who drinks in the bog anyway? A load of rubbish, just like his white linen trousers and love making.”
I thought better of it.
I decided to take my shirt off and drape it around my front and cover up best I could. I’d get some curios looks but at least I wouldn’t be known as ‘dribbler man’ for the rest of the flight. Just before leaving the loo, I caught a glimpse of my back from the mirror. In thick heavy marker pen were the words ‘I’m a dick’.
Snoggers and Joggers
They are not designed for eating children. I am yet to see a goose tucking into a five-year-old. The parents laugh as their toddlers throw running tantrums getting away from the feathered kiddie munchers. Why are they not taken aside and told that birds are not out to get us…well apart from Seagulls, they are definitely evolving from stealing our chips to our eyeballs, but don’t mention that to the kids.
If they are not made to understand (and I don’t mean violently shaken by the shoulders while you shout, they are only fucking quack quacks, get a grip), then they will end up being one of those joggers who take ridiculous detours around the paths of city lakes trying to avoid the wildlife, running through piles of gunky green bird shit in their sparkly white trainers as long as they dodge being pecked to death.
I go back to reading my book on the bench. Today for some reason I am being distracted far too easily. Perhaps that it’s a crap book. As It’s just a collection of short stories, I am more inclined to give each one a chance. Only because I once read a nonstarter that I tutted at almost all the way through until I was blown away at a totally awesome, ‘didn’t see that coming’, ending. Sometimes It’s worth the effort. I couldn’t do that with a novel.
In the shop I would read the first few pages and if it felt good, I would steal it. Sometimes I would read the last few pages of a book and if it got me to say, ‘oh my days’, I wonder what lead up to this happening, then I would pay for it. It’s how I roll. A good example of this Perhaps would be to compare it to a couple I saw walking hand in hand here yesterday. As they strolled, stopped occasional to snog and smiled past me I could not help to wonder how their story started. She was early twenties he was early to bed. He had to be at least sixty. I would pay to read the first few pages of that one. Lucky bastard.
Maybe I should try my hand at writing. What kind of genre would I enjoy penning? Fiction or non? Should I write about me? What’s that called again? Is it memoirs or biography? As I spend most of my days planning robberies for others and dabble in petty theft, I think I should leave that one till I ever get incarcerated and have time on my hands. What a unique selling point that would be though. Bank robber gets caught after writing about all his jobs in what is now a bestseller.
Comedy, I should write funny stuff. Things that make me laugh. I ponder to think about what rocks my chops. Finding myself in an awkward situation through no fault of my own and how it all ends up roses. That’s me. A tried and tested format. I suppose that’s how most sit coms work.
Nah, bugger the writing, reading is hard enough, especially here in the park today. It’s not the book, it’s me I decide. I’m not in a loving relationship with my fellow humans at the moment. They seem to be pissing me off on purpose. The lake is 1.2 miles round with swans, geese and ducks scattered evenly, yet everyone appears to be waiting till they get in close proximity to me to off load their bread and bird seed. Messerschmitt seagulls dive and swoop up pieces that their fat feathered friends are too slow to get.
Don’t get me started on the bleeding noise they make. What the fuck is that all about. Like oh my God. They must know how irritating they sound, surly. Or maybe it’s a polite call to other seagulls around the lake that its teatime. “Hey chaps, fly over here, those adorable humans are sharing again, everyone sing and make them know how grateful we are, flap swoop and sing guys for the bread givers. Try not to shit on them this time Tony.”
If It’s not the feeders, it’s the snoggers too. Like the odd couple yesterday. People in love seem to stroll hand in hand around the park and wait till they get near me to stop and snog. So, close I can hear the squishing of tongues. Then there’s the weirdos carrying black bin bags full of goodness knows what. They swagger around pulling faces at the birds, children and dogs and decide to have a rest and sit beside me on my bench.
They tell me how many cans of beans they have had so far that day and let one rip just to prove it. They then open said bag which has enough stale bread to keep a flock of geese going for the winter. Back come the seagulls and the squealing kids.
I get back to the comfort and relative quiet of my bedsit above a kebab shop in town. Temporary accommodation I hasten to add. I am hoping that a robbery I am project managing for a gang of delinquents goes to plan and my share will allow me to upgrade to a flat above a 4-star rated TripAdvisor Chinese restaurant in Canton. There will be a better class of drunk and no loitering with bags of chips and curry off the bone till the early hours.
I never do front of house in a job. I’m Always in the background. The main reason is one distinguishable feature I have. I’m 6ft 8 which has its highs and lows. I don’t have many look a likes in Cardiff. I’m easy to spot in a line up. So, I just assist with the planning. I have a good reputation with the local criminals. They know I can do the maths and stats on the timings, layout probable outcomes of any job. If lanky Larry gives them odds of over 75% that a job was going to be successful if they carry out my orders to the tee, then it was a goer.
The last one was successful but not very profitable. I never physically draw or write up plans. I have a meeting with the leaders, most of who can’t read. I drum into them how a job should be carried out and go over a plan B and C. They are made aware of the obstacles and of what to do if this or that happens. I realise now that it was partly down to be in not making it super clear where the job was going to take place. They knew it was a department store in town. On a busy Saturday afternoon in the city centre, a gang of 60 thieves with balaclavas on casually walked into NOT John Lewis to individually nick as many small high-priced goods as possible and leave but strolled into Primark and came out with bags of woman’s underwear.
When the last of the items had been sold on eBay and down the local pub, my cut was £7.32 and a pair of tights which between you and I, really keep my legs warm.
First Pantry Day ( The Beginning )
The complete story from the home page. I have twenty in this particular book and working on a follow up. This is a blurb to give you an idea of what’s to follow:
A compilation of short humorous stories about a boy called Lloyd growing up and his experiences with food. From a baby to a 16-year-old, He tells tales of what he sees his mother cooking from his highchair to antics with food in cookery lessons in school and scrapes he gets into with his parents, the fire brigade, police and teachers. As he is not trusted to be sent to his room when naughty he is sent to and locked in the kitchen pantry for various periods depending on the crime. He spends his time reading cookbooks and experiments with the recipes when he is alone, often ending in disaster.
Here it is..
“Ah, Mrs Jones, could I have a word before you take Lloyd home?”
Mum looked up and smiled at Mrs Silcox while doing up my coat.
“It’s just that we had an incident at dinner time today. It seems young Lloyd here didn’t have any food and was rather hungry this afternoon. I gave him some biscuits from the staff room and one of my sandwiches. I hope you don’t mind.”
“But I gave him a lunch box full of his favourite things and put in his satchel this morning.”
“Yes, I know.”
Mum looked lost.
“It appears that Lloyd sold them all.”
Mum stared questioningly at me. I tried to mimic her bemused look and shrugged my shoulders making out Mrs Slicox had lost the plot. She looked at me harder as if penetrating my thoughts. I could cry here or keep up my ‘I’ve been framed’ guise.
“I find this hard to believe Mrs Silcox.” said mum as she fastened the last button on my duffel coat, still holding her gaze at me. “Is this true Lloyd?”
I kept my poker face.
“Um, I may also add that it was not for financial gain Mrs Jones.”
Mum stood up and level with my teacher.“What on earth do you mean?”
“I don’t know quite how quite how to put this, but Lloyd was buying kisses from two of the girls in the class in return for his chocolate wagon wheels.”
“Kisses, wagon wheels? This is where you must be mistaken Mrs Jones, I only pack him one chocolate snack on a Friday.”
Mrs Silcox cringed here reply.
“I have been informed by one of the pupils involved in the bribe; although I don’t know who was bribing who, that Lloyd goes without this treat from Monday to Thursday and keeps them hidden in his desk. Every Friday is when he, well, when he, well, you know. It was me who saw the, let’s call them, exchanges going on from the staff room window.
Today was a little bit different I am told as the barter rate had gone up which included his sandwiches and crisps which left Lloyd without any food.”
I don’t know what my face was portraying but it defiantly wasn’t poker but felt as hot as one.
“I have informed the mothers of the two girls, who I am informed are coincidently both on strict diets; The daughters, not the mothers you understand, although if you ask me, well, anyway, they know now and it’s just a little incident that I am sure you’d like to explain to lovely Lloyd here that shouldn’t be repeated.”
Mum didn’t have to ask me again. Rather than look her straight at her scowl my eyes darted around the room as if I were following the flight of an invisible fly.
She apologised to Mrs Silcox on my behalf, took my hand and marched me out into the cold windy day which temporarily soothed my red face.
The walk home though the streets of Whitchurch in Cardiff was fast. Mum was muttering to herself and would stop now and then, look at me, start to say something, shake her head and carry on. Had I not been attached to her hand I would never have been able to keep up.
Approaching the garden gate, she asked, in a roundabout way, the question that had been burning in her since we left the school.
“How long have you been um?” She tried to say kissing but couldn’t.
“How long have you been um, not eating your wagon wheels.”
“Two what? Weeks, months?”
“Just two Fridays, it wasn’t even my idea and didn’t even like it. Ewww, they were more interested in my food box than me, I think they felt bad just robbing me so dished out the kisses.”
Mum decided for the first time to lock me in the pantry for a crime that, quite frankly, she or I weren’t sure had been committed.
I think it was because she didn’t want to tell me off or didn’t know how to, as till then I had never really done anything wrong.
“How long do I have to stay in here for?” I shouted from behind the door.
“Until you see the error in your ways,” she unconvincingly replied.
“But why can’t I be sent to my room?”
“Because you have too many things to play with. In there you can only think about um, you know what. Um not buying things with things, you can’t just go around exchanging stuff for things. It isn’t right.”
I had a vague idea what she meant but she wasn’t half beating around the bush.
“Anyway, your father will explain it all to you later, I hope.”
I sat on the stool, put my knees on my thighs and cupped my chin with both hands. I had never really taken much notice of what was in here. Only ever sent in to fetch something for mum to burn in the oven. A cave of ingredients in jars and packets that were doomed from the moment they left the shop.
Standing on my stool they were just out of reach for me to try. There were, however, on the bottom shelf, a good collection of cookbooks. This is where my story begins.
New story 7th June 2021 ( A story in the making ) .Watch how it develops in time. It has just been writen and not fully edited yet. It could be a 1000 or 10,000 words , who knows.
For now I have called it ‘From My Castle to The Sea ‘.
I had thumbed through pretty much every book on display and browsed the hell out of the gift shop at Cardiff Castle. No miniature Dragon or Welsh slate coaster was left un fondled by my leathery hands. A young couple came through the sliding doors, dry and not shaking an umbrella. At last, I could leave. A double rainbow arced over the castle keep and the damp lush grass sighed in relief after the torrential beating. The cobbled walkway snagged at my stick as I hobbled out into the town. I had developed a more than usual lopsided swager in my step since leaving the shop. Not so much to do with my dodgy hip and crumbling bones, but the weight in my right raincoat pocket full of miniature Dragons, slate coasters and two books on Welsh history.
The streets began to fill up again. Pretend shoppers piling out of stores that they wouldn’t normally been seen dead in just to escape the rain. I imagined the blushing few, chin to chest squirming their way out of Ann Summers, especially the ones with inquisitive children in tow.
A minute’s wobble from the castle is the cook shop at the top of the high street. Deliciously busy with wannabe chefs like ‘Jamie Twist’ or whatever the little shit’s name is. I don’t get all this cooking malarkey. We are living in the twenty-first century; we have put people on the moon and stuff. Some bright spark invented the microwave, and someone toped them with a microwaveable meal. What in bollox sake are we sticking in the past and still labouring over a hot stove for hours at a time? My spag bol takes eight minutes in the ping machine. The same amount of time that it takes me to have a shit. No time lost, a win win situation.
I poked and prodded an array of utensils, weighed them in my mind and decided to go for the boiled egg slicer, can opener and ice cream scoop. I needed one more thing to even the me out in the other pocket. I spied a book on microwave cooking. Someone who has written something on the bleeding obvious was awesome in my eyes. I mean, it tells you what to do on each box. Talking about teaching your grandmother to suck eggs. Defiantly worth a read though. It was only £1.99 which was a steal. Which I did.
A little girl with her hand attached to her mother’s caught me sliding it stealthily into my coat and gave me a questioning look. I smiled at her and pressed my forefinger to my lips. I gave her the V sign brought it to my eyes and pointed them back at her. Before she could jerk her mother’s arm, I lost myself within the other shoppers and hunched myself out back into the street.
My visit to the cook shop had left me feeling hungry. A pizza place across the road beckoned me over.
“Good afternoon sir. Can I get you a table? How many are there of you?”
I looked around to see if there was anyone loitering around me in proximity.
“Looks like it’s just me dear although there was someone who looked uncannily like me in a line up once, so there could be two of us.”
“Certainly, sir, a table for two.”
I rolled my eyes at her inability to get my sarcasm.
“No. just me today love.”
“Oh, sure OK, if you’d like to walk this way.”
I would love to, but my hips forbid it, and I am pretty sure my bum wouldn’t wobble like yours, I didn’t say. I asked for a place near the door so I could leave quicker when I didn’t pay for my meal. She snorted a laugh and sat me down at a window so passers by could watch me eat.
With one slice left of a meat feast and stuffed crust, I took two long strands of blonde hair from my inner coat pocket and thread one under some beef, chorizo and cheese then squirted some mayo on top. I started choking and caught the attention of a waiter at the other end of the restaurant. I manged to get half the other strand in my mouth and halfway down my throat before he arrived. I was aware that I was being watched from outside as I continued my act. I looked around to see it was the little girl from the cook shop. Her mother had her back to me and was chatting to someone. I manged to get my v sign up and give her the ‘I’m watching you message again just as the waiter got to me. I gaged on the hair and pulled it out to great effect.
“I’m fine son, I’m fine. Just wasn’t expecting this kind of topping, I would expect you to shave the people you chop up and scatter them on pizza before you put it in the oven.”
“I’m terribly sorry sir, I don’t know who’s that could be, can I get you some water?”
It was then I prodded the last slice and pointed out the other strand.
With a full belly, hairs back in my pocket and vouchers for a free meal, I burped my way back on to the high street.
( TO BE CONTINUED )
Meanwhile, as I decided to write full-time and not continue my chef career or scary clown at children’s parties (‘Go back to cooking you fool’ I hear you scream ), I am not earning enough to finance the the running of my private jet and playboy life-style.If you like what you have read , please feel free to buy me a metaphorical cuppa tea by clicking the button bellow and don’t forget to subscribe. 50 % of your kind donation will go to the mental health charity ‘ Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/ Thanks
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Caught Cheating.( Flash Fiction)
David had been skipping his lunch at work. He would be so hungry by dinner that he could just stomach the meals that his wife of 102 days 3 hours had cooked for him.
“Again, darling you have surpassed yourself. Not many people can come up with different pasta dishes a month in a row. I still say that the whole idea of bulk buying spaghetti and stuff was for emergencies during lockdown.”
“I don’t care what you think David, in fact you can go fuck yourself. I have just discovered that you have been cheating on me…again!”
David pushed around the slab of undercooked lasagne on his plate avoiding eye contact. The game was up. He had promised to be faithful yet had been selfish with the desire to satisfy himself. Her detective skills were superior to any she had in the kitchen.
“I trusted you, you said we were going to come out of this stronger”
David distinctively remembered saying that they would come out of this fatter. Then without his brain’s permission his mouth went into overdrive and for the first time, raised his voice. He went on for five minutes.
“And to top it all, if it wasn’t for the fact that my bowls are clogged up with Penne, Ravioli, Linguine, Rigatoni and tagliatelle I wouldn’t have to be using more than ten sheets per shit. I’m guilty as charged. Oh, and I’ve been seeing your mother”.
Emily’s eyes opened almost as wide as her mouth.
We will have to dig her up
We will have to dig her up,
There is no other way.
It was the key that she choked on not a bloody bone,
Bring your sharpest knife, were going to see your wife.
Your strength and spade are useless,
Your tears make you soft as the earth
Sit on her stone while I get to the coffin
Take out your knife, you’re going to open your wife.
You tremble like a shy volcano
Give me the damn thing
There, put in your hand and take out the key.
Good, now I must take your life and you will lye beside your wife.
Just a Thought
I take a seat in the theatre such is my mind,
watching is far more productive than taking part.
I sit back and marvel at the thoughts as they play out.
It’s always me in the leading role,
I play it so well,
but know it’s just pretend.
The curtain rises.
“What else do you have?”
“I have dark days and black clouds ahead.”
“Seen them before.”
“I have pictures of you growing old alone and much more.”
“Come on, Something juicier.”
“Look, here you are in jail for not paying your bills.”
“That’s such an old one.”
“How about this? Out cold on the bathroom floor, overdosed on pills
“I can see it, but it says vitamins on the bottle.”
“Here you are on a life support machine.”
“You’re scraping the barrel.”
“Your partner has left you for your best friend.”
“I can only wish.”
“Oh! I didn’t know.”
“None of your business but do carry on.”
“That’s all I have for the moment.”
“Good. May I ask you a question.”
“You’ve stopped using rhyming words.”
“Where do you dig up such images?”
“From you. I just jazz them up a bit.”
“You have projected the same scenes for years.”
“I do my best.”
“None of them ever transpire.”
“What can I say?”
“You’re weak when I see you for what you really are.”
“Yeah, you got me sussed.”
“You’ll be back tomorrow no doubt.”
“That’s fine. You’re welcome anytime.”
“Use to be fun when you took me seriously.”
“I take it that you’re done now.”
The curtain falls and I go back to sleep.