Mrs. Rogers was not a nice lady at all. Eleven of us from James’ class were invited to his house for his 9th birthday party. So all in all there were twelve of us.
When it came to dessert time Mrs. Rogers put out thirteen dishes, and she said we would play a game. There were twelve of us and thirteen dishes. One of them was poisoned! She knew which one was poisoned but we didn’t. Of course it was just a game so probably none of them were poisoned, but you never can be too sure. So we all picked a plate and pretended to start eating.
When everyone had a dessert plate there was still one dessert left so Mrs. Rogers took it herself. We all knew that Mrs. Rogers would not have taken it to eat if it was the poisonous dish. She definitely had a safe dish.
Barney Halifax swapped plates with her when she wasn’t looking. Ha! Boy was he glad he did.
Well! I had been sent by my editor to the lake to get a few photos. The lake was a popular swimming place but known for drownings. Hardly a year had gone by when there hadn’t been at least one drowning. The magazine was going to publish an article highlighting the dangers of swimming in the lake. Hence the need for a few photos.
When I arrived at the lake there were half a dozen people swimming about. In fact they were playing with a beach ball, tossing it one to another and judging from what I saw I deduced that the aim was to steal the beach ball off the opposition.
One of the contributing factors to the drownings is the weed. There is thick water weed growing on the lake floor and occasionally someone’s foot gets tangled in the weed and they can’t emerge.
And then a miracle happened! This woman – I suppose she was about twenty – got caught in the weed. She was jumping up and waving and gasping for air. She was going under and remerging and flaying about like an octopus. At first I thought she must have been bitten by a fish or something. Then all went still. Her beach ball friends were stunned into silence, and she sort of floated and went under. Floated and went under several times.
I managed to capture it all. My editor is going to be thrilled.
I have always been a bit cynical about these Commoners who marry a Prince and become a Princess? I’m sure there’s a great deal of ambition and lust for prestige hidden in there somehow. They marry a Prince and before you can blink they have at the very least become a Duchess.
I had no idea it would happen to me.
I was at university pursuing a degree in Etruscan Pottery. There was a bachelor Prince in the class chasing after the same advanced degree. He was handsome! Handsome, rich, titled, and available! What more could a common girl such as me want? Of course all the other females in the class went gar-gar. It was sickening to see grown women flouncing about trying to get noticed by someone with a title.
Then something strange began to happen. One by one these women were dying. It was poisoning apparently. There were seven deaths over the course of the academic year. It started around the time the Prince started dating me.
I had asked the Prince when he gets married what title would his wife get, and he said she would become a Countess or maybe a Duchess. But if his older brother died – who was the heir to the throne – then he (my Prince) would become the heir and I would become a Princess.
Would you believe? Having married the Prince, here I am a Countess already. Good things take time. I’m quietly working on becoming a Princess.
Dwayne was well aware, as he took his seven heart medication pills every morning, that all he need do was to pop a couple more pills in his mouth and his wife could live happily ever after on their life’s savings.
“You know,” said Dwayne to Avril his wife, “all I need do is pop a couple of extra pills into my mouth and I’d be dead meat. Life is so fragile.”
“Which pills in particular?” asked Avril.
“These ones and these ones,” said Dwayne gesturing to a couple of little plastic jars of pills.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Avril looked a picture of grief at his funeral. Currently she’s in Honolulu with her new boyfriend.
How rich is the tapestry of life! Hopefully this story will broaden your cultural horizon, counter any lurking ethnocentricity, and enrich your life. Below are snippets of conversations and thoughts I jotted down while celebrating with friends in a pub this afternoon.
Елизавета and Владимир were celebrating their engagement.
“I didn’t think we’d ever make it this far,” said Владимир.
“I always trusted our relationship,” said Елизавета.
Елизавета poured another glass of beer from the jug. “Would you like a refill, Владимир?” she asked.
“Yes please, Елизавета,” said Владимир.
Владимир raised his glass to make a toast. “A toast before we get the taxi home,” he said. “Here’s to St Patrick’s Day in our City of Dublin.”
Clint was sitting at his desk happily typing away. He was simply answering an email from an old school friend of years back. Unexpectedly on the corner wall, just above the computer screen, a shadow of someone’s head appeared.
Clint turned and looked behind him. There was no sunshine streaming into the room through the window. There was no one standing there.
It became a bit scary to say the least. Clint resumed typing, but began to grow more afraid.
Suddenly, curved around the shadow of the head, there appeared the shadow of the curved blade of a scythe.
When his wife, Tilly, brought in a nice cup of tea, Clint was dead. Tilly tried to revive him but to no avail. She rushed to the next room to find the phone. She did not notice, but on the corner wall just above the sofa, a shadow of someone’s head appeared.
Pam was the mother of the groom. She had found the bride’s mother loud and offensive. She had tried to be polite in the weeks leading up to the wedding but she might as well have been talking to a brick wall.
“The bridesmaids will be wearing pale blue. Try to wear something to match colour-wise. And try to be a little fashionable. The shoes you wore to Denise’s wedding were abominable. This is my daughter’s wedding; try not to spoil it.”
Pam smiled politely, but the bride’s mother’s remarks had cut her to the quick. It was after all her son’s wedding too. Of course she wanted to look her best. Pam planned her outfit meticulously. She didn’t want to upstage the bride and she wasn’t exactly made of money.
The wedding day came. The bride’s mother arrived looking like she was a transgender heading for a strip show at a children’s library. Pam arrived in a simple dark green skirt with a pale cream blouse and with gold-painted wooden Swedish clogs and a straw sunhat. It was different and stuck out a mile, and yet she looked stunning. It was exactly right.
A few talked about the bride. No one talked about the bride’s mother. Everyone was gobsmacked by the simplicity and sheer beauty of the groom’s mother. When an inebriated bride’s mother accidentally spilled red wine all over her daughter’s wedding dress, the bride’s mother declared: “Don’t fret. Ask Pam if she’s got a spare set of gardening clothes.” No one laughed. Pam never viewed the wedding as a competition, but the bride’s mother knew that Pam had won the day.
It had been a long four years for Eldridge. He wasn’t the brightest star in the sky but he worked hard at his studies. He wasn’t thick either. He was of average intelligence pursuing a fairly challenging cytological degree specializing in chromatids of metaphase chromosomes.
His final exam was coming up. Eldridge studied like there was no tomorrow. A science laboratory in his very city was after a young, enthusiastic technician specializing in chromatids of metaphase chromosomes. Eldridge applied and got the job provided he passed his final exam. Such a promise made Eldridge study even harder.
Well as luck would have it Eldridge passed his final exam with flying colours! Unfortunately the laboratory had moved to China. Three years later Eldridge was still stacking shelves in a supermarket.
Dominic had looked forward to his new bed being delivered. He had ordered it online and for a few extra dollars the furniture shop would deliver a bed base and mattress. It was a simple single bed; there was no need for something big and fancy.
For the last week or so he had slept on the floor on a pile of soft folded duvets. His old mattress had sprung a spring. He didn’t even know that mattresses these days still had springs. A sharp pointed spring had popped out through the worn king size mattress in the middle of the night. He had rolled over and the spring cut his arm; not too badly, but it took him a while to work out what had happened.
The bed arrived! Dominic set it up. An early bed was on the cards! He was overly tired. The duvets on the floor had not provided restful sleeps.
Dominic slept soundly. He turned in his sleep. His sleeping mind had not adjusted to a less-wide bed. He fell on the floor, hit his head on the lamp stand, and died.
That is why this story is called “A Goodnight Sleep” and not “A Good Night’s Sleep”.
Errol explained to the policeman that the shooting of his wife had been an accident. He had simply taken his handgun to clean, and before he could even check to ensure it was bullet-less he accidentally pulled the trigger. The bullet hit his wife who slumped dead over the dining table. She had been placing a freshly washed table cloth.
The body was still slumped there in a pool of blood. Errol had immediately phoned for the police.
The local policeman arrived. Errol was still holding the handgun, he was so shocked. Even though he knew that Errol wasn’t dangerous, the policeman called for backup. That was when Errol accidentally shot the policeman. He slumped over Errol’s wife’s corpse.