Carolyn had every reason to celebrate. She phoned up the most expensive restaurant in town and booked a table for one.
It had taken a few years to achieve her goal, and at last it had happened. Her marriage to widower Clifford was her second marriage. Some thought she had married for money. Clifford was a multi-millionaire, mainly through inheritance from his rich parents. He was much older than Carolyn. She had presumed he would hold on for a few years and then upon his sad demise she would inherit the fortune. He had very much kept financial control in the marriage, and now… yippee!
For two years Carolyn had replaced Clifford’s blood-thinning pills with placebos. The pills were to prevent a stroke; and now a stroke had happened, and a serious one at that. He hadn’t died but he was rendered unable to help himself. He was put into permanent care. It couldn’t have worked out better for Carolyn; his pension would still come in. It wasn’t enough to live on, but over and above the huge amount of interest from his riches the small government pension was simply the icing on the cake. Carolyn would devote his pension to the purchase of knick-knacks – and dining out.
And what a lovely evening she had! The meal was superb. The restaurant was splendid. The service was exceptional. She would definitely return at a later date. It would be the perfect place to bring Ricardo. Ricardo was a widower. He was a multi-millionaire and much older than Carolyn.
Ketty had always wanted to attempt a jigsaw; a big one with a thousand pieces. The trouble was that the only bench top big enough to work on was the dining table. It’s not as if Ketty could lay the jigsaw out repeatedly between meals.
Of course Seth, her husband, thought the jigsaw was a wonderful idea. He’d grab any chance he could to eat his meals in an armchair in front of the TV, but Ketty insisted they sit properly at the dining table at least for the evening meal.
That is why Seth gave Ketty a thousand piece jigsaw for her birthday. Ketty was delighted. They would eat their meals in front of the TV until the jigsaw was finished. The jigsaw was of a pretty bridge over a pretty stream banked with pretty flowers – and a couple of ducks.
A month had passed and there were still six pieces left on the table and nine spaces.
“There are pieces missing,” declared Ketty. “And the six remaining pieces don’t seem to belong to the jigsaw.”
“At least we get to eat in front of the tele until the jigsaw is finished,” Seth said. He looked amused and unsurprised.
Anyway, Ketty later cleared the jigsaw off the table. She needed the table space for refreshments and cups of coffee to serve the mourners after they had attended Seth’s funeral.
It was a dark and stormy night. Caitlin went out into the garden to find the cat. Caitlin had just had an argument with Milton, her husband. She had told him he spent too much time at the pub. In the course of the “conversation” quite a few regrettable statements were uttered. “I hope you die,” said Milton.
Caitlin had just spied her cat in the garden when a tree fell over in the wind. It pinned Caitlin to the ground. She was unable to move. With a slight lull in the storm Caitlin was able to call for help. Milton appeared.
Milton went into the shed to get his chainsaw. After he’d finished with the chainsaw he got in the car and went to the pub.
Brenda’s husband, Colm, detested tripe; whereas Brenda loved it. It was Brenda who did most of the cooking, which is why Colm was subjected to a meal of tripe at least once a month.
Brenda hadn’t moved an inch in the fourteen years they had been married. At first, love overruled any tripe-dislike on Colm’s part. He heartily consumed it. But such action grows thin and now it was a massive monthly chore and had been that way for a dozen or so years. Indeed the marriage had grown decidedly rocky.
Brenda had always worked the night shift at the factory, which meant she would prepare a meal before leaving for work. From Colm’s point of view this was a blessing as he didn’t have to pretend to enjoy eating the tripe. However, he was a waste-not-want-not sort of guy so even though he detested tripe he forced himself to eat it. It wasn’t going to kill him and it was only once every four weeks or so.
It was Colm’s detestation of tripe that prompted Brenda to use the dish when she decided to poison her husband. He so disliked the taste that he would gulp it down, poison and all, with a grimace. The stage was set. Brenda went off to work.
Fourteen years of disgusting tripe is enough. Colm took his dish of tripe outside and buried it in the garden. As Anita from up the road said to Colm in the motel that evening: “Thank goodness you’ve at last taken a stand against that conniving, tripe-cooking lowlife. When tomorrow we begin to setup shop together I shall cook you a mean jellied eel.”
Ernest had married for money. Sure, he loved Estelle, but it was her riches he was more attracted to. Not that she minded. She was born a billionaire and being legally married meant she wasn’t chased all the time for her money once she had been caught. Ernest served a useful purpose.
Over time affection slowly deepened. But Ernest was the jealous sort, and he became suspicious of Estelle. Was she having an affair? Where was she going when she went out? Why was she sometimes gone for hours?
He decided to have her followed. What was discovered amazed Ernest. He was gobsmacked.
Unfortunately I am not at liberty to reveal what it was. Let’s just say that Ernest knew enough to plan a fatal accident.
I am something like the 274th heir in line to the Spanish throne. My great great great grandfather had been deposed by a younger brother. If that hadn’t happened I’d be the first in line today. I should really lay claims, but I’d have to get rid of the current monarch first!
However, I’m perfectly content with the life I have. I don’t have to lay awake all night worrying about the crown jewels or whether the Prime Minister is ruining the economy. Instead I’m happy to do what I’m doing and enjoy home life with my wife and four daughters.
Of course being European royalty – no matter how distant – basically means I’m related to almost every royal personage in the Old World! A lot of inbreeding went on back then. There was a fuss when I myself got married because my wife is my third cousin twice removed. Some said I was asking for trouble. But it was distant enough not to matter.
Besides, I quite enjoy being married to the Queen of Spain.
Desiree had thought about this moment for years. She had imagined it over and over. And now the time had come. In fact the moment had come and gone. It was nothing like she had imagined.
She had always wondered what the circumstances of a marriage proposal would be. Would it be over a romantic candlelight dinner? Would it be in a garden full of flowers and birdsong? Would it be in an orchard with bright red apples shining against a blue sky? Would it be…?
Then she met Liam. Her dreams intensified. She knew Liam was to be the one. He was such a romantic too. Whatever scheme he was to invent in order to propose marriage it was destined to be exotic and quixotic. And now the moment had come!
Liam was driving his old truck to pick up some garden compost from the Garden Centre for his parents. Desiree tagged along too as she often did. Then out of the blue Liam said, “I suppose we should get married” and Desiree said, “I ‘spose so”.
Nothing riled Nora more than Jonathan putting up the artificial Christmas tree crooked. Year after year it would be crooked; just on a slight angle; not much mind you, but just enough for Nora to notice it every time she passed. The tree would go up on Thanksgiving.
The glittering baubles hung on a small but observable angle. Each year Nora would wait for Jonathan to leave the house and no sooner had he gone than she would crawl underneath the tree with a small plastic clothes peg and poke it in the Christmas tree stand against the trunk to make the tree perfectly upright.
Then when she went out herself she would return only to find the peg had gone. It had been taken out and the tree was once again on the tiniest angle. Nora knew exactly what she would get Jonathan for Christmas; something he seemed to want so much: some clothes pegs from the dollar shop.
This ritual had gone on for years. In fact, it had become a Thanksgiving Day tradition. I forgot to mention that Nora and Jonathan were next door neighbours – I suppose you thought they were wife and husband. They had been neighbours for over forty years, and both widowed for about ten. Thanksgiving was a time for them to help each other put up the Christmas decorations. Then as the evening approached – they always observed the day in the evening – their respective families would arrive in each household for the celebration.
This year however it was going to be different. Both families were meeting at Nora’s house to celebrate an accepted marriage proposal.
Happy Thanksgiving to my USA readers and their families – and anyone else who happens to be thankful!
Theodora was a stickler for looking nice. She would never appear in public without first putting on her glad rags. A carefully made up face was a must, and always with lipstick to match her nails.
When an earthquake struck and she ran out of her home flat stick, people commented that surely she wasn’t dressed to the nines all the time. She must have known an earthquake was about to strike! But the reality was, of course, that she did care every day for her appearance in and out of the house.
It therefore came as quite a surprise when Theodora’s name began to be associated with Teddy Potts. Teddy was a local farmer and as rough as guts. Even the backside of his pants was worn and sometimes torn. He always had a bit of hay here and there on this woollen pullover. The self-rolled cigarette permanently hanging from his lips was rarely lit. It was there for effect.
Soon Theodora and Teddy announced their engagement. All were invited to the wedding on the farm. It was to be “Bring a plate” (which is the Australian/New Zealand term for Potluck). The big question was: what should the wedding guests wear? It was on a farm so dress casually; or it’s Theodora’s wedding so dress fashionably; or it’s Teddy’s wedding so wear your old gardening clothes.
Guests arrived wearing all sorts. What a mixed crowd! Teddy was in a tuxedo but with a cigarette still hanging out his mouth. Theodora arrived wearing a stunning ensemble complete with veil and holding a bunch of barley and wild flowers off the farm.
Everyone had a great time. Even the old cow just across the fence watched the proceedings and mooed when the couple kissed. Everyone laughed.
And so, Dear Reader, this tale is proof indeed that some plots don’t ever get off the ground. Most lives are ordinary. They’re not riddled with murder and intrigue but things happen in a lovely way. And no doubt this couple lived happily ever after.
For some time now Clarice had suspected that not everything was right with hubby. Ramon had been in a bad mood for several weeks. He was working too hard. Every night this week he had come home late. He said he was “burdened with work”. Somehow for Clarice the story didn’t sit right.
“I suspect he’s having an affair,” thought Clarice. “That sprightly, lithe office assistant called Monica is the likeliest candidate to attract Ramon’s attention.”
Clarice searched online for a company that did private detective work. There it was! It was specific: “We specialize in investigating your spouse.” It was exactly what Clarice wanted. She phoned. They arranged to meet. Max wasn’t at all what she had expected. She had expected a tweedy little man with a monocle; well not exactly a monocle but at least horned-rimmed glasses. Max wasn’t any of that.
Anyway, that was months ago. Clarice no longer needs to have husband Ramon investigated as she’s moved in with Max.