Mother Nature 1

He stood at the front of a line that stretched far behind him into the distance and eventually out of sight around a white corner. In front of him was a familiar door. The light above it was red, but when it turned green again, it would be his turn to go through. He felt suddenly excited and a little nauseous. He hadn’t realised he was so close because he’d spent the last six months standing, and ocassionally shuffling, behind the hulk of a gorilla. A gorilla which, his nose suggested, had died from a stomach complaint.  

He wondered what she would offer him. Of course, he wasn’t guaranteed to be offered anything – it depended what sort of mood she was in. The lady a little in front of him last time had simply been allocated ‘Mayfly’ with a shrug. She’d been back in line long before he reached the front of the queue. He knew that because he’d accidentally trodden on her in the toilets.

The light turned green and the door slid noiselessly to one side, revealing a cavernous white space behind. He walked forward trying to radiate a confidence he didn't feel, and which the clanging echo of his footsteps and a vague memory of being summoned to see the headmaster was not helping. By the time he reached the reception desk at the far end of the otherwise empty hall, he could feel beads of perspiration on his forehead, despite the deathly chill in the air.

It was Deirdre on reception. He wasn’t entirely sure what she was, or had been, under her colossal uniform – presumably some long extinct monstrosity – but he was sure that she liked him. He was less sure whether the attraction was infatuation; or hunger. 

She looked up from her keyboard and gave him a toothy, reptilian smile. 

“Hello Bernard.” She flicked through the mound of papers beside her. “What was it this time?”

“Guillotine”, he said.

She stopped rummaging and turned back to him. “A guillotine? In 2020? Are you pulling my… what are these?” 

He shrugged. “No idea, and yes. I’m afraid I didn’t see it coming.”

“Not many do”, she mumbled humourlessly. 

Seemingly giving up her hunt for the right paperwork, she punched a few details into the keyboard before her. A machine to her left chugged to life, winced and churned out an identity card, which she attached to a green cord and passed to him over the counter. “...

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Rod Webb
Apr 6 2020

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Very enjoyable, funny, a bit of PC, political and religious satire and an expletive used as a surnames thrown in for good measure, made this an entertaining read.

Tony Spencer
Jul 18 2020

Absolutely, bloody brilliant!!!! So unexpected and an absolute delight to read!!!! Loved it!!

Lily Larkin
Jul 17 2020

Absolutely belting! I love it!

Charity Reed
Apr 10 2020

I’m hoping for Honey Bee next time round 🐝. I admire their single minded approach to life and think id be good at waggling 💃
Loving the short stories. The kids don’t give me much time to read so this is perfect.

Lucy Langdon
Apr 6 2020