Saturday, 23 July 2016



This is how my mind wanders sometimes when it sets off on a 'word chain' 'rain, duck, cat, take away' (thinking about dinner)


There was once a small Persian cat who worked in a take away shop, ingeniously called ‘The Take Away’.

His name was 'Bluddicat'.

Well he thought this was his name because every time he got under his owner's feet, the man would shout 'Bluddicat, get out of here!'

His job was to keep down the vermin. The owner wasn't too nice to him and only gave him scraps of meat to eat so that Bluddicat wouldn't lose his 'edge' when hunting vermin as that was what he mostly lived on.

His favourite 'meat scrap' was duck meat. It was so delicious and full of flavour Bluddicat relished every morsel he could get his paws on.

One day the Take Away was so busy, meat cleavers where flying across the chopping boards and the kitchen was clouded in steam from all the boiling delicacies being served up to customers at the front of the shop.

The meat preparer, Dave, was cutting up a couple of duck carcasses when the soup chef, Russell, slipped on a discarded piece of Bok Choy on the floor.

(‘Russell’ wasn’t his real name. He was nicknamed Russell because he never shared the sweets he kept in a paper bag in his pocket. Every time they heard the paper bag ‘rustle’ as he took a sweet for himself, everyone in the kitchen would say ‘what’ve you got there Russell?’)

Russell threw his arms out to save himself, dropping the pan of soup he was holding on to the floor and careered into Dave.

Dave dropped his meat cleaver, narrowly avoiding cutting his toes off and was flung unceremoniously across the chopping table. His arms splayed out to save himself, but in doing so, knocked the two duck carcasses to the floor and they rolled under the chopping table.

Dave and Russell fell together to the floor in a tangle of arms, legs and aprons. Their hats where catapulted into the air and landed on the still alight hob.

As Dave and Russell scrambled to their feet and rushed to put out the now oven engulfing fire, our hero Bluddicat raced between the scuttling legs, ignoring the frantic shouts and chaos and over to where the two duck carcasses lay under the table. He had a moment of gluttonous thoughts where he tried to work out whether he could carry both ducks, but realised  he wouldn’t be able to carry both and he may not get the chance to come back for the other duck. This was his only chance to grab a full duck for himself.

He grabbed a leg of one of the ducks and then dragging it alongside him, he ran off out the back of the shop to the alleyway where there was an outbuilding which doubled as a storage unit and his bedroom.

He sneaked into a corner behind a couple of sacks of potatoes (I didn't say it was hygienic!) to enjoy his swiped feast.

After gorging himself on the illicit duck plundering’s, Bluddicat settled down for good wash and a well-earned nap.

He grinned to himself, as only cats can do and thought:

 'I am indeed, the most Duck-filled fattened Puss!'

And with a contented purr, he went to sleep.


© Kate McClelland 2016

Photo from Pixabay

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Take The Gloves Off!

It was the hottest day of the year today in Blighty. 31 degrees Celsius. Doesn't sound that hot you think, but here - that's newsworthy!!

You'd have thought the Thames was about to disappear in a puff of steam.

The homeward bus had it's heaters on - (For all that is goodness in the world why??) which turned the bus into a portable sauna/poaching tin.
I was leaking water from every pore of my body. (people who believe the old adage 'Horses sweat, men perspire and women 'faint' have obviously never had to spend 45 minutes opposite a sweaty armpit whilst standing on a crowded bus mid-summer! - And why add the horse??)
Opposite me was an older gentleman who had seemingly wiled away the afternoon in a local tavern nursing a few Brown Ales and was now making his way home to either an empty house, (sad) or a very cross missus (also sad, but of his own making).
Bearing in mind it was this side of hell's gate in our crowded little piece of perspiration alley, he was dressed as if for a wintery day.
He wore a wool flat cap, pulled right down as far as it could go, an overcoat and very thick woollen gloves. They were the type of gloves you could play snowball fights in and still have fingers left after ten solid minutes of shivery fun - that thick!
He was damp with sweat to the point that under his cap, his forehead had developed a small waterfall, which he kept wiping with the back of alternate gloves.
The gloves (now visibly damp with the repeated swipes to his brow and the moisture from his hands) kept sliding off slightly , but he doggedly pushing his gloves back on again and again as they tried unsuccessfully to escape to drier climes.
As I continued to watch the saga of the slippery gloves, All I kept thinking was 'At least take the gloves off!!' But he would not be parted from them.
I wondered at him not keeling over from heatstroke as he meandered his way down the bus to alight at his stop.
He shuffles off the bus - and promptly takes off his hat and gloves and unbuttons his coat.
Some people are just odd.

Kate McClelland
Photo from Pixabay

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The Babysitter (Horror - for over 18's only)

Thought I'd try a bit of horror today. Any constructive comments gratefully accepted

They come home drunk, but giggly. The key scratches the door lock a few times.

The Babysitter takes a deep breath and breathes out slowly, then opens the door for them.

She picks out the ‘Hellos’ and ‘Great time’ from the barrage of garbled language coming towards her.

Kids have been fine – no problems – all in bed asleep, no – no complaints from the neighbours, everyone behaved.

The woman, baby blonde hair done up in a small beehive style is dressed all in gold. Her long, slim dress shimmers like the gold doily you used to get in posh chocolate boxes, her long gold gloves are peeled off and placed on the sideboard along with the gold satin wrap and her sparkling gold dance shoes she was wearing are carefully placed underneath it.

The woman wanders off to the kitchen in a daze, still wearing her gold dress, to make a ‘fry up’ for the man.

The man crosses the room and sits right next to the Babysitter, a strong aroma of stale cigarettes, stale lager and whiskey chasers wafts over her like a toxic cloud.

It bleeds from him like an oil slick.

He’s got his best dark blue suit on, complete with matching waistcoat, blue silk shirt and a blue paisley patterned silk tie complete with gold tie pin.

His gold 13 ruby fob watch chain dangles from the little pocket on the waistcoat.

He takes out the fob watch, checks the time and puts it back in the little pocket.

Several recently un-pawned gold rings adorn his fists.

Always gold rings, always fists.

He carries his wealth around with him wherever he goes.

Black leather laced shoes still shiny from being heavily polished

(It’s important to pay attention to every little detail – it may save your life).

He turns to the Babysitter, with his humourlessly smiling face.

His eyes suddenly black and soulless. A cold evil reaches towards her.

Now she knows there’s going to be trouble and she braces herself.

He casually draws an already unsheathed craft knife out of his pristine suit pocket.

Not damaging the fabric at all, a well-practised move.

He grips her left wrist, sliding the blade up and down her arm.

She sits very still, because she knows if she flinches or tries to move away, she is done for.

 He starts to tell to her, in a rather bored fashion, about POW’s in Japan who had been tortured by being flayed alive.

He says he could peel off all of her skin, with this knife, but she’d still be alive – for a time.

He instructs her calmly of the delicate work involved in skinning a person, pointing with the sharp tip, as to where the first incisions should be made on her skin.

(Across the wrists – but not deep enough to hit an artery)

How the skin is then gradually peeled back and - if carefully done, can come off in one piece, like a skin suit.

The blade then moves up her arm across the shoulder to her cheek, then to her nose. Where he nicks the turned up bit, but not enough to make it bleed - just to scrap the skin ever so slightly

He carries on explaining how the face is the most difficult bit -but manageable with a deftness of hand and a very sharp instrument.

‘I will leave your lovely long hair attached of course.’ he says, running his fingers through her long locks. The sound of his voice like the snake from Jungle Book – terrifyingly quiet, mesmerising but without pity.

‘So then I can use it to hang you up by your ponytail and cover your de-skinned body in salt’ he whispers, still smiling.

He becomes an Aztec priest and tells her how he could break open her ribcage, take out the living heart and show it to her whilst she still breathed, then squash it like an overripe peach in his hands whilst she watched, helpless.

All the time the staring eyes are black, heartless and unimaginably cruel.

The mouth smirks and he leans in towards her like a well-dressed creature from the Pit, poised to pull her soul from her body.

He looks straight through her eyes into her brain, trying to find the fear, the panic, the terror.

But she has played this game many times before, so she waits quietly for the toss of the coin in his head.

Tails he wins, heads she loses.

He moves the flowing hair away from her face and hisses in her ear ‘So… What do you think about that?’

He is hoping she will break down, cry, shake violently, maybe even beg so he can enjoy the horror. He leans right into her face searching for a crack in the armour.

The Babysitter turns to him, convinced this is the end, last breath about to be cut short by a pair of strong hands to the throat, or a blade to the jugular should she say the wrong thing or scream.

She summon up all of her fighting spirit, stares straight into the eyes of hell, suddenly smiles and says:

‘Dad – that’s the worse bedtime story I have ever heard!’

Not expecting such a reply, he blinks, then roars laughing, the blackness disappears from his eyes.

The open blade is sheathed and put away as he carries on laughing, telling her how funny she is.

Mum comes in with bacon and egg on toast, asks what the laughing’s about.

The Babysitter finds that she is also laughing loudly from relief as the atmosphere returns to calm.

And she gets to live - today.



 © Kate McClelland 2016


Picture via Pixabay