Funny peculiar

“Look, Sandra, there’s a cruise round the Med.”


“They’re really expensive. A thousand pounds.”


“Each! Two grand. We haven’t got that sort of…”



“There’s a chap acting funny in there.”


“Inside the travel agents.”

“Funny ha-ha or peculiar.”

“Really peculiar, Bert.”

“I can’t see him.”

“He’s talking to the woman behind the desk. More than talking… he’s pointing at her.”


“Oh, Bert, put your glasses on.”

“I didn’t bring them with me.”

“Then what’s round your neck?”

“Oh yeah… that’s better.”

“I never understood how you can see close up but not distance.”

“I’m short-sighted.”

“I know but how come you don’t wear them all the time.”

“They rub my nose.”

“Get them fixed then. See! He’s threatening her! Oh my God, he’s pointing a gun!”

“She doesn’t look frightened.”

“She’ll be in shock.”

“What about the others, Sandra? They look alright too, funny uniform but…”

“They are odd, kind of old fashioned.”

“We should go in and…”

“I’m not going in there!”

“They might need help.”

“I’m not having you shot, Bert!”

“Ah, that’s really sweet. One of the women is coming out.”

“He’s raising his gun… oh no, I can’t look!”


“Hello. Can I help you? Is it the cruise…”

“Come out quickly! He’s dangerous.”

“Who, madam?”

“That man in there! He’s got a gun. We don’t have a mobile or we’d call the police.”


“You know him? Is he a disgruntled colleague seeking revenge?”

“Oh no. He’s just Terry.”

“But he’s got a gun.”

“He’s a highway man. They did in those days.”

“He is? Is he… alright?”

“Absolutely. He’s a highway man, I’m a damsel in distress and my colleagues are dandy men… women.”


“Adam Ant.”

“I thought you said his name was Terry.”

“No. We’re dressing up as characters from the video of ‘Stand & Deliver’. It was a song in the 1980s. All the shops along here are doing it. Well, not that song but films and so on. It’s Children in Need today.”


“We have cake and lemonade… come in and we’ll see what we can do about the price of that cruise.”


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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.