Yes, Mildred

“Why are you laughing?”

“It’s the vicar, he’s out jogging again.”

“And that’s funny how?”

“His face… like a beetroot. Well, not quite, more red than purple.”

“Come away from the window, he’ll see the curtains moving.”

“In a… Oh no!”


“He’s clutching his chest! Norman, go out there and do something!”

“Like what? I’m not a…”

“Call for an ambulance then!”

“While you do what?”


“Alright woman. Keep your…”

“It’s OK. He wasn’t clutching his chest, he was just reaching for his mobile. That’s a funny place to…”

“So I don’t need to call for an ambulance then.”

“No, Norman.”

“That’s a shame.”


“Some of the paramedics you see on TV are quite… ”

“He’s dropped to his knees! Why would he do that?”

“Do you want the ambulance now?”

“I don’t know.”

“Is he just kneeling or rolling around on the floor?”


“And his face?”

“Still red.”

“Maybe one of us should…”

“Oh no, it’s alright. He’s patting the ground.”


“I don’t know.”

“Maybe it’s a religious thing.”


“You know… thanking God for the earth.”

“Norman, sometimes you’re… It’s OK. Looks like it was just a contact lens. He’s holding it up like an Oscar. He’d make a good actor. Very dramatic.”

“Yes, Mildred.”


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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 fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, 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.