Sort of funny

Tipping up the glass, Ernie proved to his dog, Tyke, that the beer had gone, all but a layer of froth. Ernie smiled as the dog’s nose edged forward and licked a clump of foam that was threatening to cascade out.

To Ernie’s left, his friend Albert pulled out his pipe and blew out a cloud of smoke. “How are things at home, Ern?”

Ernie frowned. “Not too sure to be honest, Albie.”

“Why’s that?”

“She’s been acting funny.”

“Nora?”

“Yes, the old ball and chain.”

“What kind of funny? Ha-ha funny?”

“No, peculiar.”

“How so?” Albert asked, sucking deeply on his pipe.

“Well, kind of…” Ernie leaned in, and whispered, “Sort of frisky.”

Albert burst out laughing, coughing short bursts of smoke as he did so.

“It’s not funny!” Ernie snapped.

“It’s hilarious!” Albert giggled, like he’d done all those years before, on the playground, when they’d shared pictures of nude women that Ernie had stolen from his father’s beside drawer.

Only now there was only one nude woman, and she had more lines, more wrinkles and considerably more flesh.

Albert looked at Ernie’s glass. “Another?”

Ernie looked at his watch, sighed and shook his head. “Better be going.”

“You’ve got time for another.”

Ernie shrugged. “Go on then, but make it something stronger.”

Albert winked at Tyke who wagged his tail. “Alright mate. Treble coming up.”

***

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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.

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