Charmaine glared at me, and then started speaking louder than necessary.
“Are you going to write part 5 of the epic collaboration with Mr Devine, which YOU instigated, or are you going to drift off into hibernation for the rest of the Autumn?”
I squinted at her, and even through my narrowed eyes she was still the size of a bus. I had grown comfortable lodged on the sofa, eating chocolate and watching TV, and to be honest, I hadn’t a clue what the epic tale was about.
“Remind me, what is the story about?” I asked.
Charmaine’s face reddened like an overripe tomato aloft a lump of lard.
“Oh for God’s sake, Aunt Scarlet, it’s not rocket science! To bring you up to speed it’s kind of a mash up of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, with a dollop of Alice in Wonderland. All you need to know right now is that Mr Devine and Dinah are travelling on a flying Bathmat to Franconia to turn Mr Mags into Aidan Turner, they will then return in time for the ball at Mogwash Manor. Aidan Turner will then give you your lost wellington boot and you will both live happily ever after, though obviously not together.
“I’m sure you’re missing some detail, surely it can’t be that simple?”
“It has to be simple, there have been complaints,” said Charmaine, stoney faced, “for starters Mistress Maddie is so confused that she’s drinking even more gin than usual, and she’s rather upset because she hasn’t been given a starring role. Dinah is perturbed because she has TOO MUCH of a starring role and feels overexposed, whilst Melanie is politely bemused but is trying her hardest to keep up. Mistress MJ wants to throw cake over the whole sorry affair, though Jon is surprisingly engaged – this is because his award winning back passage has been a major feature in part 3 and part 4. Mitzi is keeping her head down and is studying fractions, whilst Mr Mags is neutral as he would rather sleep. Mr Batarde, Savvy, Kylie, Eryl, Nick, Bill, Looby, and Lulu, are threatening you with legal action should you have any ideas about writing them into any subsequent parts.
So, what does happen in part 5????”
“You want to know what happened up Jon’s award winning back passage in Sarf London?”
“YES!!! I do!!!”
“Well, it was lovely. We sat on his smoking bench surrounded by glorious blooms, whilst sycamore seeds descended from the skies. We listened to Liza Tarbuck on Radio 2 and we had tea and muffins. He gave me two bags of empty wine bottles, I thanked him, and assured him that nothing awful would happen to him in part 5. All was going splendidly until Sid cocked his leg over his Lilium candidum – Jon wasn’t best pleased – there was a lot of hosing down, mopping up, and muttering about acidic soiling, then he threw us out on the street.”
“AND???” Said Charmaine, somewhat exasperated.
“You need to give Mr Devine something to bounce off!”
“He’s fine! He’s floating on a bathmat over Franconia with Dinah – the next time I see either of them will be at the Mogwash Ball when they bring me Aidan Turner. All I can do now is wait patiently on the sofa, and perhaps ask Mistress Maddie, or Jon, to find me a jaw dropping gown.”
“No, that’s not good enough.”
“Okay, okay….. how about… he threw us out on the street just as a large octopus sucker bathmat carrying three people crash landed up his back passage….”
“How does this all end?” Asked Charmaine.
“Badly, I imagine.”
“You’ll never make it as a novelist.”
“I know that,” I replied, “but I can still take nice photographs of Sid.”
To be continued over the cusp.