Trends

‘Poor love.’ A copy of Hello! is thrust in my face.

The headline reads Kassie’s Ketosis Knightmare!

I have no idea who this Kassie is.

A manicured finger points to a glossy photograph. ‘Isn’t she beautiful?’

‘Only if Botox floats your boat.’

The woman glares at me, and we sit in stony silence until a gawky girl appears at my side. With a sigh of relief, I stand, only for her to brush me aside.

‘You can come to the basin now, Mrs Tate.’

‘Don’t forget the head massage this time.’ The magazine is dumped in my lap, and I am left alone.

I read about Kassie Knight, a reality TV star who married a footballer. They call her a Z-List celebrity and a media whore. At least they call her. My last job was a voiceover for a floor polish commercial. Before that, I had a minor role in a movie franchise until they killed off my character in the fourth instalment.

‘Sorry about the wait,’ the giraffe taps me on the shoulder. ‘Letitia is ready for you.’ She gives me an inane smile and ushers me to a seat.

‘Aren’t you Susan Leonard?’ The stylist stares at me. ‘I used to love your films.’

Another hairdresser looks up. ‘I thought you were dead.’

Overchoice

She holds up two dresses. ‘The blue or the red?’

‘You look gorgeous in either,’ he says.

‘I think I’ll wear the green one.’

In the restaurant, she can’t decide between the sirloin steak or the lemon sole.

‘But if I have steak, which sauce do I choose?’

‘Why not try the beef stroganoff?’ he suggests.

‘Good choice, but I fancy chargrilled chicken tonight.’

Later, they pore over the dessert menu.

‘I hate making decisions.’ She looks up. ‘Why are you smiling?’

‘I have a simple question, just answer yes or no. Will you marry me?’

You Don’t Need a Weatherman

‘Officer Bryant, so far today there have been five road-rage incidents, three brawls and a fatal stabbing on the beach. That’s eighty such cases this week.’

‘More tourists mean more crime, Mr Kenley.’ Bryant stifled a yawn.

‘Nothing to do with numbers. When the wind blows through those turbines straight across town, people change, and dreadful things happen.’

‘Not the result of the fracking releasing toxins, then?’

‘They used that as a decoy to put me off the scent, but I’m convinced the poison is coming from the wind farm.’

A light breeze caressed Bryant’s face. He frowned, drew his gun, and shot Kenley dead.

Hogtied

Butchering the Carcass by Andrejs Bovtovičs

‘Darling; I could eat you up.’

The words shredded Tom’s heart, but he waited for the telephone call to finish before opening the door.

‘I’m slaughtering the pig today, Annie. I’ll ask Stan to help. Maybe he’d like to stay for dinner?’

Her smile, as she promised to cook, was one she never directed at him anymore.

‘I’ll put a chunk of meat on the porch for you,’ he said.

When the smell of pot-roast drifted from the kitchen, Tom picked up the remains of the carcass.

‘I liked you, Stan, but Annie loved you. Hope she’s still hungry.’

Torn

She stares at the evidence, which confirms her suspicions. She will confront him when he comes home from working late again.

He is early. ‘I’ve finished the project. I’ll be home on time from now.’

They eat supper, she washes the dishes, and he reads a story to Amy and Jake.

‘You’re quiet tonight,’ he says, as they climb into bed.

‘I’m tired.’

‘Have a lie-in tomorrow; I’ll cook breakfast, then we can take the kids to the park, and go out for lunch.’ He kisses her and rolls over.

She will wait for the next time.