Talent Show – Ballerina

The Talent show compare and The Ritzy’s enigmatic owner, Darius accompanied by his glamourous assistant Jeannie, loudly introduced the next contestant to the already excited crowd. She was a picture in white satin and net tutu with the mearest glint of regal gold.

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The beautiful ballerina wafted around the stage as light as a butterfly and as elegant as a swan ( not the other way round) while the familiar music of Tchaikovsky enraptured the audience to some high brow entertainment ( for a change)

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There was a hush as they watched her graceful movements, from en point to pirouette as she teeterd across the stage while miming exaggerated dying swan movements.

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As arranged earlier ‘The Magnificent Burtini’ ( our hero Burt, in case you didn’t know) was waiting in the wings to support the ballerina for her final pas de deux – what a lovely couple they made!

As the audience was soothed with this classical performance, Burt withdrew and the music suddenly changed to something that can only be described as bawdy.

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In a blink of the eye this elegant creature whipped out an enormous sword and without further adieu began to swallow it right in front of the gobsmacked theatre!

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Slowly the whole blade disappeared down her gullet, the amazed crowd watched in shocked silence, as she carried on her ballet dancing in small careful tippy toe steps.

No one had EVER seen such an act before (or since, although it’s now been banned in every European country and most of the Commonwealth)

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Of course the applause matched this unique act and the wowed room were cheering and clapping with all their might; after a little curtsy the pretty Ballerina asked for a volunteer. Burt was determined not to let her take all the limelight away so fast and he was beside her as quick as a blink.

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Before he really knew what was happening he was expertly strapped to a huge spinning target, this was a bit of a shock to him but not as much as her next trick.

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Oh dear, poor Burt, he tried to keep his cool as every eye in the packed theatre was on him and their blood lust was tangible.

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The target started to spin as the ballerina pirouetted around and around on stage, she suddenly stopped and expertly threw the razor sharp sword, with a loud thud it was embedded deep in the painted wood  – right between Burt’s exposed thighs!

If he wasn’t such a brave man, he would have shrieked in terror, luckily his years of grueling service in the Navy had taught him how to remain calm in a crisis.

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The crowd went wild and the hideous sound of primal screams could be heard from the older ladies at the front row.

Burt was still spinning and could hardly see what happened next but judging by the gasps, something even more dangerous was about to happen.

She had put on a blindfold!

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‘NO, please no!’ Burt silently shouted in his head as his face turned gravely pale and every muscle in his body tensed up.

She elegantly danced around and around precariously towards the edge of the stage as the audience fell silent, the eerie quiet was suddently broken by her next sword throw – THWACK!

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Burt could swear he felt the cold blade graze his shoulder as she threw more and more swords at the target, he closed his eyes and prayed this hell would end soon.

Now all her weapons had been deployed and the routine was over, at last.

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Almost a broken shell of a man he still was able to hold his head up high as she lapped up the enormous and raptuous applause, although his legs were shaking uncontrollably.

“I’m glad it worked this time.” she whispered.

It was only then that Burt noticed the dark red stains splattered around the spinning target.

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The next contestant is waiting nervously in the wings for their own story to begin.

©Juliette Dodd 2020

 

New Year – part 2

In the early hours of New Years day, a raucous car load of drunken revellers sang on their way home; too far intoxicated to blush at the filthy sailors songs, the girls cackled and joined in at the chorus….

“Friggin’ in the riggin’,

“Friggin’ in the riggin’….”

Oh dear was that…yes, the familiar sound of a distant siren!

As the flashing lights got brighter, Burt stomach sunk as he slowed down and stopped…they were only a half mile from home too, bugger.

“‘Ello, ‘ello….been to a party have we?”

Burt wound his window down and tried to act sober.

Barry also wound his window down and waved a bottle of Pomagne out, offering it to the Policemen jovially.

That didn’t help the situation one little bit.

“Can you all step out of the vehicle please.” The policeman wasn’t in a jovial mood, having to do the worst night of the week.

The inebriated gang of party goers tumbled out of the car into the cold night air, grumbling and arguing, they were so close to home as well!

“How many drink have you had this evening Sir?”

Burt honestly had no idea, he was an old sailor and counting was for wimps or the army.

“Just blow into this for me Sir…until I say stop.”

“I’ve had 15 bottles….Happy New Year.” slurred Barry as he clumsily stumbled over grabbing the policeman sleeve while still tightly holding onto the open bottle with the other hand.

“Want a swig?” he kindly proffered before swinging around and staggering over to the car.

Meanwhile the girls had cornered the fresh faced young constable, being new to the beat, he’d been allocated tonights duty ‘for experience’ purposes.

“Oh, you’re so young?”

“…and handsome.”

“Can I try on your helmet, oh isn’t it heavy?”

“Let’s feel your muscles….what a big boy!”

“Madam!” he shrieked, “Remove your hand at once.”

As the ladies drunkenly tussled over the helmet this suddenly without warning escalated into a full on cat fight.

All was all becoming too much for poor Barry as his head spun with the still flashing lights and screaming, not to mention the evenings mixture of beer, cocktails and Pomagne.

“Man down.” Burt shouted as he grabbed Barry just in time, the girls immediately forgot their squabble and rushed to help their fallen comrade.

“Right, you’re all nicked, down the station with you.”

The girls wailed and used some very foul language indeed, even Burt was shocked.

It wasn’t long until they were all under the fierce unforgiving fluorescent lights of the Police station, slightly swaying as they steadied each other, Sindy and Barbie listened to the officer recount their recent behaviour.

Shamefaced they realised there would be consequences, Sindy’s mother would be informed, they may even be mentioned in the local newspaper.

Tears welled but to no avail.

‘And what have you got to say for yourself, my good man?”

Burt was getting his turn, he knew by past experience to not say anything, he didn’t want any more trouble than he was already in.

Barry was surprisingly still standing, although not very steadily.

The misdemeanours were listed aloud as Burt listened silently, wishing they’d booked a taxi but it was too late for ifs and buts.

Barry could contain himself no more and made full use of the complementary police issue bucket, much to the disgust of the young Police constable, who almost gagged along with him.

“With the breathalyser result as well as your statement, I have no other option than to charge you, but being your first offence in this county the court may be lenient.

Burt, you’ve let us all down.

Burt – charged with being drunk in charge of a vehicle and speeding.

Barry – charged with being drunk and disorderly and vomiting on a Police officer.

Barbie – charged with sexual assault of a Police officer and disorderly conduct.

Sindy – Disorderly conduct

Happy New Year

A fool learns by their own mistakes and wise man learns by others – Don’t Drink and Drive.

©Juliette Dodd 2020

Old Year – part 1

The end of another year, Burt reflected on all his past adventures as he travelled back from an emotional London trip, visiting the old family. This was the first Christmas he didn’t have a lady companion around for a very long time.

He had tried to get into the festive spirit but there was only one kind that warmed his lonely heart tonight.

Meanwhile at Sindy’s house, she’d woken up especially early to get the sprouts on before Barry came round for Christmas dinner. Everything was prepared, Sindy was very organised and wanted to impress her boyfriend with her culinary skills.

Barry duly arrived bringing gifts and became very excited at the prospect of carving the turkey: he really wanted to impress Sindy with his manly knife skills.

“Oh Barry.” Sindy was certainly impressed ( and maybe even a little scared) as he brandished the sharpened blade before deftly slicing the (slightly dry) breast, brushing away the turkey crumbs until he had quite a few almost whole slices to display.

Barry tried hard to disguise his look of sheer repulsion at Sindy’s slightly brown coloured greens, he wasn’t quite sure what vegetable they were originally but hoped the gravy will help.

Meanwhile in another part of town, Max and Barbie were breaking up, tensions were fraught and emotions were heightened by the pre luncheon alcohol consumption.

He didn’t get her the gift she had been hinting heavily at the last month and she was too spoilt and selfish (apparently!)

Christmas was over

Just before the old year ended there was one last chance to grab a bit of happiness and that was at the New Years Eve party.

Barry sang in the shower as he splashed on his new Christmas aftershave, it wasn’t quite ‘The best a man can get’ or even the one that ‘Drives women wild’, not the ‘Mark of a Man’ because Barry is a man who doesn’t have to try too hard.

The party was swinging

Music and dancing as the revellers toasted each other and the New Year.

Barry’s brother Neville surprised everyone by bringing his saxophone for some mellow jazz.

An impromptu accompaniment from Tom’s acoustic guitar; he always had a few adoring groupies, being very popular with the alternative ladies.

Not to be outdone, Burt got his horn out, he couldn’t resist showing what a real man could do.

Catching the eye (and ear) of a lonely love sick lady who was a teeny bit drunk already, steamy suggestive glances were exchanged.

As the evening progressed more toasts where made, Ken and his Hair salon girls turned up late, better late than never Barry toasted, even though he didn’t particularly like Ken, it was New Years after all!

The room stopped chattering as Stacey loudly marched in with a serious drum roll as the clock struck 12 to jubilant shouts and whoops from the excited revellers.

“Happy New Year!” Burt was the first to grab the two willowy girls for a big bear hug and copious kisses, always an opportunist, he was being greedy.

Mindy ( Sindy’s best friend) had her date all sorted, she hadn’t let him out of sight all evening as the rumour Barbie was single was scary enough to take drastic precautions.

“Happy New Year!” Barry and Sindy toasted each other, then the rest of the room as the drunken happiness spread to everyone for the first of January had begun.

Stacey kept on banging that drum as she marched off first footing down the road, her Scottish tradition to spread luck and prosperity as well as a few more drinkies on route (this party was nearly dry!)

To be continued in – New Year – part 2

©Juliette Dodd 2020

A Few Dollies More

Burt was staying in lodgings at the very respectable Guest House run by Miss Sindy.

Stiff Men’s Creek wasn’t all rough and uncouth, it’s very religious Towns Women Guild was growing in numbers with new members joining almost daily; the word had spread fast it was a safe haven for ladies who had once fallen.

With a tasty portion of cow pie on his plate Burt could hardly wait to begin.

“Not before you say Grace Mr Burt, this is a God fearing household” Miss Sindy chastised her guest piously.

Miss Belinda also lodged here, she’d paid in gold four months in advance, no questions asked, Miss Sindy was very discrete.

“Do you get many male guests? He asked as he drunk his second cup of coffee.

“Not really only you, all the men head straight for that house of shame across the street, next to the Saloon.” She tutted at its very existence.

Burt wanted to track down the whereabouts of an evil Bandit called ‘The Butcher’, some deeper investigation was needed.

In the cool of the Saloon bar, amid the company of the rough and ready towns men, Burt joined in a friendly card game.

Murray Steel eyed this newcomer with suspicion,

“We don’t want no trouble makers around her…I mean here.” He was a very jealous man and knew where Burt was staying.

“I’m just a passing through buddy, on my way to find me a fortune.”

They all laughed at their shared common goal, every man wanted a fortune, whatever it took.

There was a sudden silence at the bar followed by hushed worried voices.

“Mutter mutter…bandit…mutter…just arrived…mutter…in town…”

“The Butcher!” squealed Cowboy Ken loudly as the others shushed him quickly by slapping his hand.

Tension was rising as their game was reaching its climax, gradually the stakes were raised waiting for the cards to be turned.

Burt was being reckless and bid all his hard earned cash on this last hand, he had an inkling he might be coming into some fresh funds pretty soon.

“Four Aces does it …thank you boys.” Fanning out his winning cards on the table, Burt was quietly pleased at this unexpected bonus.

Just then the doorway darkened as a large figure loomed briefly, a pair of dark squinting eyes surveyed the motley customers within, seemingly satisfied he moved on letting a stream of sunlight pierce the gloom.

As his heavy foot steps headed off next door, the scared whispers at the bar got louder; Burt cooly collected his winnings and bid ‘Good day’ to his fellow gamblers.

Barry had gone back to meet his prospective father-in-law Chief Howlin’ Wolf, to tell the truth Burt preferred working alone, especially as Barry was so drunk and miserable.

Next door to the busy Saloon on the only street in Stiff Men’s Creek was the infamous house of Sin, Madame Barbie’s Bawdy Bordello; with its plush furnishings and comely companions, this was the most popular place in town.

A tall dark, heavily built figure loitered impatiently in the lobby.

‘”Come on lover, I’m worth more than that, especially after what I just did to you…none of the other girls would!” Mad Kate hustled her John.

“Why did you throw my boot outa the window, you silly mare?”

Mad Kate didn’t get her nickname for nothing.

Madame Barbie’s best girls were on hand to tempt this big burly stranger and relieve him of his heavy coin pouch.

One wanton harlot flashed her knees in a bid to get his exclusive attention, he uttered a low long animalistic growl at the sight of her shapely and sleek legs.

Mad Kate promised him some of her special sticky peachy fun as she wafted a jar of preserves around in a titillating way.

He grunted and shook his head, no way, not after the last time when she did the chilli pepper trick.

Mad Kate would go too far even for this mean Bandit.

While they disappeared into the back room, Mad Kate leisurely supped from a bottle of the best while humming a popular Music hall ditty,

“A little bit of what you fancy does you goooood…”

Then she rubbed honey inside his hat ( the nutty tart!)

Later that day, on the outskirts of the strangely sedate town of Stiff Men’s Creek, at the very edge of the arid desert, two hard nosed adversaries eyeballed each other next to a long dead tree.

No one could miss ‘The Butcher’ with his distinctive hat and unfortunate flatulence problem, as he stood his ground against this new antagonist, lots of flies and bees seemed to be drawn to him too, not to mention ants.

Being on the ‘Most Wanted’ list was becoming a bit of a pain, forever on the move with young bucks trying their luck to claim the bounty price on his head.

“What do you want Gringo?”

“I want you to come with me to the Sheriff’s office.” That was a simple answer to the question.

“Why would I do that Gringo, do I look like a fool hahaha?”

“No Mister, you look like one hundred thousand dollars!”

“Go to hell.” He shouted back, spitting out a big lump of chewing baccy and puffing out his chest in a show of masculine dominance.

“Dead or alive the poster said, you choose your own fate.”

It was all over quicker than a hummingbird’s poop, two gunshots echoed through the gully and only one man stood tall.

“Bugger!” Muttered Burt, who had only mean to aim for his leg.

‘Now I’ve gotta get his big ol’ carcass back to town before the coyotes and buzzards come to feed.’ Burt’s annoyance was only quelled by the thought of the massive reward money.

THE END

“Cut!”

“It’s a wrap folks, see you all at the premier.” Called the Director, sweating under the hot sun, “May you all get an Oscar darlings.”

Burt gave Butch a hand up,

“I’m parched!”

“Yoo Hoo, boys.” Waving seductively from a short distance off set were the delicious twins Mali and Boo.

“We thought you’d never get that last bit right, 15 takes to fall down, Butchy baby you are a one!” They chaffed, giggling.

“Haha, thank goodness it was sand else my ass would be black n’ Blue.”

“We’ve been trying to keep the cocktails cold.”

“Cheers everyone”

( You must know by now I don’t do nasty stories!)

©Juliette Dodd 2019

A Fistful of Dollies

Big Gun Barry was in love, his wild and roaming heart had been skilfully lassoed by the charms of Big Chief Howling Wolf’s twin daughters ( Big Gun Barry wasn’t fussed which sister he married to tell the whole truth y’all!)

After many a Pow Wow and quite a lot of liquid fire water persuasion followed by some serious sessions on the peace pipe, Big Gun Barry had agreed to become a Brave; the only way the Chief would let him marry his beloved daughter(s)

Once the initiation period was over the wedding ceremony would commence, in three moons time – on the condition of a large dowry payment of course; daughters were a precious commodity.

Big Gun Barry was, as usual, broke.

Pretty Pocaharder was eager for the sacred matrimonial ceremony, Pocalonger couldn’t wait for the nuptials.

Big Gun Barry was beside himself with frustration, he needed some mega bucks and fast.

Time to seek out his old partner.

The man with one name ~ BURT

The deadliest and quietest gunslinger in the West.

“Beautiful mornin’ Ladies.” Always the perfect gentleman, Burt doffed his hat to the respectable towns women of this busy trading outpost called Stiff Men’s Creek.

Half way between the plains and the Mountains and not too far from the desert, this far flung ramshackle town was always full of roaming settlers, prospectors and sometimes even outlaws!

Barry had to drop his rootin’ tooting’ cowboy name and take on a new tribal one (it was part of his initiation)

He wasn’t very happy to be re-Christened ‘Little Gecko,’ it just didn’t have the same connotations but it was the first animal to be seen at the naming ceremony, so be it.

“If that’s what you want?” Burt was a bit surprised at how far Barry would go to get a bride (or two).

“Yeah, but I still need to make some big dollars quick, any ideas Burt?”

“We’ll have to go back to Bounty hunting ‘cos I know you hate mining.”

The God fearing Church going ladies were chatting loudly about the gallery of villains on all the ‘Wanted’ posters, so very ugly, what awful crimes and how they should find redemption if they only saw the light and mended their thieving ways.

“Why, I do believe you’re not a real Injun?” One lady questioned Barry who was busy trying to find the bottom of the bottle.

He just growled his annoyance, he wasn’t a happy Barry!

‘What is the New World coming to?’ thought Burt, as he saw so many females on the posters, Pear Heart, Della Rose, he was sure he’d had a dalliance with at least one of these naughty ladies.

‘Belle Starr!’ Burt whistled at the $750 reward, she sure looked familiar!

“She’d sort our finances out a treat.” He quietly folded up her poster for later viewing.

In his despondent stupor Barry wasn’t convinced, he had a double dowry to find; Burt thought he was just being a little bit greedy.

“This is more like it, $100,000 for ‘The Butcher’, what a nasty piece of work, I’ve heard all the terrible tales about him.” Barry needed big funds and quickly.

He longingly thought of affording a third bride to rub his feet while the twins were tending his other areas.

Naughty Barry!

“Good afternoon Miss.” Greeted Burt as the very prim but very pretty School Teacher walked past; Barry was too lost in his own personal bourbon fuelled fantasy to notice.

The school house was right next to the Church, although mostly empty as this town had no children at present.

As he sat drinking coffee and studying the poster it suddenly clicked, Burt was sure he knew the teacher’s friend, she looked a little too familiar but he just couldn’t place where from.

He now recalled she used to have dark haired, although that was a very bad picture of her and it was a while ago back in Frisco.

Meanwhile in a secluded stable behind the school house, the stealthy figure of Murray Steel was silently saddling up a fresh steed.

( Tongue twister, the faster the better)

Murray was her willing slave, he adored his Mistress more than words could say, he would do anything she asked.

Love is the only motive.

Dressed in matching jeans and shirts, her real identity heavily shielded, this mysterious and deadly female was on a mission to rob the next stage coach before it even reached Stiff Men’s Creek.

Gold and plenty of it, the only real commodity way out in the wild West; you could buy a thousand acres, you could buy a whole town, no one messes with the highest payer.

“Be careful Belle.” Murray called as she galloped off through the sparse trees.

He would take the rap for her, thats how much he loved that wicked, wicked lady.

Burt turned a blind eye at the School house stables when a very fast horse and rider swiftly dismounted inside the gloom, he wasn’t a vindictive man and Belle had been mighty kind to him when they were ‘friends.’

A short while later that same day, two very respectable Church going Ladies walked along the empty one street town towards the deserted school house.

“Careful Belinda, I hear footsteps.” Alerted the School teacher to her companion.

They began loudly singing hymns to cover the chink chink of gold coins.

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me….”

“Good day to ya.” Greeted the rough handed cowboys.

“May the good Lord be with you boys.”

“I once was lost but now I’m found….”

“..was blind but now I see….”

And the school house door slammed shut.

….To be continued…..

©Juliette Dodd 2019

Burt Meets Barbie (again)

Old sailor Burt likes to be useful and often helps Dolly the Landlady of the ‘Puppet Masters Arms’, a popular Free House near the park; this morning he’s installing a fire extinguisher behind the bar in exchange for a few free pints.

“My saviour, Burt, how can I thank you?” Dolly was more that happy to have him around, since her husband disappeared it’d been hard trying to cope alone but at least she was the boss now.

Dolly may have more than a soft spot for rugged Burt, she often dreamt of running a harbour side pub with him as Landlord.

But she never declared it.

Meanwhile he took his coat off to start work before the pub opened, Burt had no idea of the raging longings that bubbled under the cool and coiffured surface of the friendly landlady, he just liked free pints.

“It’s regulations,” Dolly explained,

“Every public bar has to have one.”

“No problem, glad I brought me tools.” Burt diligently got on with the job,

“Are you sure you want it here Doll?”

“Yes Burt dear, in case someone sets the carpet alight with their fag butts, like the rabble I get in at the weekend, you wouldn’t believe what they get up to!”

Dead on 11 o’clock Dolly unlocked the pub doors, almost at once a sudden blast of fresh air cleared the stale smell of beer sodden carpet momentarily.

“What can I get you, Madam?” Dolly asked in her poshest voice, it wasn’t often she got a lady in her bar so early, especially such a well dressed one.

“Martini and soda and a lemonade, s’il vous plait.” replied the chic lady in her heavy French accent.

Burt turned around on hearing her familiar voice.

“Barbie!”

“Oh mon Dieu! Burt!” she exclaimed almost as shocked as he was, although keeping her French cool.

This roused the attention of Dolly,

“Oh you two know each other then?” she asked curiously.

“Oui oui, a long time ago.” Barbie explained.

“In Paris.” Continued Burt but that was all he was willing to say about that troubled time of his youth.

The drinks were served

“And a packet of crisps for Babette.” Barbie requested, Burt only then noticed the pretty dark haired girl standing next to her.

“Burt, you look so…handsome, I love the beard, it suits you. ” she was genuinely pleased to see him.

“How long ago? It must have been 1959, you left Paris without saying goodbye, one minute you were there, the next poof, gone without a trace!”

“Yes, I joined the Navy to see the world.”

“And you? A mother?”

They both looked over to the girl happily munching the packet of crisps.

“My daughter, Babette, she is my world.”

“How old is she?”

“Eleven, almost a young lady,” Replied French Barbie proudly.

Burt tried to do some mental arithmetic and the sums added up to a big question.

“Babette, this is my old friend, he used to be a artist and paint me when I was young and beautiful.”

“You are beautiful, Mama.” Babette also spoke with a French accent but a slight Lancashire lilt.

She offered Burt her crisps.

“Thanks, pet.” He politely took some.

“Can I ask you something, Barbie?” Burt had to know, after a decade trying to forget, this surprise meeting re-surfaced a swirling cauldron of repressed emotions.

“Oui, I have so much to ask you too, Chéri.”

“Another drink? Dolly love, same again and a pint for me.” Burt needed this beer badly.

“So you’re married?” Burt asked the leading question.

“Non, Chéri.”

Burt’s puzzled expression made her laugh.

“Did you miss the swinging Sixties with free love and non-conformity?” Little did she know he did, the Navy was a strict Mistress.

“But what about that other Artist….” Burt was pained to say his name, “Maurice?”

“Oh, oui Maurice, he started the biggest commune in the whole of France, the man is a genius, some say it was a cult but to the Art world he was a God.”

“Was?”

“He become a Buddhist monk in Tibet, that was five years ago and no one has seen him since.”

Burt took a long gulp of beer and braced himself.

“Tell me, who is her father?” Nodding his head in the direction of the girl.

French Barbie stayed quiet, starting intently into Burt’s eyes.

“She is a child of Love, Burt.” She whispered.

“But we have to go now and catch our train.” Brusquely French Barbie finished her Martini.

“Must you?” Burt was filled with questions as she fussed over the girl.

Who, where, when and how?

Maybe she didn’t know and if she did, she wasn’t telling.

“Burt, mon Chéri, such a lovely surprise to see you again, adieu pour toujours.”

“Not forever? Where are you going?” Burt was even more disturbed.

“Tibet.”

“Au revoir, monsieur,” waved the smiling girl as they swiftly left as fast as they arrived, a blast of fresh cold air swirled through the empty room as the public bar door slammed shut.

Silently Burt got back to the job he’d started, fixing up the new fire extinguisher under the counter.

Dolly busied herself wiping down the bar, intrigued by the overheard revelations of Burt’s past life, he never was much of a talker; she had no idea he’d once been an Artist in Paris, but then she didn’t really know who the real Burt was.

Another pint was supped as Burt collected his tools, silently thoughtful of distant times and past adventures, wallowing in a sea of ‘what ifs” and ‘maybes’.

Then he remembered he had a hot date with that redhead from the Travel Agents later.

“Bye Dolly, see you tomorrow.”

“Ta ta Burt, I’ll make those scotch eggs you love.”

©Juliette Dodd 2019