Well the post header just about says it all.
Yes I have produced a new Sleepy Hamlet short story and I've just started letting people know of its existence.
You can go to its Amazon page by clicking on the image on your left or by doing the same on the My Store tab.
Sleepy Hamlet-Invasive Action
When Mrs Markle, the village post mistress and head puritan, discovers an invasive patch of Himalayan Balsam Weed growing on the banks of the River Brimsmal---right on the edge of the grounds belonging to the country seat of Lord and Lady Hamlet---she enrols the massed ranks of the village idiot elite along with the extremely easily led Lord Hamlet, to join her in its removal.
But when Mrs Heppleheimer---an octogenarian Bavarian barm-pot who is the scourge of the village and its surrounding areas---brings along her Himalayan Balsam Weed Eradicator, or 14lb Mountain Howitzer Cannon as everyone else calls it, all hell breaks loose. This crazy old lady blasts trees, plants, shrubs, bushes and at least three quarters of a newly arrived party of spawning salmon out of the water.
Add to this a villager led rush on cotton wool, the belief that the village is under attack by aliens and a village hall meeting that turns into a battle ground between the Lord of creation and the Norse gods, and you have just another typical 24 hours in the life and times of the Villagers of Sleepy Hamlet.
So now that I've told you a little bit about the tale---whetted your appetite, so to speak--- all that's left for you to do is, read the taster sample below then hop on over to Amazon, form an orderly queue, hand over your 99p and disappear into the eccentric world of my mind and the Village of Sleepy Hamlet.
Enjoy, my friends.
Mrs Markle, the village post mistress, stomped heavily down the street that ran through the village of Sleepy Hamlet. She cornered violently and turned into her post office causing the little bell to spasm with shock.
“SOMETHING JUST HAS TO BE DONE!” she shouted to Miss Vera, her frightened little field mouse of an assistant. “This simply cannot be allowed to continue; the very existence of the countryside is threatened and from a foreigner. A foreigner, I tell you, and the very worst kind of foreigner ---an invasive foreigner!” She stood, stock still like a frizzy haired Mussolini, hands on hips in the middle of the fruit preserves section with her herculean bosoms quivering like two very angry jellies.
As usual, Mrs Markle had spotted something on her afternoon walk that had offended her to the very core of her being; not a difficult thing to do when you had a fuse as short as Mrs Markle’s and were a puritan, and as such felt it your moral duty to become agitated at least four times a day.
“Well, aren’t you going to ask me what I’m so fired up about?”
Miss Vera didn’t want to ask. She knew that it would lead to an out pouring of futile anger and frustration on behalf of her employer. She knew that if she asked ‘what was the matter’ Mrs Markle would stomp around the store, shouting so loud the shops’ mullioned windows would vibrate, her ears would ring and her nerve endings would jangle. But she also knew that to deny Mrs Markle her valve releasing moment of fury was tantamount to mutiny. So she gulped the gulp of the nervously dispositioned and enquired:
“What is upsetting you, Mrs Markle?”
“HIMALAYAN BALSAM WEED!”
The sudden outburst sent Miss Vera crashing into a display of Arran Island Knitting Patterns, causing them to scatter.
Mrs Markle ignored her shrew like assistant as she scrambled around, picking up the slippery plastic pattern cases, while attempting to re assemble the stack. Instead Mrs Markle stomped and stamped her way around the shop, snorting like a bull at her inner turmoil.
“HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW INVASIVE HIMALAYAN BALSAM IS?” Miss Vera shrugged her shoulders and gave Mrs Markle a weak smile before continuing with her re construction duties.
“DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT HIMALAYAN BALSAM IS, MISS VERA?!” Once again, the timid shop assistant shrugged her shoulders in the universal expression of ignorance.
“Well I’ll tell you what Himalayan Balsam is, Miss Vera. IT’S AN INVASIVE RIVER WEED OF THE FAMILY IMPARTIENS WALLEREIANA--- A PLANT THAT USED TO BE CONTENT TO LIVE IN THE PLANT POTS OF A GRATEFUL AND JOYOUS NATION. THAT WAS UNTIL THE LITTLE SUBVERSIVES GOT BITTEN BY THE NOMADIC BUG AROUND 100 YEARS AGO AND MOVED ONTO THE NATIONS RIVERBANKS AND BEGAN A CHOKING COLONISATION OF THEM. AND ON MY WALK TODAY I NOTICED THAT A LARGE GROUP--- PROBABLY AN ADVANCE SCOUTING PARTY---- HAS TAKEN UP RESIDENCE ON THE FAR BANKS OF OUR VERY OWN RIVER BRIMSMAL!”
And with a petulant huff worthy of an over pampered pop star, Mrs Markle stormed off to the back of her village store
Miss Vera, who had tightened her eyes against the tirade, slowly began to open them. Gingerly, she opened the right, then the left. She began to slowly scan the room; all appeared to be quiet on the western front. She looked again---just to be sure---and having satisfied herself that everything was as it should be, she turned her attention to where her employer had been standing but a scant few seconds ago. But Mrs Markle was no longer there.
She began to scan the shop again, just in case this unlikely vessel for fun and frivolity had decided to hide in the shop with the express intention of leaping out upon the unprepared Miss Vera with blow ticklers a-plenty and party hats set upon her ginger frizziness--- at a rakish angle, of course--- and then fill the previously leaden atmosphere of the village stores and post office with a hearty ‘Hey-Ho!’ an ‘Avast ye swabs’ and positively oodles of joie de vivre. But it was only when she heard the familiar noises of the little hand printer being pumped into action that she raised her eyes heaven wards and sighed.
Mrs Markle had inherited a small hand printing press from her grandfather who had run a successful print business and Village Newspaper many years ago out of what was now the village stores. Mrs Markle lovingly looked after the antique Adana print press and made great use of it for her many leafleting campaigns on behalf of the damned and gossipy souls of her fellow villagers.
Miss Vera put the last few knitting patterns away and followed the ‘chugga-kachugga-kachuga-kachuga’ noises into the back room. When she peered around the door frame Mrs Markle was violently pumping the printer and churning out a hastily prepared leaflet. One of them came out at such a velocity that it cleared the collection tray and flew towards Miss Vera before halting mid air and dropping to a soft landing where it slid along the sparkling storeroom floor to a halt at the sensible shoes of Miss Vera. She picked it up and read.
NOTICE TO ALL VILLAGERS.
WE ARE BEING INVADED BY FOREIGNERS
PLEASE COME TO THE VILLAGE
HALL TONIGHT TO DISCUSS TACTICS!
A TALK TO BE GIVEN BY MRS MARKLE
Free cup of tea and individual
Cherry Bakewell on entry
8 til late
Miss Vera would have liked to tell her employer that the leaflet was a bit over the top and that the language used was a tad emotive. But before she could pluck up the courage to put voice to these concerns, she was being brushed aside by Mrs Markle who had grabbed the freshly printed bundle of flyers and was heading towards the door.
“Mind the shop for me will you, Miss Vera, I’m off to distribute these around the village” and before she could raise a finger of enquiry, the door had been opened, slammed shut again and the booted feet of Mrs Markle were disappearing into the village.
Miss Vera looked at the leaflet again. ‘Oh my’ she thought ‘I just know this isn’t going to end well’
The afternoon rolled on and the villagers began to file into the store in ever larger numbers to discover more about the invasion force that was being unleashed against them. Mrs Markle held court but stayed tight lipped, insisting that yes, they really were under attack and yes she would explain all later and yes there really was going to be Cherry Bakewell’s (the official pudding of Sleepy Hamlet) with their cup of tea and no, Mr Barton couldn’t have an extra one for his wife who would’ve loved to come but was too busy grouting the bathroom walls. She even managed to keep the terrifyingly Germanic Mrs Heppleheimer at bay, who’d turned up prepared for war--- resplendent in her World War 1 helmet topped off with the spike--- and her steel toe-capped fluffy slippers. But to each and every one of them Mrs Markle remained resolute in her tight lippedness, insisting that they all wait until that night to hear all the facts.
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