Aunt Alice.

Hello everyone, Aunt Alice here.

It has not been a good week. Everyone who has written to me has seemed jaded and dejected. Ah well, what can an agony Aunt do but smile and attempt to enliven their spirits? I have had cause to restocked my supply of sherry, having recently visited my wine cellar more frequently than normal. The reason being is the predilection that a certain young wayward boy has for me.

I am here in the year 1872 and he is sometime in the future, precisely when I’m not sure but his life is in turmoil and I am, it seems, the only one who can help.

I’m sure the boy is delusional and writes letters to himself. We now have a Lovely Lily in the love equation.

What am I to do with Spot?

On a lighter matter, I had the great fortune to meet a charming Lady by the name of Renee Bernard this week at a book launch. Her new novel; Desire Wears Diamonds, is becoming the talk of the nation, and rightly so. The fact that I own half of De Beers has nothing to do with my endorsement, nothing at all.

 

    Pull up a chair, sit back, breathe normally and read on.

 

 

Dearest Spot, 

Don’t be so sensitive! I omitted endearments because I was sure they were about to drown you! I’ve never been so terrified in my life–and on behalf of you, my boy! Thank goodness you’ve escaped the wild Welshmen and are…

In a parade you say? Dressed as a potato? Well, that’s a unique accomplishment! I’m glad you can see where you’re going. Do try to find a friend who can help you get word to your family! Perhaps if you let someone nearby know that you are a lost spud.

Someone in the parade must have a bit of compassion! Use your best manners, and see if you can find familiar ground.

All the best from your favorite,

Aunt Alice

 

Dearest Auntie Alice,

There were no good Welsh cakes there, no one with compassion for poor Spot. They were all too interested in leeks and rugby to even consider me. I did, however, find a farmers barn in which to hide. It is full of potatoes and would you believe; no peelers in sight. I will be safe here with plenty to eat, so worry not. I was so tired Auntie, after all that terrifying experience, that I fell asleep and had an awful dream.

In the dream I had shrunk to the size of a thruppenny bit and fallen through a rabbit hole. (Not sure if you would know what a thruppenny bit is, but it was a twelve sided, brass coin worth three pence, old money) I was in a warren of tunnels with a bloody great big white furry thing, with buck teeth, standing in front of me.

He said that his name was Doc. What sort of name is that?

In the dream I was briefly visited by Lovely Lily. Do you know that she wanted to get inside my sack and itch my bum Auntie. Is that a symptom of something?

She had such a lovely perfume. It reminded me of; raspberries ripening on autumn canes, mixed with jojoba oil and honey. I read that line somewhere on that obnoxious Danny Kemp’s computer. He was smirking when he wrote that. The conceited man!

She said that she may come and find me again, so escape from Wales maybe possible.

I hope you are managing with your friend Sherry and she is not getting too much for you. If it is within your powers please guide Lily back. She was very attractive and sweet, perhaps I could pledge my trove with her.

Spot.

PS. I have made a vow never to eat prunes again. I am surrounded by potatoes, so they will do fine.

PPS double PPPPPPPSSSSSSS. Lovely Lily has a computer and is in correspondence with me! I have copied you in. I hope you asked her if she likes rummaging Auntie!

 

 

Hello Spot! 

Your raspberry smelling, helicopter pilot here.

I hope you are doing well. I’m so pleased that you have been dreaming of me, I have dreamt of you! 

My name is not really Lily but I do so like that name, I think I will keep it. Lilies smell lovely and they are a beautiful flower, just like me. Mr. Kemp sure has a way with words. Do you think he is as clever as you and uses a dictionary? I bet he does!

No, Aunt Alice did not ask if I enjoy a rummage. To be honest, Spot, I am not sure what a rummage is. Maybe because I’m not English, nor Welsh for that matter, but American, and we are not familiar with rummage in my part of the world. However, I will tell you that in my part of the United States we are very aware of potatoes. I live next to the state that is knows as the potato state.

I am a bit worried about Aunt Alice. She usually responds quickly to you Spot, and here we are still waiting. I hope she is not ill. I wonder if Sherry has taken her away to the country? I do hope she is okay and Sherry is being a nice friend. We all need nice friends, and I hope Sherry is a good friend to Aunt Alice. 

Maybe you need to find your own Sherry, Spot, but not Aunt Alice’s Sherry, but a friend like Sherry. How about a cat? 

Warm Regards, 

Lovely Lily

 

(She does speak a lot of rubbish Auntie, doesn’t she?)

 

Dearest absent Auntie Alice,

Both Lovely Lily and I are worried. Have you and Sherry gone to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in a far distant land. Is that what your initials really stand for?

Concerned Spot.

 

Spot, 

Do you think perhaps Sherry has taken away Aunt Alice’s computer? Maybe she cannot get to one. Oh, Spot! Maybe Sherry has locked Aunt Alice away in a closet. 

Very Worried, Lovely Lily

 

Dear one Lily, oh so Lovely, 

If I knew what a closet was, then I might be able to think about that.

On the other hand, is there a plot to deceive poor Spot?…Oh dear, just noticed that remark rhymes. Maybe I’ll become a poet after being a potato.

I have noticed that your name, Lovely Lily, and Auntie Alice end in an ‘e,’ well you know what I mean, ‘e’ ‘y’ all the same thing really.

Is Spot being led up The Desolate Garden path? 

By the way, I had another nightmare with that bloody great white rabbit. I am, however, eating well, although these spuds are a bit on the hard side.

Spot.

 

Friendly Spot, 

A closet is like a big cabinet you put your clothes in. You are becoming clever with your words. Yes, I’d say you should become a poet! 

I have never been down a desolate garden path. Perhaps I should find one and give it a try. 

Aunt Alice, I hope you are not ill.

Concerned,

Lovely Lily

 

Oh Lily ever so Lovely, 

I am ill. Ill I say, and I say it again. I am worried beyond worry with worry about dear Auntie in a room with Sherry and perhaps….WHO KNOWS! What can they be doing?

Could they be redecorating do you think? Painting perhaps in…….Grey?

But worse worry lies within me, or rather it was, but not so much now.

Poor Spot has a tummy ache of such magnitude that it hurts something awful. I need urgent medical attention and some nursing during the night when I am at my lowest ebb.

Please Lily ever so Lovely, send help or failing that, send ice-cream.

Where is the maven of ravens Auntie Alice?

Desperately seeking Alice. 

Spot.

 

Poor Spot,

I am so sorry you have a tummy ache. Can you find a peppermint candy to eat? I hear that peppermint makes a tummy ache better. 

I do not know where Aunt Alice is hiding. Perhaps she and Sherry have found themselves in trouble with people she calls the Jaded. 

Aunt Alice come back to us soon. 

Feel better Spot! 

Lovely Lily

 

Jaded, Lily, ever so, Lovely, 

What is Jaded when it’s at home? I have no dictionary.

Signed: writhing in agony, with no peppermint, wallowing in ignorance and self-pity Spot.

PS. Who is Auntie Alice? I vaguely recall that name.

 

Cheeky Boy! I’ve been watching you Spot

First it was fag poles and now it’s troves. Stop it at once! And stop sending me your conversation in italics. My eyes ache trying to read them all!

Aunt Alice.

 

Dear Spot and, ahem, friend,

I’m back. I turned away for what seemed like just a day or two…family obligations, I’m afraid I cannot give any details without scandalizing the public at large…and apparently things have unraveled in my absence.

I AM NOT deep in my cups and sherry, as a rule, is vital to a woman’s sanity and existence. I take one small glass each night to soothe my nerves usually, but lately, well… I’ll admit I may have had more than one glass on occasion as my Dear Spot’s adventures are more than taxing on a person’s senses.

So. All agonies aside. How are you at the moment, dear Spot? And have you worn poor Lovely Lily’s patience into vapors? Is she also well?

I am back. I am here for you, dearest. Let us see if we can worry less and begin to make some forward progress. I simply skimmed some of the previous posts but after seeing mention of the bum-itching, I decided to skip a bit…and pray that you’re over the mess by now.

Can you not become attached to a nice, normal girl who won’t seek to end your existence?

Waiting for your reply, dear boy.

Yours.

Aunt Alice

 

Hallelujah, God save the Queen.

Give thanksgiving for the safe, glorious, return of Auntie Alice.

Spot is saved, but, I must add here Auntie dear one, not just by you.

Myrtle is Welsh Auntie. Yes, I know that must be some coincidence plus the fact that she found and rescued poor Spot, but it’s true. She was passing on her penny-farthing bicycle and saw me. I was not a pretty sight I must say.

My sack was in shreds, my feet were dirty beyond dirty and the rest of me, well; ‘hummed’ somewhat. The raw potato diet of the last two days did not help at all, but I have lost weight. Myrtle took me home Auntie, and I have had a bath. She offered to scrub my back and guess what, I let her!

It was tingling…all OVER. I will not go into details but just leave it to say that Myrtle and I ‘have knowledge of each other.’ It was exciting to learn.

Her parents, the Jones’s, are not home yet but I’m sure they will like me. What do you think?

I’m pleased that you and Sherry are getting along together, and all is well in the closet.

Must go, as Myrtle is anxious. Her Mum has come home and I will have to find some clothes to present myself before she sees me and has a shock.

I will have to get over my love for Lovely Lily, she will understand but I think I will live here in the arms of my Myrtle in her ample valleys of happiness for the rest of my life.

Must go, as I’ve seen Mr Jones get out of his car, he is a huge man Auntie and seemed surprised to see me waving at him from the bedroom window.

Spot.

 

Spot, my dearest,

Have I been abandoned?

Lovely Lily, bemused and perplexed.

 

 

Dear Spot,

Oh my God, what have I got myself involved in!

If I say “proceed with caution”….I wonder if it would help at this point. My goodness, you do make progress! I am glad that you are safe, sorry about the chafing effects of burlap on your person and happy to hear that you are at least going to be one bath ahead of the game (just in case they toss you out for being a bit forward with their daughter, Myrtle)

I beg you, be a gentleman. Less tingling and more restraint.

If Mr. Jones is less than happy, please remind him that you’ve suffered a great deal in the last few days and that delirium may have played a part in your current situation. And then, by all means, ask if you can call home and assure your family that you are alive.

I’m sure your father and stepmother are very worried.

All my prayers,

Aunt Alice

PS Be kind to Lovely Lily, she deserves better.

 

Dearest one and only Auntie Alice,

Sorry for the delay in replying, I was somewhat indisposed. Mr Jones was not a happy, Welsh bunny Auntie.

I do hope I can get the image of that saber-toothed, fluffy rabbit out of my mind soon, I am becoming quite traumatised by it all. No matter, where was I?

Ah, of course, Mr Jones. He, like you I suspect, got the wrong end of the stick over seeing me naked in the bedroom. He thought that Myrtle and I had…well you know….done things….naughty things….we hadn’t.

Reading back on what I had written, I can see how you misunderstood as well. When I said…’we had knowledge of each other,’ what I meant was that we swapped antecedents. Nice word that, don’t you think? `

As to her scrubbing my back, I was trying to say that all past memories were erased and I tingled over the thought of that. I had better take a class in grammar whenever I get home and perhaps change this iPad!

Now, as to the burlap. I’m pleased to say that I have no injuries there, but that’s not to say anywhere else.

I am a black and blue Spot now Auntie. Mr Jones was not the sort of person to reason with, he preferred using Spot as a punchbag. I had no chance to explain the misadventures I had suffered.

One good thing came from the boxing lesson, I have clothing now and some money. Well, to be absolutely honest it’s Myrtle who has the money. She is with me and we are on our way to my home. There is however, some confusion there and, I dare say, we will encounter more on the way.

Mr Jones slung his Rugby shirt at me ‘to cover myself up in’ he said. It does. It comes down to my ankles. The only trouble is that it’s a number Two shirt and apparently, so Myrtle tells me, number Two is referred to as ‘The Hooker’ in that game of Rugby. I am getting funny looks and being asked ‘how much I charge?’ Auntie.

The confusing thing about home, is that when I phoned, and I’m positive that it was Dad who answered, I was told that Braithwaite’s, (that’s my surname by the way, posh isn’t?) had moved.

Strange.

Trying to stay out of trouble,

Spot.

PS. My new nashers are to be fitted tomorrow but Myrtle seems a little put out by that. You were right, it was her who was sucking the peppermint chewing gum sticks out of my mouth, and now she is a bit miffed at the thought of not being able to do so. I hope she doesn’t stop kissing me.

 

Auntie dearest, dearest, dearest, where forever art thou? 

I need you! Myrtle and I are at number eleven and a half Three Point Turning, that’s where I live by the way in the town of Cockfosters, otherwise I wouldn’t be outside of course, and no one is here. Worse, the place is bereft of everything……. Did you like that..’where forever art thou’…and the…’bereft?’ Good aren’t they. Spot is going up in the world.

My tin soldiers are gone, as are all by comic books….and….the fridge is empty. Myrtle is looking decidedly gloom. Oh dear, I might lose her.

What shall I do?

Signed, less than a happy, 

Spot.

 

Dear Spot,

A friend invited me out for a country drive but I didn’t enjoy a minute of it as I was sure that while I was away, you’d be in some dreadful danger. AND I WAS RIGHT! I’m so sorry!

I’ll admit that when you use a phrase like “having knowledge of a person,” and you are prone to move quickly when it comes to asking girls for kisses and MORE, I can see how Mr. Jones may have gotten the wrong idea.

Naked men should never attempt to speak. Pants first. Then you can talk. (Remember that rule, Spot. It will serve you well throughout your life.)

Now, as to the present worries…let us be practical! You must contact the authorities and let them know that you have been abandoned and terribly abused.

Describe without too much about the desire for snogging and with all the discretion you can muster, as in leaving out as much of the Opals that you can, tell them what has happened. Or better yet, point them to our letters and all will become clear.

You must get help! There must be some adult at hand who is willing to step in and take you under their wing, and Myrtle as well!

I will not rest until I receive your reply!

Yours,

Aunt Alice

 

Dear Auntie all seeing all wise Alice, 

I must be BREIF……..Good that, eh? Brief…Pants…Get it, oh great one?

I have met a psycho something, he maybe about to help Spot and Myrtle. Be back later with news.

Spot

 

Dear Spot,

Where are my smelling salts? I swear you’re going to give a poor old woman the vapors with these brief (yes, dear, very funny….you’re very clever) and horrifying notes!

Psycho somethings, are NOT to be trusted. If he invites you to take showers, decline his offer and run away.

I will be standing by for word of your survival.

Yours in distress,

Aunt Alice

WILL WE EVER SEE SPOT AGAIN?

 

Keep your eyes and ears open for the returning saga. Female First.

 

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About Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel —The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do? Nowadays he is a prolific storyteller, and although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows most about; murders laced by the intrigue involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he compiles both for adults and children. He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as —the new Graham Green — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live' television.
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