Aunt Alice and Spot.

Aunt Alice and Spot by Renee Bernard, Vonda Norwood and Danny Kemp.

Friends, I wish I could say that my calm and metered advice is having some great effect on Spot.  I also wish I could say that I’ve come into a vast inheritance and can cease receiving mail under the guise of wealthy eccentricity.  Alas.  I have begged Renee Bernard to pack me off to Venice for a holiday, but she has refused and alluded to a current deadline for her new wicked projects…something about a “Black Rose”.

Even as my treatments continue and my physicians warn against any excitement of my frayed nerves, I share the following with you.  Spot’s letters are growing more erratic with every turn.  I am on the verge of writing to a dear friend of mine, a Mr. Wells, and urging him to bring his time machine by the gardens, transport forward to smack some sense into the boy and then return home before tea time (which is only sensible) If anyone has a better idea, I am open to any and all suggestions. Read the attached if you have the constitution for it.  Smelling salts are enclosed.

Yours in sherry, Aunt Alice

******

Dearest Auntie Alice,

If you thought my past troubles were bad then I’m sorry, they pale into insignificance compared to Spot’s current woes. Do you remember when Myrtle took me to her house, just after I escaped from the Police peelers and that potato shed? Well Auntie, that was not her home at all, but the home of her father’s…Wait for it….It’s coming…LOVER! Her mother, Brenda, knows nothing of this. She thinks he spends his time playing rugby, when, in fact, he’s playing mummies and daddies with another woman; Phyllis The Younger. They share a love of racing pigeons apparently as well as whatever else they share in Phyllis’s nest!

He, that’s the ugly, rather large person who Myrtle calls dad, has booted the two English pilots in a rather painful place and has suspended all three of us from the rafters. I’m directly over the dart board, with my delicate bits at Double Top.  All’s not lost though. I do have my trousers held tight around my waist with an elastic band.

Fear not Auntie, I have a plan. Back to you as soon as I can.

Spot

******

Auntie, Auntie, Auntie,

‘Tis your dearest Spot again. The plan worked, and I kept my trousers on!

The pilots have been freed, but Thomas, that’s Myrtle’s dad’s name, has kept the jet aeroplanes. He says he’ll chase after the birds with them. I’m not sure what he meant by that, are you? Anyway, the thing is, I have effectively greymailed him into releasing me and allowing Myrtle and I to continue our blossoming relationship. I’m becoming a bit like Wordsworth aren’t I? Or was it Constable who liked blossoming daffodils? Immaterial. Blossoming Relationship, good what!

Did you approve of…greymailed? I’m trying to be what’s called, politically correct. You can’t say black and you can’t say white, so I thought; how about grey. After all, it was recently advertised in fifty shades. I’m drifting, dearest one. I think it was dangling from that height for so long that it has made my mind wander. (Wander, daffodils, Constable. Get it? Ha ha)  Incidentally, I’ve grown. Myrtle measured me Auntie!

I’m now six foot tall with only a thirty-two inch waist. It was a good job that I had an elastic band around my trousers, eh? Now, even though it’s only me that thinks it; I’m passable. We must hope that people do pass, and not stop, as in the past, passing comments that caused trouble for Spot. Clever play on words there. I shall become a writer, same as Huckleberry Finn.

Back to business. I told Tom, Thomas reminded me of a tank engine so I shortened his name. He doesn’t like it, but, scoff, scoff, Spot calls the shots now; Tom! I actually said that, you know. He looked somewhat constipated when I said it. All puffed-up with nothing coming out. Where was I? Yes, I told him that I would tell Brenda about him and Phyllis The Younger if he harmed me. He said that he didn’t intend to harm me. He said he wanted to murder me! He accused me of doing all manner of unmentionable things with Myrtle, while she looked on in utter amazement.

Myrtle then declared that she would sacrifice herself for me. It happened, Auntie, true love was born.

Her exact words were: “If anything happens to Spot I will die…….” Unfortunately a jet engine started up at that precise moment, so none of us caught the end of what she said.

She now has black hair. She said she changed the colour in case her father had not heeded my words, and had done what he threatened to do, then it would have been fitting for any funeral. I have found a treasure in her. She is so forward thinking that I have agreed to sign some insurance forms. As she is paying the premiums I thought it only fair that she is the sole beneficiary. What do you think, oh wise one?

I haven’t seen Myrtle’s mum for three weeks, and I’m not sorry. All that balderdash about becoming Queen, when it’s Myrtle who should be crowned.

Hang on a minute. There’s a pigeon flying over my head, towards the dovecote at the back of the pub? Why is it pulling a bloody great pillowcase with red writing on it? What can it mean?

Help, Auntie, Spot is feeling a bit queer!

Spot

******

DEAR SPOT,

It’s a wicked thing to admit, but I’ve begun to skim your letters in the hopes of lessening their impact on my poor nerves. But here is what has stood out amidst your eternally wretched handwriting and has spurred me toward a quick reply: Myrtle’s father disapproves, your death is much-anticipated by your blossoming girlfriend, and she wrongly has the impression that one must dye one’s hair to convey mourning.  (Ridiculous!  IF such a thing were the custom, I would know of it!  I’ve been in formal mourning more than once in my life and no one ever waved a bottle of black ink over my head!)

It is a father’s right to threaten murder to any young man taking liberties with his daughter.  And you have snogged her excessively, by your own admission!  Naturally, he’s not to go beyond threats, but it’s common knowledge that men depart all reason where their female offspring are involved.  Stop goading the gentleman on, apologize for overstepping, declare your honorable intentions if you have any and then run.

You heard me.  RUN!  Because if your “bride to be” is already practicing your eulogy, taking out insurance policies and dodging pigeons, you need to leave.  Quickly.  Before any more pillowcases arrive.  God only knows what serial killer is scrawling messages in blood and sending them via poultry to her door!

And since you cannot allow me to speak in terms of black and white, I will be as direct as I can.  Take a ginger tonic to settle your stomach and your nerves and RUN for it.

And of course, I meant to add, congratulations on keeping your pants on.

Yours truly,

Aunt Alice

******

Dearest, dearest all forgiving Aunt Alice, please, please, please and one more just for luck; please, forgive Spot.

I have no time Auntie dearest for a full explanation, that will come in time. Here are the opening lines of that message that was on the pillowcase tied to that weary pigeon:

The Dirty Dozen and your dear sweet mum are in Newgate Prison, Myrtle. There is talk of taking us to Tyburn Tree and stretching our necks! We need your help. All our phones were confiscated but luckily, Phyllis The Pigeon, your grandmother’s best friend, had this bird hidden about her person. Never ask me where, dear child; NEVER! I have used my cell’s pillowcase to write this note with my favorite ruby-red, gloss lipstick. 

I pray on all the daffodil heads in Wales that someone sees this arrive in Phyllis’s dovecote and….quickly. The straw from the pillow is getting tangled in my hair.

IT IS FROM BRENDA. 

There is more, much more and I shall, when I have mastered this Shire horse, copy it all down in my beautiful handwriting and send it to you.

Yes, I have become a horseman of sorts. Myrtle and I are setting out to rescue her mother and friends.There are no drivable cars in Wales, all of them have LEEKS! We were left with little choice but to drive a Shire horse, coupled to a very large cart, to London, but first I had to catch it. You would be amazed at Spot’s physique now Auntie. I am fit, with muscles bulging in places that previously I had no knowledge of. We must begin our journey. My flag will accompany me just in case there is a chance to plant it. Farewell, bon voyage, first footing and all that. Wish us well Auntie, and hold yourself in readiness for all of Brenda’s message. It will take three days at least to copy!

Spot

 

What fate awaits Spot? What are Myrtle’s intentions? Can Brenda survive?

Who the hell is Mack? Most importantly of all though, how will Aunt Alice react?

 

Tune in next week to Female First, and their long suffering editor, Lucy Walton, for the eleventh edition of……Aunt Alice and the silliness that surrounds her.

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About Danny Kemp

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to St Thomas' Hospital and kept in for a while, but it was not only the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was also mental ones. I had lost confidence in myself let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin and that's when the anxiety attacks would start. I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly, but I wasn't. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it. Somehow or other with the help of my wife and medical professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly rebuild my self-esteem. It took almost four years to fully recover, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write. My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless, it was there. His advice was to write another story and that I'm delighted to say, I did. The success of that debut novel, The Desolate Garden, was down to sheer hard work, luck, and of course, meeting a film producer.
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