Aunt Alice and Spot.

Dear readers,

Why are you yet clamoring for this correspondence?  Can no one else reply to this boy with any success?  I swear I am advising Spot as best as I can, but the strange conduit that my postal service has provided me into the future makes me wonder…  Besides common sense, what else doesn’t translate in the centuries ahead?

My servants are desperate for each of his letters and it appears that the exchange is now entertaining my entire street and everyone in my narrow acquaintance.  My reputation is forfeit! If the papers get wind of this surreal friendship, I will be lost!

All that said, I cannot abandon the boy.  He is in URGENT need of assistance (or the care of a good physician who specializes in mental maladies…)

There.  I said it.

Aunt Alice

Dearest Auntie all-knowing, all caring, Alice, everything was good but alas, is not NOW!

Myrtle and I were holed up, (I like that expression. So much better than: in hiding or concealed don’t you think? Adds a certain amount of American cowboy culture to the whole thing. I can see the brave Apache warriors coming over the horizon now and, well, I suppose I better stop fantasising and get on with this report. Fantasising will get Spot nowhere, and into trouble no doubt) I wish I had proper English spelling on this iPad belonging to that Danny Kemp as I keep getting Z’s coming up everywhere. No matter, onwards and upwards as they say.

I was saying that to Myrtle, in a roundabout way with flag poles still playing heavily on my mind, when her mobile telephone rang. It was Brenda.

Yes, there I was, with the love of my life, when that kind woman interrupted us, at least at that time I thought her kind. No longer do I. I shall explain in my own inimitable way, direct and to the point. There is a ‘hue-and-cry’ out for all of us.

SPOT IS ON THE WANTED LIST!

£10,000,000 is being offered as a reward for any of us, on capture. At first, on hearing this, I was not in the slightest bit interested; as you know I am adept at disguising myself and I thought that Myrtle was so beautiful that she could pass as Marie Antoinette if necessary. The squint could be covered over with a pair of sunglasses, and the lisp need not be too pronounced, nor remarked upon, if we were careful. As for any other deficiencies she may have, clothes could have made a huge difference. But it’s not to be, Auntie. Myrtle is a traitor and BRENDA no better than a…despot! (Sounds a bit like a toilet that word, despot, don’t you think?) I have been deceived and being blamed for everything. I overheard my, (past tense should be used there) Myrtle say that if I had not fancied Lionel, I mean Lily, then the silly notion of being a reincarnated Queen of Wales would never have arisen. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?

Myrtle said, and I quote; ‘I will knock him off mum, and then we will be rid of him.’ What does….knock me off mean, Auntie?

Next came Brenda’s reply, leaving me in a state of exasperation. Clever word there, eh! Spot is going up in the world’s vocabulary. Bet you’re impressed Auntie dear. She, that’s the self-delusional one Brenda, then said to lure me to Wales onto the mountain where she and Mack are in hiding dressed as sheep, they would then, in her words; deal with me there. It’s called Mount Taffy by the way. She added, as way of an aside, that her husband, Thomas The Tank Engine, was in for a deathly surprise. Sounded ominous and frightful.

I don’t like the sound of it all, not one tiny minuscule of it! What do you think Auntie, should I dump Myrtle and take flight, OR, holster up my six-shooters, put on my spurs and ride up to Boot Hill, alias Taffy mountain, thereby becoming the new Wyatt Earp?

In need of advice,

Spot 

Dear Spot,

“Knock you off” means if I am properly informed, to do you great harm.  And by harm, I mean, murder.  I draw this from context mainly but I feel very confident that your Myrtle means to end your life, bury you in an unmarked hole and then head off with her bedlam-set mother to whistle a happy Welsh tune.  In other words, you’re about to be snuffed out.

Unless you follow the clear advice of my previous dozen missives and RUN!

At last, a ray of hope!  You must disavow these horrible people once and for all!  But, as I am a practical woman who is well aware of the cost of candles, I wish to persuade you to make the most of the moment.  It may seem mercenary, my dear boy, but let’s recall that anyone who seeks to destroy not only the quiet calm of good hard-working Englishmen enjoying a pint, end the monarchy and overthrow a perfectly good system of government but ALSO to kill my sweet if addled friend (I mean, you, Spot.); they do not deserve mercy.

Let the authorities deal with them.  But as you yourself have been bruised, kidnapped, assaulted, and much abused, I think you’ve earned that reward money!

Turn them in and collect your due.  Then with the money, you can finally return to the sanctuary of home and hearth where you are undoubtedly missed and wanted!

Ah, I must end my letter here.  My household staff are starting to place bets regarding your survival and it falls to me to regulate the odds.

Ever yours,

Aunt Alice

Dearest all protective Aunt Alice,

Spot is desolate, how could I ever have thought well of Brenda and Myrtle? They led Spot down The Desolate Garden path, and WHY was that?…….Anything But Hackneyed, I say.

Auntie, please believe me when I say that it was not me who typed those three incoherent sentences; it was that rogue Danny Kemp. You can tell by the illiterate style!

It’s a good job that he and that Renee Bernard don’t know each other, else we will be having people wearing Diamonds, Pearls and Opals all over the place. Never do!

Back to business. Spot has done, did, do it. Took your advice and turned the heathen in! All three of them WERE in custody. Note I used the past tense of ‘is.’ To be or not to be, that is the….IT’S him again, that Kemp. There, I’ve blocked him, but he is getting closer. We might have to do something drastic to delete him….permanently!

So, here comes the tale, or as they say at the race course; we’re off and running.

I tied Myrtle hand and foot, put her in a sack, slung her over my shoulder and deposited her outside radio Siren’s front door, a world renown broadcasting station. As I was leaving, a young beautiful, becoming lady, by the name of Tracey, stopped me. I had to explain what I was doing, Auntie. And I had to share the reward money to get her to cover my own withdrawal. But was I cute, or was…I cute!

She wanted a quarter of the £10,000,000. I took no truck from her. I beat her down relentlessly, offering only a third, and she accepted it. Spot’s a good egg at maths, eh! It was she who notified the police of Brenda and Mack’s hiding place and helped in my getaway..

She gave me a brownie cake. I think she loves Spot, Auntie. She has given me her Skype handle! Oh er, I’m in there all right! I will attempt to plant my flag pole in her office at some later date.

The news of Brenda and Mack’s escape came over her radio station’s network. Yes, she owns the radio broadcasting service, AND has connections. Big ones too! There was an unfortunate scene that I could hear part of, coming from the police intercom. I distinctly heard Brenda say…. ‘It’s Igloo Time Baby! Then the connection went dead, but I found this recording afterwards.

******

‘I knew I should have stored them English pilots in the igloo! But they said they were GENTLEMEN! They have obviously told the tale of when I exposed the best of myself! And now all of England has paid £10,000,000 to have me, and to hold me forever in their custody! 

Well England, for the albeit quite complementing use of force, I thank you for your mighty interest, but no matter how strongly your fighting men want to keep all of my intimate details to themselves, and no matter how much leaving their bondage saddens me, I must leave you now. For I am the soon to be Queen of the Isle of the Mighty.

Can ya hear me now SPOT??? How about you, Mister Who Wants To Rugby A lot??? I am loose and on my way to steal your newly earned £10,000,000, and use it to help me win the crown and become Queen of Wales. Woohoooo… OFF WITH SPOT’S GUM CHOMPING HEAD!!! And let’s not forget that Pigeon Loving Myrtle’s Dad!!! REVENGE!!!’

*****

As I was listening and shaking in my boots something really, really strange happened. Tracey, she does giggle a lot by the way, made me a cheese sandwich and a cup of tea. (I hope you have forgotten that rhyme about tea, Auntie) She asked if I liked pickle on my cheese and when I said yes, she asked me to open the jar. As I did so, an ugly genie jumped from it. He was covered in white hair, on his head and face with bright shining teeth and a supercilious grin, said his name was Dickie Branson. I asked if he meant, Richard but he said no. Has a brother by that name apparently but he doesn’t live in a jar of pickles!

Anyway, the thing is he gave me three wishes Auntie, but I can only tell you one.The others must remain secret…..I hope you are seated, and feel quite stable. I would suggest that if you haven’t got sherry nearby then you rectify that situation….immediately.

I am now in possession of a …….Time Traveling Machine courtesy of Branson Pickles!

Where shall I go, Auntie?

Your ever obedient,

Spot.

Dear Spot,

My greatest consolation is that since pickle genies are notoriously unreliable as well as, quite naturally, non-existent, your question is purely speculative and very entertaining.  If it is a time machine, then the issue is not “where” but “when”.

I, for one, have always been curious about the middle ages and imagine that a civil feast with King Arthur would be extremely entertaining.  But I do enjoy the modern conveniences. Soap, gaslights and of course, my medicinal sherry.

Spot, my dear.  I have no idea what a radio is but I fear it sounds a bit…nebulous.  And as this Tracy person has also cheerfully robbed you of more money than you probably have sense, I must refrain from endorsing this new friendship.  I shall reserve my judgment since giggling women who consort with foreign demons who pop out of preserve jars—well, it just doesn’t sound properly British!

But then, pickles always did give me a touch of indigestion and at my age, one must avoid upset at all costs.

As we are on a lark here, by all means, feel free to drop off your calling card here after you tour the building of the pyramids of Egypt…  Silly boy!

Ever patiently,

Aunt Alice

Can the British Pickle Industry ever be the same? Will Virgin Airline withstand the rumours of producing GENIES? Will Tracey become head of the BBC….The British Bottling Corporation and will Female First ever be published…AGAIN?

Can you wait for next week’s edition? I’m so sorry, but you must!

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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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