A Little Revenge – Alan Garth

1730 word Humour

The serious business of insulting fellow guests at a cocktail party takes on a greater significance as Iain Lanton is made an offer he can hardly refuse and his career path takes an unexpected turn.

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The drinks party had already started when Iain Cuthbert Lanton walked into the reception room. He collected a glass of white wine from the bar and decided to plunge right in. The first unattached person he found was a tall, bulky man in a tweedy sports jacket taking receipt of a large scotch from the bartender. “Hello, I’m Iain Lanton. You here for the do?” “Lantern, eh. So, you light the way, ha ha.” Not a good start. Iain had heard this one too many times. “Not exactly, no. It’s Lanton, not Lantern.” “Ah. I see. Lanton.” “Yes, I. C. Lanton.” “Pardon?” “Iain Cuthbert Lanton.”

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Charity – Alan Garth

1000 words Women’s Fiction / Humour

Do we ever give, or get, something for nothing? Frank and Jim discover that, in a contemporary England of scouts, car boot sales, cricket … and multi-level marketing, acts of charity are complicated transactions with the power to change relationships.

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“Anyway, then he says to me, ‘Fa’k you, fa’k you, guvna,’ in his cockney accent. Didn’t know if he was thanking me – just given him a quid, after all – or telling me where to get off.” Jim was round, dropping off some old cricket stuff for the scouts’ boot sale. “Probably both,” I said. “Yeah, probably. Dunno how I’d upset him though. Happy enough to take the money. Flippin’ beggars, eh?” “Someone’s probably written a PhD thesis about how charity is really a kind of aggression,” I said…

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For the Love of It – Alan Garth

760 words Humour

When Dean and Jamie decide to participate in a fun run as a pantomime cow, they don’t anticipate the effect on their partnership of a blowout the night before. And Jamie fears he’s spoilt his chances with lovely Sue from the office before he’s even passed the first post.

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Jamie glanced down at the udders between his legs. It wasn’t a good look, but he didn’t care. He sat slumped against a wall in the main street, wearing the bottom half of a black-and-white pantomime cow and watching the end of the Fun Run amble by. He didn’t feel the coolness of the spring air, suffering as he was from the exertion of the last few miles…

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The Doggie Bag – Alan Garth

1060 words Humour / Women’s Fiction

Valerie’s quiet day in her gift shop is disrupted by a difficult customer unhappy with a recent purchase. The customer is clearly in the wrong, but expects Valerie to make amends. A tricky situation develops and is complicated by a visitor apparently pretending to be something she is not.

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Valerie knew trouble when she saw it, and the customer coming through the door was its spitting image. Maybe not actually spitting, but pretty close. Before the abrupt arrival, it had been a quiet morning in Valerie’s gift shop. At the moment, just one browser, a pleasant lady who had greeted her as she came in, was looking at the handmade bags on the central display. Valerie had had time to rearrange the biscuits and jams, and to enjoy the spring sunshine pouring through the windows…

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