tirsdag den 8. marts 2011

A Summer Fling

[A suitable story for the international women´s day - or?]

Monday Mildred Kickinbottom put on a new polyester blouse in a delicate lavender shade, but Arnold didn´t notice. He was focusing on identifying those deadly bones of his herring and spitting them out, quite conspicuously, to remind Mildred what he thought about her choice of dinner. 

"I don´t know how you can forget I detest herring! The bones make me choke."

Tuesday night he didn´t notice that she wore a new scent either. As haddock was better than herring, he ate his dinner in silence while skimming the newspaper.

"More veggies?" she tried.

"If I needed anything, I´d say so, wouldn´t I?" He rattled his paper dismissively, wondering what the strange, new smell was. Had she been wasting his money on strange herbs or spices again?

Wednesday he couldn´t find his razor where he always left it. Someone had put it on the wrong shelf, and a long, grey hair was twined around the handle. He pulled the shower curtain away to ascertain that Mildred hadn´t tried some funny business. What on earth could the woman be up to?

"Your dinner is on the table. A nice, roasted plaice with parsley sauce. Just the way you like it."

"Hrrrmpf. Could´ve been worse, I suppose." He sat down and glared at his full plate. Everything looked much as usual, but the idea of Mildred shaving her varicose legs could make any man lose his appetite.

Thursday he put on his galoshes, mumbling something about bird watching. He rambled around the neighbourhood for hours, hiding in the shrubbery with his binoculars, but he didn´t see anything out of the ordinary. As he had always suspected, Mildred didn´t do much else than shop all day.

Apparently a new fishmonger had come to the area, parking his rusty van outside the old school. A tall and swarthy fellow. Mildred spent a ridiculous amount of time on selecting something scaly off the counter, chatting and laughing foolishly.

He adjusted the binoculars. From this distance it looked as if she was purchasing plaice or halibut. Disgusting, misshaped creatures, and Arnold was sure that if he ate more of them, he would begin to grow fins.

Friday he picked at the smoked salmon before asking her why she couldn´t cook a proper fish and chips dinner if she insisted on wallowing in all those creatures of the sea. 

She broke into a loud sob and flung a slimy piece of pink fish in his face before she ran upstairs to sulk in bed. Women!

Saturday he brightened up when he saw the smoking hot shepherd´s pie with plenty of gravy. Mildred sank down on the chair across him in an ancient cardigan with mended elbows. Her eyes looked a bit blotched, as if she was coming down with a summer cold.

"Nice pie," he observed. "Run off and get me a cold beer, will you? And why don´t you grab one yourself, old gal."

[Remember: if you like the cranky Kickinbottoms, there are four stories about them in my recent collection "Candied Crime"

14 kommentarer:

Anonym sagde ...

Dorte - Delightful story! I so enjoy the Kickinbottoms :-).

Heather sagde ...

Enjoyed the story. Now I am left wondering if she put poison in the pie to finally do away with my grumpy....

Kelly sagde ...

I'm also wondering just what might have been in that shepherd's pie!

Arnold is insufferable!!

Quite entertaining, as always, Dorte.

Clare2e sagde ...

I'd do more than sob at Arnold, miserable old cur. If he hadn't gone to stalk Mildred, why, I'd think he didn't care a bit : )

Leah J. Utas sagde ...

Oh, my. I got quite a kick out of this.

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: they are not nice people, but nice characters ;)

Heather: you never know with those two.

Kelly: thank you.

Clare: it is difficult to know what makes Arnold tick - does he care for Mildred - or for shepherd´s pie?

Leah: great. The Kickinbottoms are stock characters of mine.

BooksPlease sagde ...

Very entertaining! I'm just wondering why Mildred puts up with him - maybe she is putting poison in the shepherd's pie, disguising the taste with all that gravy?

Dorte H sagde ...

Margaret: I hope you will be able to buy my Knavesborough novel once day as it proves that Mildred doesn´t *always* put up with Arnold ;)

And to be fair, I don´t think he was the one who made her cry this time.

Unknown sagde ...

I do love the Kickinbottoms. The name is so apt. They kinda remind me of Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence but when they're older.

Kathleen A. Ryan sagde ...

So much fun, Dorte! Thanks for letting us pay a visit with the Kickinbottoms :-)

Cathryn Grant sagde ...

I hope she goes off to buy more seafood. Maybe this time a bone will stick in his throat.

Dorte H sagde ...

Clarissa: I suspect Tommy and Tuppence treated each other better though ;)

Kathleen: you are welcome.

Cathryn: it takes a lot to get rid of Arnold, I´m afraid.

Felicity Grace Terry sagde ...

At last I have internet access.

What a great story. I'm only surprised Mr Kickinbotttom noticed any of these things. If not poison then I hope the pie was made with some cat or dog food of the not too expensive variety. Or how about a liberal dose of laxatives?

Can we have more of these tales please Dorte?

Dorte H sagde ...

Tracy: Arnold is curious, but there are several things he doesn´t notice. And whenever the Kickinbottoms are up to any of their tricks, I promise you will hear about it.