Vampire Midwives (Chapter 30: excerpt)
When Jim woke up, he could tell all was not well. He had a blinding headache, his shoes were killing him and a corpse was trying to fix a hole in the window pane with some Sellotape and a face flannel.
Jim swung his legs out of bed. It was a bad move. The manoeuvre caused his brain to reposition itself, and the result was a blinding flash of pain.
‘Shit!’ he shouted.
The corpse, whose hands were covered in sticky tape, bits of ripped flannel and blood, turned to face its old comrade. Jim’s expletive seemed to breathe new life into Mick’s decaying body.
‘Look James, you really shouldn’t try and instigate intellectual discourse at this time in the morning. I appreciate your deep philosophical analysis of the human condition, but can we leave it ‘til the bacon’s gone down?’
Despite what he considered an erudite performance, Mick looked and felt anything but the sophisticate-about-village. His face was grey, his eyes had startling red rims, and his stubble looked as though it had plans to take over the rest of his body.
‘A nightingale dive-bombed the window during the night.’
‘How did you know it was a nightingale?’
‘Because it sounded like a nightingale. The poor little sod was singing its head off, right until the moment of impact. There was even a Doppler effect, like you get with fast-moving ambulances. ‘Wah-wah, trill, wah-wah, cadenza, wah-wah, arpeggio, wah-wah, syncopated triplet - splat!’
Jim shuffled over and inspected the damage.
‘There’s no glass on the inside, but there’s bits of glass outside on the window sill.’
‘Look Agatha,’ said Mick. ‘I will explain all, when I’ve found out where the door is, got some first-aid on my lacerations, and munched my brekky.’
‘Sounds reasonable to me, Michael, but I still reckon it was an inside job.’
Both the flannel and the coffee mug missed.
"Mick and Jim up north. Just as mad as ever with fantastic new characters and lots of plot twists. I laughed a lot, although once or twice it got a bit scary. Totally unexpected ending!"