A – Z Challenge Day 19

We’re approaching the end of the third week of this April’s Blogging Challenge, and I can hardly believe that it will all be over next Saturday! Well done to everyone who is taking part this year, I’ve seen some brilliant themed blog posts from some fantastic writers. Let’s keep the momentum going until the end!

Today’s word comes from my colleague, Sarah. Working in a cafe can be a bit dull sometimes, but not when you’re working with someone like Sarah! She is a great laugh and she was keen to offer me a suggestion for my Challenge when I had a few letters missing. Her prompt for me is “SAUSAGES”, which came about after she rescinded her original word which I believe was “SEX”. I don’t think that the former was a serious suggestion, anyway, and for that I’m extremely grateful and relieved!

Here is what I was able to come up with. Thanks again, Sarah!


By Adam Dixon

“Well, Mrs Warburton, we’re almost done,” Becky said, smiling as she flipped through her the pages of her notepad. “There are just a couple of details which I need to run through with you.” Becky’s efficient, somewhat scruffy handwriting spread across the pages to the underside of her hand and her fingers in a mess of black ink. She scratched her pierced nostril and left an inky smear behind. Finding the page she was searching for she scanned it, reaching for her now-cold cup of black coffee.

“Right, here we are!” Becky took a sip and glanced up at her interviewee. Mrs Warburton was in her early forties, slim and rather attractive with her natural-blond hair cut short. She was sitting up straight with her elbows on the small table, looking around the café with an air of contempt.

“I still don’t know why you insisted on meeting me here,” Mrs Warburton sniffed, nursing her pot of peppermint tea. “You do realise that the owners of this company don’t pay their taxes, don’t you? Nor do they pay their bean farmers properly; it’s nothing short of modern slave labour! And of course they waste milk by the lorry-load in here…those poor baby cows deprived of nourishment for the sake of an overpriced latte…”

“Erm…yes, Mrs Warburton,” Becky pressed on, the feeling of bemusement returning for the umpteenth time that morning. It was becoming quite familiar.

“You said that you’ve lived here in Brighton for many years and-“

“It’s Hove, actually,” Mrs Warburton interrupted. Becky paused and altered her notes, inwardly rolling her eyes.

“Okay, Hove, then,” Becky continued. “And you have been frequenting that particular restaurant in Brighton for more than two years now. Is that correct?”

“That’s what I told you, young lady. I’m not in the habit of repeating myself unnecessarily.”

“Sorry, I’m just double-checking the facts first.” Becky felt herself blushing under the woman’s steel gaze. She busied herself by reading her notes more carefully. “So, you believe that this incident was deliberate? Part of a prank?”

“I do, indeed,” Mrs Warburton folded her arms and lifted her chin haughtily. “And I think it is disgraceful that a vegan restaurant of such high-esteem should number such juveniles amongst its staff!”

“Quite so, Mrs Warburton,” Becky smiled sympathetically, hoping it would disguise the smirk which had arrived an instant before it. She adjusted her thick glasses with her inky fingers

“You’re sure that it couldn’t have been a mistake? A mix-up with one of the orders?”

“Young lady,” Mrs Warburton’s stare turned the air around her to ice. Becky was surprised that her breath wasn’t misting before her eyes. “I am not a fool, and I sincerely hope that none of the workers in that kitchen are foolish enough to ‘accidentally’ add pork sausages to a meal they have no purpose being a part of! There shouldn’t have been a single sausage in the whole building, for God’s sake!”

“Of course, of course,” Becky raised her hands defensively, her brown eyes wide. “Like I said, I’m just double-checking here.”

“Well, there really is no need,” Mrs Warburton huffed. “You appear to have listened to what I have told you and managed to dictate it well enough, so I believe that is all you shall require. I would like to leave this ghastly place now, if you don’t mind. I can’t stand the smell of those cheese toasties!” She shuddered dramatically, twisting her mouth into a snarl. Becky smiled and stood up, holding out a hand.

“Well, thank you very much for your time, Mrs Warburton,” she said warmly. “I do hope that your case goes well.”

“It ought to,” Mrs Warburton replied, giving Becky’s hand a limp squeeze. “Veganism is finally getting the respect it deserves these days, due in no small part to you young people. That is why I agreed to be interviewed by you and your Student Union; I usually wouldn’t involve myself with trivial university newspapers but I believe that my story will strike a chord with the more open-minded pupils. At any rate, I must go. Goodbye, Rebecca, and thank you for the tea.” With that, Mrs Warburton buttoned up her long coat and strode out of the café with her head and chin held regally high.

Becky sat down and took a moment to process the events of her morning. Mrs Warburton was undoubtedly one of the oddest people she had ever met, let alone interviewed. She felt rather sorry for the legal professionals who would have to deal with her!

“Still, it was quite a good prank!” she said to herself, chuckling as she flicked through her notes once again. Her stomach rumbled and Becky wanted a fresh coffee anyway, so she stood up and approached the counter. She perused the menu for a few seconds before she broke into a grin. Oh yes, she knew exactly what she fancied!

“Good morning, how may I help you?” the smiling barista at the counter asked her. Becky thought she might recognise him from one of her lectures.

“Hi, I’d like a medium Americano, please,” Becky answered, still grinning. “And I could murder a sausage sandwich!”


A – Z Challenge Day 2


The word for today’s story has been provided by the ever-helpful Kate. Actually, Kate has suggested a number of excellent prompts for this challenge and this will be the first in a sequence of them. The word Kate provided is “BOMBASTIC”, and I’ll admit to being  surprised and slightly disappointed to learn that it doesn’t mean “crazy”, “lively” or “wild” as I initially thought. Curse you, Mr Bean, for misleading me!

Anyway, it’s still an interesting word and I rather enjoyed the character which came to life upon my re-education. I hope you all do, too.


By Adam Dixon

“…and I put it to you, dearest members of the public, that none of my esteemed peers would perform quite so well as I have!” The newly-crowned King Geoffrey asserted, brandishing the sleeves of his voluminous golden robe with gleeful vigour.
“Nay, but ‘tis true!” he continued, grinning from one end of his carefully-trimmed beard to the other. “’The fine body of men and women who make up the Assembly and who serve as my advisors are all able and intelligent people. Sharp of mind and keen of eye where matters of state are concerned; of this there can be no doubt! But, dear people, not one of them could perform the duties expected of a monarch with such stalwart effectiveness and practiced ease as I! ‘Tis true that I have been blessed by the gods of this world to be worthy of so lofty a duty, and in turn you are fortunate indeed to be the subjects over which I hold dominion!”
Kind Geoffrey beamed at the vast gathering of people standing before his palace. They had come to his grounds in droves following his coronation, with thousands upon thousands of them waiting to hear him speak. Rightly so, thought he! It was not every day that the common folk were graced with the attention of such a mighty and impressive figure of a man! The subjects gathered beneath him as he addressed them on his balcony would long tell the story of how they heard Good King Geoffrey speak, and their children would pass the tale on to their children and so on and so forth. King Geoffrey glowed with pride for these hypothetical offspring, and was delightfully happy for the very real men and women who were listening to him now. What a truly splendiferous day they must be having! He continued with his self-confident rhetoric for over an hour, before reaching the end of his speech.
“Sadly, dear friends, I must take my leave of you. All that is left for me to announce is that my first decree as King is to make a bold change to the face of my kingdom, to forever prove my undying loyalty towards you good people. I declare that from this day forward, I shall no longer be known as King Geoffrey, for I fear that the word “King” is rather archaic and distances the monarch from his people, but instead I shall be known as High Citizen Geoffrey, the first amongst his fellow men! Thank you, one and all, and I bid you adieu!” The ruler formerly and briefly known as King Geoffrey blew kisses to the crowd and bowed as he moved back inside, revelling in the rapturous applause he received.
“What d’you make of all that then?” A man in stained blue overalls asked, squinting at the man in the smart suit next to him. The grey-haired gentleman snorted and made a show of straightening his tie and jacket.
“Oh, more or less what I’ve come to expect,” he said with a nasal drawl. “The man is as bombastic as ever, full of wind and self-praise but little else. He’ll make an awful monarch.” The man in the overalls laughed, running a hand across his stubbly chin.
“Oh yeah, you’ve got that right, mister!” He said with a guffaw. “Makes for an amusin’ spectacle, though! High Citizen Geoffrey, may he live long and keep us all laughin’ while he does!” The two men shared a moment to appreciate the joke, as thousands of people shuffled home around them. Geoffrey watched his subjects dispersing from behind a curtain and smiled. Truly, what a magnificent day for all it had been!