Sunday, June 12, 2016

SHY YETI MEETS MISTER SMELLIE...

SHY YETI... MEET TOPPIE!!

Hello beasties!

We're back again - for our second post of this extra-special yeti weekend!! I hope you enjoyed yesterday's post from Amsterdam... We will be back there again in a week or two as I have another yeti sketch which is mostly set there - but I'm jumping ahead here...

Another part of this special weekend involved me posting Episode 4 (the 5th episode in all) of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST... You can find it on my SHY YETI account on Soundcloud or look for me on iTunes, I should be there too! Anyway... Here's some more information about the new episode; it's the second I've released this week - don't expect this kind of treatment every week, mind!

THE SHY LIFE PODCAST - 4: ALL MANNER OF NEW VOICES...

We're BACK! Already!! It's our longest one EVER!! This time we're having trouble with our guests - but Mr Yeti does try to explain his 90s movie making pursuits... Dameus is about to make a film - there is a poem about fish and chips, a discussion on vinyl - more library gossip, some messages and a doughnut... Thanks to Nick G, Mr Trowbridge and LSF for their contributions to this episode. We'll be back again later in the month... Please email me at shyyeti@yahoo.co.uk if you have any comments. This episode and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016. Aside from the clips, which were recorded in 1996 - episode 4 was recorded between the 17th May and the 10th June 2016.

Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/shyyeti/the-shy-life-podcast-4-all-manner-of-new-voices

Moving onto this post's script, I will admit that I nicked the idea of a Cat Psychic from myself - having planned a sub-plot in a future season of HOT STUFF!! involving just such a character; but that season won't be out until about 2018, so I was keen to do something sooner for one of the Shy Yeti scripts... There's no harm taking an idea and using it in two different ways - I may even end up linking the two incidents as many characters cross over in my writing.

It may not be immediately obvious, but the script itself is inspired by podcasts - more so as a listener than as a podcast producer for our sketch features a fictional cameo by a real-life podcaster. That said it's not quite as simple as a meet and greet; as already mentioned Shy meets a Cat Psychic - but he actually turns out to be somebody quite different altogether... In the same way that there is a "real-life" Shy Yeti (ie; me) and a fictional Shy Yeti - the star-guest in this episode also exists in more than one reality... Our guest-star is Toppie Smellie, who has his own podcast and who recently interviewed me for his show... They'll be more about that interview here on www.shyyeti.com once it's posted.

Toppie isn't the only podcaster who features in this script - but the others are only mentioned, at least for now. As the story develops there are mentions of Toppie's podcasting co-stars ThatPeterG, Dr Wes Stone and Brenda Boo... But let me identify some of these shows - at least one or two of which I am likely to be appearing on soon. I am hoping that Toppie will also be my first overseas guest on THE SHY LIFE PODCAST during July or August. Watch this space...

THE SMELLCAST
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-smellcast/id500846681?mt-2

Start with a personal journal podcast about a 50-something gay man, mix in some current events and add a healthy dose of some very odd fantasy elements and you have Toppie Smellie’s SMELLCAST! Toppie takes you with him as he tests the boundaries of the podcasting universe. Sometimes The Smellcast is merely mind numbingly mundane — but in a pleasant sort of way. Sometimes you will find it funny — in a sort of stupid, affected wayOther times you will discover within it real pathos, human drama, whimsy, surrealism, and occasionally utter nonsense.

THE SMELLCAST! Fun! Entertaining! Mysterious!

You can also learn more at: www.smellcast.wordpress.com/about

LOTSL (Life On The S*** List):
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/lotsl/id519688017?mt=2

A revolving group of players, living the American dream but falling a bit short.

The story about how I come to be listening to so many U.S. podcasts is a simple one. It all began when I started listening to a slasher movie podcast that my friend Erik is part of...

THE HYSTERIA CONTINUES
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-hysteria-continues/id418884138?mt=2
 
I listened to this show for a number of years when one week another horror podcast was mentioned...

SCREAMQUEENZ HORROR PODCAST
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/screamqueenz-horror-podcast/id385218036?mt=2

Along the way ScreamQueenz did an episode where Toppie featured - I'm not sure what he was talking about now, but Dark Shadows was mentioned and as I'm a fan of this cult show from the 60s and 70s I began to explore the other shows that he was involved in: THE SMELLCAST and LOTSL...

As time went on I began listening to a number of other shows until I now listen to quite a few and keep trying new ones as I come across them - most notably:

COCKTAILS AND CREAMPUFFS:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/cocktails-cream-puffs-gay/id356082238?mt=2
 
POD IS MY CO-PILOT:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/pod-is-my-copilot/id218480532?mt=2

These are more personal journal/comedy/LGBT themed podcasts - but over their many episodes they have covered all manner of topics. It's a little bit like super hero comics, I imagine... You begin reading one and then the one that you're reading crosses over with another one and then you find yourself reading that one too and then before you know it you're reading about twenty different comics... Well, as I began to say earlier, I have become like that with podcasts - I imagine many other listeners have done the same. It's probably just a coincidence that I happen to have connected with more shows overseas than in the UK. I've dipped into a number - but THE HYSTERIA CONTINUES remains the only one I've listened to from the very start and even they have two members of the show who are from the States! In this particular instance that show has introduced me to a whole new area of horror films that I had only just touched the surface of - the slasher film and the proto-slashers and giallo that may have inspired them. Readers here will know that I do like to write horror stories of a sort - and so all these films just help to get me in the mood!

Anyway, moving on... It's less than a month until my next Poetry Cafe show - which is going to be a pretty busy time for me. Not only do I have the show, but I will be returning to my home town and doing a number of interviews with friends down there. I also intend to release an episode of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST from the show itself and hope to interview poet John Smallshaw about what he's been writing and how we first met.

Next time I will probably have a new prose piece for you - and the following week we'll be back in Amsterdam, although only in fictional form! Still! It's worth going back for...

That's it for now - more soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx
 
P.S. This script was partially concocted between April and May 2016 and was actually written between Wednesday 18th and Friday 20th May 2016. I have been tinkering with it ever since, except when I was in Amsterdam - and here it is ready for you to read now... Do enjoy it, won't you!?
 
SHY YETI AND THE CAT PSYCHIC...

THE SETTING: Shy Yeti is at home - he really doesn't have very many plans for the evening and so is just busy counting his pie collection and taking selfies to post on social media; after all how would the world cope without those? Just then the door-bell rings and Shy goes to answer it - standing there is a rather disorientated looking gentleman who is carrying a battered brown leather brief-case. When the man speaks he reveals himself to be of American origin - he is politely pleasant and Shy admires the red top hat that he currently wears...

STRANGER: (slightly nervously)

Hello sir... Might you be Shy Yeti?

SHY: (surprised, curious)

Why, yes... May I just say what a splendid top hat that is!? I wear one just like it when I do my poetry shows... Where did you get it from?

STRANGER: (flattered, proud)

I'm actually not sure, sir - but thank you... Yes... It's most useful; also stylish... Wouldn't you say?

SHY: (amicably)

Isn't it just - I tend to keep my lunch under mine... I learnt that trick from a bear friend of mine who does the same with his marmalade sandwiches... What do you keep under yours?

STRANGER: (seemingly unsure)

Well... I... Err...

SHY: (reassuringly)

Oh! No... Don't feel you have to answer that! What a fella keeps under his hat is private to him and him alone; like a lady's handbag... So now... How can I help you, exactly?

STRANGER: (bubbly once again, full showbiz patter)

I'm a travelling salesman, sir... You don't by any chance own a cat, do you?

SHY: (slightly surprised)

A cat? Own one, you say? I don't think it's legal to actually OWN a cat any more, is it? I have co-habited with one before now and I certainly have many cat friends - but I don't OWN one! What do you take me for - some kind of illegal cat kidnapper? I'm no feline hostage-taker - I can assure you of that!

STRANGER: (concerned, petering out)

Oh no! I'm so sorry... I really didn't mean to offend, nor suggest...

SHY: (trying to sound interested)

No offense taken... So what exactly are you selling? Hats for cats, is it? I know cats are very keen on hats - and scarfs, for that matter...

STRANGER: (almost sounding embarrassed)

As it happens, I'm actually a cat psychic...

SHY: (surprised)

A cat WHAT?

STRANGER: (becoming a bit more confident)

A cat psychic! I read the paw palms of cats - so that I can tell them their fortunes...

SHY: (remaining composed)

Really! How unusual... Only cats? No other types of animal?

STRANGER: (muttering to self)

I did try to read a dog's paw once but he slobbered on me... He surprised me and I shrieked, then he ran away and wouldn't come out from under the bed for almost two weeks...I wouldn't have minded but he kept farting... It was my bed, you see... I had to go and sleep on the sofa...

SHY: (nodding kindly)

Oh! Good grief... How unfortunate... How horrible! Well now, I must say I'm terribly intrigued by all of this... I really wish that I had a cat so that you could show me how this all works...

STRANGER: (brightening)

Well, as it happens I do actually have a test cat on my person... Would you like to see?

SHY: (a little worried)

Yes! Too right... A cat? On your person? Where is it? In that brief-case of yours?

STRANGER: (beaming)

Oh no, sir... (he lifts his hat to reveal a rather large ginger Tom) This is my friend, Tolstoy...

SHY: (distracted)

Oh! Well, how marvellous... He's a big one, for sure! (growing more excited) Now, just a minute... You can't go reading the paws of cats that you're already familiar with - I mean, presumably you already know his life story...

STRANGER: (not sounding too convincing)

Oh no, sir... Not at all... I can assure you that Tolstoy and I have never met prior to this particular encounter...

SHY: (in disbelief)

Oh, come off it... Really? But he's living under your hat?!

STRANGER: (floundering for words)

Oh yes... I know that, but we rarely speak - in fact never ever... He likes to keep himself to himself...

SHY: (attempting to get a reasonable reply)

Are you sure? (turning to the cat) Tolstoy? What's going on here? What do you say to all this?

TOLSTOY: (indignantly)

MEOW!!

SHY: (reasonably at first, but more sternly to the stranger)

Well, okay... If that's what you claim then I trust you! You have honest eyes... It's just this guy I'm not sure about - I don't even know his name... I'm sorry... What exactly IS your name, sir?

STRANGER: (looking ashamed)

This is awfully embarrassing - you'll never believe this - but I really don't know...  It's becoming a little awkward if I'm being honest with you!

SHY: (not believing him)

Oh, very funny... Now listen...

STRANGER: (hurriedly attempting to change the subject)

It's no matter! I don't care what you think - but it's true! Anyway, I'm afraid I must ask for silence... I am about to begin the reading...

SHY: (distracted, apologetic)

Oh.. Oh! I'm terribly sorry... Yes, please - do go on...

STRANGER: (turning to his cat companion who is now sat before him on the hallway table)

If you'd be so kind to offer your paw... (Tolstoy does so) Thank you... Now let me see... Turn it so that I can see the pads... (Tolstoy does this too) Thank you... Ah yes! You have a very long purr-line here... And... What is that, actually? Is it a mole? Oh no, it's a piece of dried tuna... Let me just pick that off for you... These things can interfere with the reading...

SHY: (mocking)

Wouldn't it be awful if you predicted the wrong thing because of a bit of dry food getting in the way...

STRANGER: (beginning to lose his temper)

Well yes... Actually it would! A bit of dried tuna can obscure the purr-line... That could cut five years off this poor cat's life...

SHY: (correcting him)

I don't think it works that way - all it does is mean that your reading is incorrect...

TOLSTOY: (crossly)

MEOW!! MEEEEEEEOOOOOWOOOOWOOOOW!!

STRANGER: (crisply, defensive)

Yes! Thank you, Tolstoy... I agree... My friend here asks that you're quiet, Mr Yeti... We are trying to concentrate... May I remind you that this is about him, not you!

SHY: (growing increasingly sarcastically)

I'm terribly sorry... Do go on!

STRANGER: (disorientated)

Thank you... Now where was I? I'm a little dizzy - oh, no - that's better - my glasses weren't on straight... (his voice changes to a dreamy tone) Right... Okay.. .Yes! Now, I do believe that I'm beginning to receive a message for you...

SHY: (straight-faced)

You're communing with the dead now too? Now I'm really feeling confused... What are you? Paw-palm reader? Psychic? Mystic? Clairvoyant?

STRANGER: (flustered, sad, trying to remain positive)

Oh... A bit of everything... I like to mix it up...

SHY: (playing along)

Clearly! My friend Fatima can be a bit like that - but she only does people; it's probably simpler...

STRANGER: (trying to shift the conversation on)

Really... How fascinating! But shhh now - but I am trying to focus here, thank you...

SHY:

Careful who you shhh, Mr... I was taught shhhing by bona-fide librarians...

TOLSTOY: (the stranger doesn't seem to hear, but Tolstoy suddenly pipes up...)

MEOW! MEOW! *PURR*

STRANGER: (trying to sound more stern and mysterious)

Well, exactly... Anyway... Let me see... As I was saying... I have a message here for you... I think it's from your Auntie Pussels - she says MEOW - MEOW - MEW - MEW - HISS!!!

TOLSTOY: (cattily)

MEW! MEW! PURR! PURRRRRRRRRRRRR!!

STRANGER: (nodding in agreement)

Yes... Yes... I think that probably is the case... I wouldn't think about it too much - just lashing out... It's nothing to do with you - she's just in a cruel mood today...

SHY: (losing patience)

Listen, sir... Can we stop? I'm simply not believing any of what you are saying... I'm really not sure what you're doing here or what you're trying to get out of me... Let me just tell you - it won't work!

STRANGER: (trying to remain positive)

If it's a problem then why don't you leave?

SHY: (exasperated)

Because you're standing in MY  hallway...

STRANGER: (suddenly sounding deflated, but trying to stay upbeat)

Oh yes - so I am... Well, we're done anyway... Thank you, Tolstoy... (Tolstoy is purring contentedly) Look! Look! See how happy I've made him... It does work - I told you I was good...

SHY: (losing patience, trying not to shout)

This is just nonsense! NONSENSE! Will you please explain why you're here or simply just leave... PLEASE!?

STRANGER: (quite upset)

Okay! Okay! I really do apologise... You see, I haven't been honest with you about why I'm here... This is going to sound very odd - but as I was trying to explain earlier I've lost my memory... (Shy looks unconvinced) I know you don't believe me - but it's true... I'm not kidding you...

SHY: (sympathetic, but confused)

Okay, well how awful... I'm really sorry to hear that; but I'm not sure what I can do about it... Shouldn't you go to a hospital or something? I have the name of a good doctor - Doctor Magda... He even gives assistance to fruit and vegetables - that's how forward thinking he is...

STRANGER: (sounding more in control)

Well, sure... And thank you for your suggestions - but can I just show you something first!?

SHY: (alarmed/excited)

Oh... Goodness! Well, yes... Of course you can! Go ahead...

THE STRANGER TAKES A BOOK FROM HIS COAT-POCKET - IT IS ONE OF SHY YETI'S OWN POETRY COLLECTIONS, "A YETI WAY OF THINKING" WHICH HASN'T BEEN AVAILABLE FOR THAT LONG - THIS PEAKS SHY'S INTEREST AS IT INVOLVES HIM DIRECTLY...

STRANGER: (hopeful)

It's a signed copy... Only I can't make out the inscription... I'm just wondering, do you think we've met before, perhaps? Would that be possible?

SHY: (becoming keener to help)

I'm not sure... The more I think of it - I'm beginning to think that I recognise your face; I just can't place it... I don't think we've met - but - I wonder... It's possible that I've seen a photo of you somewhere... I do have a fair few friends in the States through podcasting...

STRANGER: (trying to figure it out)

But you don't think we've met before? I don't understand... How can that be if this book has been signed to me? How come that I have it? Would I have bought it in a shop in the States, do you think? To be honest I don't even know how I even got here - to this country, I mean! I don't have my passport or anything; but I'm clearly not British...

SHY: (talking half to himself)

That doesn't automatically make you an illegal alien - you could be American, but still live here, maybe... I don't know! I'm not sure I have the answer to that... I do know that my books are really only available online or at my shows... The only other way would be if I'd sent you the copy personally...

STRANGER: (growing more encouraged)

You mean, if I was an online friend that lives overseas, say - one that you'd never actually met?

SHY: (becoming fascinated)

That would be a possibility... Even when I speak to friends online we don't always speak face to face - voice to voice is usually enough... And that's the thing... Gosh... Your voice is so familiar to me now that we're talking like this... (his eyes have been closed for the last minute, but he now opens them...) Would you mind if I look at the inscription - I may be able to work it out... It is my writing after all...

STRANGER: (almost too excited)

Why yes... Sure... Here you are...

SHY: (checking the copy closely)

Well, that's definitely me... I wish I could make out what I've written here... Could it be Tommy? Tammy? Tappy? Just a minute... I'm pretty sure that this says... Could it be Toppie!?

STRANGER: (mystified)

That's a funny name...

SHY: (becoming over-enthused)

I think it's your name - at least the name you use online... Toppie! Toppie Smellie! That's why I recognise your voice... Toppie Smellie - the legendary podcaster from The Smellcast and Life On The Shit List... Um... Let me think...Who else do you know that I know? These names should mean something to you! Think now.. What about Brenda? Karmel? Same person... Different names... Long story!

TOPPIE: (lost)

I can't keep up with all this - what am I meant to be thinking about? Nothing's coming back...

SHY: (growing frustrated)

Stay calm... Let these name settle in and maybe you will start remembering... Let me think... More names! Who else? Karmel... Said her already... Err... ThatPeterG... Dr Wes Stone... They're all on the show with you! Come on! Are you getting nothing at all? You do your own show too... The Smellcast... Pickle Hollow! Where do I start with that one?! Oh, my goodness, Toppie! I'm a big fan! You interviewed me for your show not long ago and I sent you my latest page-turner... This one!! It ALL makes sense now!

TOPPIE: (finally allowing himself a grin)

Goodness gracious! Well, that really is, quite literally, a turn-up for the books... Ha! So is this the first time that we've met in person?

SHY: (concerned, confused, baffled)

Yes, indeed! Well, you're usually all the way over there in the States - not here in London... I have family over there - but I don't get to see them very often... It's quite a mystery, isn't it? How on earth did you end up here in London with no memory and just my book for company... It's too coincidental... Somebody has engineered this... I hoped we'd meet one day, but not like this...

TOPPIE: (cross with life)

I know! But believe me - it's a lot worse for me... I need answers! I really need your help, Shy...

SHY: (lowering his voice, curious)

Well, okay... Sure... One thing though... May I ask? This who Cat Psychic business? WHY!?!

TOPPIE: (defensively)

I know it's odd, Shy - but I'm just trying to pay my way until I know who I am - until I can go home... It's all been pretty upsetting, I'll have you know...

SHY: (not wishing to sound insulting, but...)

I don't doubt it, for one minute... But... Well... Does Cat Psychic work pay well?

TOPPIE: (visibly nervous)

Not especially - Tolstoy takes a 75% cut for a start... He's the brains behind all this - or maybe the brawn - one or the other - his claws are pretty sharp I can tell you that... When we're on the Underground he digs his claws into my head... It's painful! (whispers) He's quite the bully; little tin-pot Hitler, he is...

SHY: (staring crossly at Tolstoy)

Is that all true! That's outrageous - taking advantage of a poor gentleman who has lost his memory...

TOLSTOY: (rearing up on his hind paws - pushing his ears right back)

MEW! MEW! HISS! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!

SHY: (standing up to the grumpy cat)

...And we'll have none of that... Thank you!!

TOLSTOY HISSES AGAIN - AND JUST AT THAT MOMENT THE PHONE STARTS TO RING...

(reassuringly) Just stay where you are, Toppie and I'll help in what ever way I can to get you back - even if I have to pay for you to go back myself...

TOPPIE IS STILL IN A BIT OF A FLUSTER, BUT NOW SIGHS AND NODS, RELAXING AS SHY YETI HEADS TO ANSWER THE PHONE, WHICH IS IN THE LOUNGE...

(short-temperedly) Hello!? HELLO! Who is that? This is the Shy Yeti residence... HELLO!?!

THERE IS NO REPLY AND THE CALL BREAKS - SHY PUTS THE PHONE DOWN AND HEADS BACK TO THE HALLWAY AND IS SURPRISED TO SEE NO SIGN OF EITHER TOPPIE OR TOLSTOY, WITH ONLY THE RED TOP HAT LEFT SITTING ALONE ON THE HALL TABLE...

(confused) MR SMELLIE? TOPPIE!?! HELLO!? WHERE DID YOU GET TO? HELLO!?

BUT THERE IS NO REPLY...

TO BE CONTINUED AT A LATER DATE...

This post and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler 2016.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, June 11, 2016

AMSTERDAM... THE RETURN!!

BIRTHDAYS, HOLIDAYS AND NEW PROSE...


Hello beasties!

I am declaring this weekend a weekend of much yeti-ness...



Anyway - back to business as usual to kick off this busy weekend...

Well, I'm just back from Amsterdam - and it was rather a mixed trip, to say the least. I'm not going to do a very in-depth diary post as I am preparing a new episode of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST which was recorded during the trip and I also have plenty of photos to post - a lot of them are also in Twitter and Instagram. 

What I will say, to begin with, is that I was travelling with flat-mate Calum and that we were here for his 43rd birthday! (I'm not too far behind him, either...)

We flew from Gatwick after lunch on Sunday 29th May 2016 and arrived mid-afternoon - heading out for a couple of drinks and burgers at THE GREEN GRILL BAR, not too far from our hotel. The weather remained mainly over-cast the following day - but we got out and about and I recorded a fair bit of the material for the podcast - including the first part of an interview with Calum. I bought a few trinkets and we pottered about - having lunch in a favourite cafe of mine which I wrote a story about in my A YETI WAY OF THINKING collection. After a rest mud-afternoon we headed for Vondelpark - which is quite a large area and full of greenery and cyclists. We had dinner in... The word of the day in Flemish was winkel... It means shop!!

Unfortunately plans for the rest of the trip were spoilt when I took ill - it may well have been the chicken kebab that I'd eaten earlier in the evening - although we may never know for sure. Sadly, I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday in bed. All I can say is I'm very glad I'd got some good tells on my phone which saved me from having to watch endless episodes of Bargain Hunt etc. By Thursday I was feeling a bit more myself and we took the boat and tram to the zoo - where I made friends with a cat and recorded more for the podcast, before nervously attempting to go for our last night before returning dinner.

From the point of the podcast, luckily I had recorded quite a bit of it during the first day and was then able to record a couple of bits from my sick-bed before rounding it all off on the final day at the zoo and on the city's canals...

The finished episode - released early Wednesday am, 8th June 2016 can be found on iTunes under THE SHY LIFE PODCAST or on Soundcloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/shyyeti/the-shy-life-podcast-3-a-slightly-iffy-trip-to-Amsterdam

Here are the details:

THE SHY LIFE PODCAST - 3: A SLIGHTY IFFY TRIP TO AMSTERDAM...

In this, our third full-length episode, Mr Yeti and his flat-mate Calum head off to Amsterdam for Calum's birthday! Alas all does not go quite to plan - but there is a lot chat about holidays gone by - a trip on the canal and some chatting with a zoo animal or two! This episode was recorded between the 29th May and the 5th June 2016. Our next episode will hopefully be out later in the month. All contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016.

Now that's out of the way, you're probably relieved to learn that I don't have as many photos for you as would usually be expected during one of my typical jaunts overseas. I've been to Amsterdam enough times as it is - it's not as if you don't know what the place looks like - although that said I don't appear to have blogged about any of my previous trips in any great detail; none of the ones from the 00s OR my last trip in June 2014 for my friend Harry's 40th.

So anyway, I'm going to share some of my photos from my somewhat ill-fated 2016 trip, but will also save one or two photos for my next post on the city, which includes another of my daft SHY YETI sketches.


Before we go I'm going to leave you with a new prose piece, which is a vague sequel to the story that I wrote last time I was in Amsterdam in 2014.
 
Next time - which will hopefully be tomorrow (!!) I should have another Shy Yeti sketch for you - it could be one of two; I'm not sure which one will be ready first... I have one set in Amsterdam where Shy Yeti is on a film set and then one that concerns a rather peculiar psychic who turns up on Mr Yeti's door. Episode 4 of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST will also be out... 

Our missions is to keep you entertained!! More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx

P.S. A helping hand was written on Wednesday 1st June when I was in Amsterdam in bed with a bit of a fever! I hope it makes sense! It should do - I returned to work on it again between the 6th and the 9th of June 2016 - just before it was posted.

LENDING A HELPING HAND...


Sarah had seen something was wrong from the moment he'd walked in...
He looked so distracted and unhappy - unlike the first time...
Of course, hundreds of people entered her cafe every day - 
But what made him different was that she'd found him attractive...
That didn't happen half as many times as one might think it would...
It was at least six months since she'd connected with anyone like this...
He'd been there before a couple of days ago;
Back then he'd been with a small group of friends -
Mark was the name that they'd used and which he'd responded to...
He'd made her laugh when she'd taken their order.
But that second day he'd been alone and disengaged...
He'd made no small-talk and there was only brief eye contact...
Sarah wondered what was up - she needed to know...
The cafe was not long from closing for the day when the police arrived...
Her colleague, Anna, was out front and was talking to them from the step...
The man, Mark, had noticed the police too and looked agitated.
There was no time to think this over, so she approached him immediately.
"If you need a way out then you can hide in our kitchen -
There's no back door, but you can wait there as long as you like,
Be quick though - hurry - before the police come to speak with me..."
The man had nodded and then slipped down the back-stairs...
"Thank you..." was all he could manage, but it felt genuine.
"Don't think this means you won't have to pay your bill..."
Sarah teased, unheard and then returned to the cash-till.
Eventually she did speak to the Police - Anna had said very little.
Her café was clearly just one of many places that Mark had visited -
So many people pass through here - she had explained,
There was very little to say and the Police seemed to accept that...
"I have not seen this man..." she had said and that was that.
They had seen that he wasn't at a table and soon they had departed. 
Sarah never did ask what had caused him to be so nervous of the Police.
It was better not to know, she reasoned - it was his business...
She never saw anything in the papers - so what exactly HAD occurred?
That night, Mark slept with her - he seemed distracted but she didn't care.
After that, for a while he even worked in the kitchens at the café...
One morning she had found him on his mobile talking excitedly to someone;
There was no doubting that he'd learnt some good news...
Whatever it was that the Police had wanted him for had faded away...
Perhaps whatever he thought he'd done had resolved itself...
He'd been forgiven - his friends were looking for him again...
Sure enough, without a word of explanation, the next day he was gone...
She feared the worst; it had upset her, there was no denying it...
Sarah had begun to like him - in fact she had intended to keep him;
She blamed herself - had known Mark wouldn't stay after that phone call...
Secretly she had hoped that he would stay or would promise to return...
The others had been different; too needy and she had grown tired of them...
It was a hard job - there was always so much to clean and cover-up after...
Still, it was usually worth it... She had felt differently about Mark though...
She had begun to share her honest self with him - now she just felt used...
No, this wasn't the first time Sarah had lent a helping hand...
But it was the only time that those she'd helped had been allowed to leave...
Little was Mark to know how close he had come to a permanent residence...
Down below the café - deep below the cellar floor...
Nor was he to know that in another six months somebody else -
Some other lone traveller would pay for his freedom...
This wasn't the first time Sarah had lent a helping hand -
And it wouldn't be the last...
 
All contents of this post are Copyright, Paul Chandler 2016.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,