A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



I don’t like this! What in the name of everything holy do you think you’re doing, Constable?” yelped Royston, and the world and his sister would have known he was both terrified and frightened because he called her constable for the first time in an age and a half.

We’re flying!” whooped Angelina, “and don’t you love it? I’ve always wanted to get around like this! Zooming through the skies at goodness-knows what speed, chasing baddies like super-heroes do in old black and white films and generally being superior!”

You don’t have to fly to be that!” shouted Royston, “I’ve always known that you’re superior!”

You’re so sweet! But hold on tight. We’re going after those two weird women, and I intend to catch them!”

She wasn’t sure that it would be possible to accelerate their seemingly fictitious flying broomstick any more, but when she tried, by closing her eyes and using part of her brain she may never have used before, she found that it was. She imagined speed, and found she had it. It crossed her mind that when she got home there were quite a few things she might imagine into existence, like a good hot bath and a muscled man rubbing her back with suds.

Any watcher on the ground would have been astounded at the sight of three witch-type broomsticks hurtling through the heavens like an out-take from a Harry Potter film and it was possibly a good thing that the area they were zooming over was sparsely populated. Nevertheless, the police, the BBC and the reigning monarch received enough alarmed calls to fill a notebook or two, and still more came to them from an inquisitive and possibly frightened public.

Has there been a war?” asked one caller, “one of those instantaneous ones in which our country was ravaged by alien witches, and will we all die in nuclear Armageddon?” was one of the better ones, along with “is this what it’s going to be like in the future, with foreigners making it impossible for aircraft to manoeuvre sensibly and us good Brits all grounded until the end of time?”

But there was neither war nor interference in the aeronautics industry, just two women, one of them well into her hundreds as the calendar works, and two private investigators racing through the deepening skies as the day began to end and night began to fall. And unnoticed by anyone except for a police motorcyclist on speeding duty, but on the ground was Blinky Curmudgeon in an electric Land Rover trying to keep up with his colleagues zooming round the clouds high above him. And as for Blinky, his eyes were functioning as well as ever at the moment, but he could never tell when things might change for the worse. As he would have told anyone close enough to hear, he was being dead brave.

It’s getting dark!” screamed Royston after a while.

That’s very observant of you,” replied Angelina, “and I think our prey is looking for somewhere to land. Look, the younger woman, Janie of the barmaid at the Ginger Nut fame, is circling round. Maybe this trip’s taken it out of her and she needs to rest.”

I hope she does soon,” shivered Royston, “now the sun’s gone in it’s getting cold.”

Don’t be such a wimp!” protested Angelina, “I’m the one wearing a mini skirt and the wind is whistling round my thong quite a bit...”

I did not want to know about your underwear!” protested Royston, knowing as he spat the words out that what he was saying was a million miles from the truth.

Angelina slowed down until it seemed they were barely moving and concentrated on trying to work out what the ancient Griselda and her niece Janie who seemed to be searching for somewhere to land by flying in ever decreasing circles, were up to.

In the end their quarry settled downwards and landed with a loud squawk that could have meant anything but sounded dreadful.

They’ve landed,” whispered Royston, barely loud enough for Angelina to hear.

What was that noise?” replied Angelina, “and pooh! What’s that smell! It’s worse than that time you got the wind and would have won a farting competition if there’d been one!”

It wasn’t my fault. It was the overcooked cabbage,” grunted Royston, a little peevishly.

Just you hang on and we’ll see what’s what,” decided Angelina, and she landed on a minor road a hundred yards or so from where the two women were clucking and cackling like two turkeys at their last Christmas Eve party.

Look: there’s a sign!” pointed out Angelina, “let’s move closer and see what it says. It might give a clue as to where we are.”

Royston climbed wearily off the rear of the broomstick and rubbed both cheeks of his backside ruefully. “I’ll look when I’ve got my legs to work,” he said, and he hobbled towards the scruffy notice board.


he read.

So that’s what the stink is,” replied Angelina, her voice muffled as a consequence of the large tissue she was holding against her nose.

And it seems to me that the two crones we were following are standing slap bang in the middle of it,” pointed out Royston, “the stink must be pretty foul where they are.”

They stared in the direction of Griselda and Janie who were stamping around as though they were walking on red hot cinders and at the same time still squawking loud and long, and if they were screeching words it was in a language that the two onlookers couldn’t understand.

It was then that there was an electric whining sound and Royston’s car pulled up slowly next to them its lights dim and its motor sounding weary enough to die. Blinky was at the wheel and he stared angrily at his two fellow Investigators.

What did you two clowns think you were doing, zooming off like that and leaving it to me to do the work by following you?” he demanded, “and what’s that terrible smell?” he added.

Land Fill,” replied Royston laconically, “and if you don't mind, we’ve been following the dentures. The older of the two women grabbed them when the other one dropped them, and they’re over there.” He pointed, “and we haven’t lost sight of them once, not since we took off following them.”

Then I’ll go and apprehend them,” decided Blinky, “you two be my back-up. You never know what tricks women like that carry up their skirts!”

I don't like to think about it,” muttered Royston.

Blinky pushed a gate open and marched into the field, seemingly oblivious to the conditions he found himself surrounded by. Within yards he found himself sinking several inches deep into what was little more than nauseating slurry and stinking ash.

Come on, then!” he called, and with a huge amount of reluctance his colleagues started following him.

The two women, Griselda Entwhistle and Janie Cobweb, seemed to be performing a comedy dance of their own design as they leapt about with their feet slurping into the toxic mess that was a landfill site that was somehow semi-liquid. In the distance were a group of heavy machines that, by day, levelled the contents of refuse bins that were emptied from waste collection vehicles.

I have it!” squawked Griselda.

Show me!” shrieked Janie.

No, no, it’s not it, it’s just the top of a baked beans tin! Keep looking!” howled Griselda.

What do you think they’re looking for?” asked Blinky.

Janie Cobweb heard him and looked up at him. Her brow was furrowed and there were tears in her eyes.

So you’ve come to mock us!” she said in a voice that Royston judged had about it the sound of evil.

Not at all,” replied Blinky, “we’ve just come for the diamond dentures that were stolen from our friend by you, and we won’t stop looking until you surrender them to us.”

What? Them gnashers? Is that what it’s all about?” screeched Griselda, “well, you loonies, they’re all yours! My niece was showing off, doing a loop-the-loop at a thousand feet, when they fell out of her gob, and they landed somewhere here. We can’t find them and to be quite honest I don’t think they’re worth the effort in all this stink. Come on Janie, let’s go home to a nice warm shower and bed. I’m shagged out!”

That’s the best thing you’ve said for weeks, auntie Griselda,” replied Janie, “last one home’s a sissy!”

And she grabbed hold of her broomstick and, in one easy move landed exactly on the right spot for a perfect take off.

G’night suckers!” croaked Griselda, following suit “help yourself to all this muck and you might find what you’re looking for, but I doubt it!”

© Peter Rogerson, 27.01.20

© 2020 Peter Rogerson

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on January 27, 2020
Last Updated on January 27, 2020
Tags: smell, landfill site, broomstick, stink


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 79 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..