We haven’t had a guest writer for a while…..so following on from my piece on strange neighbours, I give you some very strange neighbours indeed.
If you write and would like to share your work here at rubiesandduels, please get in touch.
Enjoy this story..I did.
STEPHEN WRIGHT / CALL OF THE WILD
Bunty was not particularly liked at work. He didn’t particularly
like them. They continued to call him Bunty, a nickname he
acquired in his early days with Turgid, Turgid and Whitehead. It was
his ex-wife’s pet name for him and she was overheard calling him
Bunty, during an office party where spouses were invited. The name
stuck. Everyone from the boss down called him Bunty; dammit he
even thought of himself as Bunty. That is until he met Brenda from
accounts. She always calls him William and sixteen weeks ago she
became Mrs William Milkins. They moved into their new home
together two months ago, having sold their respective properties for
an excellent price, allowing them to move into leafy Hollingbrooke
Avenue. It had four bedrooms and a huge garden.
“Come on then Bunty, when’s the house-warming party?” said Bill
Pratley, enjoying watching William dither for a response.
“Yes not had my invite yet either.” Said Veronica Tate. “Brenda
says you’ve had a lot of work done on the house.” Egging on Tom
Banks, over by the photocopier to join in.
“Perhaps we’re not good enough, now you’ve up Hollingbrooke
Avenue, so come on Bunty you know you love us really.” Said
Banks a broad grin creasing his mean face.
William adjusted his tie, removed his spectacles, cleared his
throat and shocked them all.
“Well yes, we’ve made a few alterations, how does next week
sound, say Saturday, 8 o’clock suit you.
“What really, right oh Bunty; I’ll bring some champers.
“Just you three mind and your partners of course. Don’t tell
“Scout’s honour” said Bill Pratley – I’ll bring someone, not saying
it’ll be the wife mind you.” He laughed winking at Tom Banks.
“Well I’m looking forward to it.” said Veronica Tate. “I’ve spoken
to Brenda about soft furnishings and Kitchen fittings, I bet she’s
taken my advice about that Bosch dishwasher and those beautiful
Sofas from John Lewis and exquisite bed linen. We’ll need the grand
tour when we arrive on Saturday Bunty.”
And indeed Veronica was first to arrive that Saturday night, while
her husband parked the car she rang the doorbell. William opened
the door and Veronica gasped at what she saw. William was naked
except for a lion-cloth and a scabbard at his side.
“Welcome” he said just as her husband caught up. William
opened the door wide, and they both gasped. The house was
completely gutted. No walls, no ceilings, no beautiful John Lewis
soft furnishings, no Bosch dishwasher, just three gigantic tree
trunks, stripped of foliage their twisting branches reaching up to the
rafters and stretching into every corner of the house.
At the very top of the centre trunk was Brenda, also naked apart
from the skin of an antelope wrapped around her. She swung down
to them on one of the many hanging vines.
“Hello Veronica, and this must be your husband, Jerry.”
“Err yes, hello Bbbrenda.”
“She’s not called Brenda here at home, she Jane, me Tarzan”
said William, hands on hips, legs slightly parted, his large hairy gut
hanging over the top of his loin-cloth, Brenda simpering at his side,
toying with the handle of William’s scabbard.
It was then when the other two couples arrived, who also stood
slack-jawed as they slowly walked into the house.
“Bunty, what the hell…”said Bill.
“Not Bunty, not Brenda, Me Tarzan, she Jane. “Drinks?” he said.
“Yeah, OK.” Said Tom at the back of the group, staring all around
him, what you got?”
“Dandelion and Burdock.” And with that thrust a hollowed out half
a coconut shell into their hands as Brenda skipped around with the
bottle of D and B pouring.
“No expense spared hey Bunty, I mean Tarzan.” said Bill.
“Can you show me the little girl’s room?” asked Veronica.
William handed her a spade.
“Out there” he said opening the French windows. “I’ve fed the
lions so you should be alright.” Just then a young Gazelle cantered
up to the house. “Oh it’s Valerie.” Said Brenda.
“Jane, I’ve told you before stop giving the animals names.”
“Yes, but don’t you think she looks like a Valerie Tarzan?”
“These are wild animals, calling the boa-constrictor Barry was bad
enough, now you’ve given our Sunday lunch a name.”
Veronica interrupted Tarzan and Jane’s first argument.
“A spade, bloody lions…”
“Oh yes” said William. “Don’t worry the Maasi hunt most of
“The bloody who?”
“The Maasi warriors, a beautiful people, that’s their drums you
can hear now. Did you know in drought conditions, they drink the
blood of their cattle, cutting it’s throat in a certain way that the
beast survives – a proud and noble race.
“In your back garden you have, lions, bloody deer”
“Technically it’s not a deer it’s an antelope….”
“I don’t care actually, and a bloody tribe of savages…”
“Just use the spade woman, do you want a spear for protection?”
He tossed her a spear, closed the French windows and went back to
the others. The lions continued to roar, they were not far away.
When Veronica hadn’t returned after an hour, the other guests
began to get nervous, particularly Veronica’s husband…”
“Look Tarzan, whatever you are bloody called where’s my wife?’
“Well we could organize a search party.,” said William.
“I’m not bloody going out there,” said Tom and Bill chiming in
“Yeah, she’s your wife.”
“Some work colleagues you are, where’s your guts?”
“Here inside, not spread over the bloody Serengeti out there.
“We are all going out to search,” said William, “we have to. About
this time of night the vampire bats fly in here to roost, the safest
place is in the bush, follow me.” They all trooped out into the
garden. They found Veronica’s bloody corpse just a few feet from a
partially dug hole, half of her eaten. Jungle noises echoed around
them and then a rush of bat wings as hundreds of vampire bats
flew towards the house. In the undergrowth Tarzan and Jane
managed to loose the others. The Maasi drums continued to
beat and Jane slowly crept up to Tarzan and whispered.
“This will do for the Lions feed this week, who can we invite next
“Your quite friendly with that hairdresser and his wife aren’t you?”