A piece of guest whimsy

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.


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

anyone else.”

“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?”

replied Tarzan.


About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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