The Blue Cap Coup
Whilst the police continue to investigate the events of the 8th January 2018 at the Blue Cap Hostelry in Sandiway, I feel it behoves me to offer this version of the truth.
This was to be a special meeting of the august and revered Vale Royal Writers’ Group. Some ‘person’ had suggested that instead of taking up part of the meeting with our usual writing exercise, we should instead perform said exercise in a solitary fashion as ‘homework’ to be done in advance of the meeting.
There was therefore a degree of tension in the room even before the events as related below began to unfold. People looked from face to face, smiling nervously, trying to ascertain who had been swotty enough to produce something in advance.
The exercise itself was a cracker. Choose a character and then write a short piece featuring them – but with all their normal attributes reversed. For example, Ian Rankin’s Rebus would be a devout teetotaller who always did everything strictly by the book.
The meeting started on time as normal, with our beloved Captain Bob welcoming us all before moving on to a discussion of the exercise. And that is when two things happened that suddenly changed the whole course of the evening.
The first thing was that Bob decided that all us bad people should be given ten minutes at the start of the meeting to have a go at the exercise. (Take that, Swots!)
The second thing was that the question was posed as to whether the character in the exercise had to be fictional or not. The decision was that the character did not have to be fictional.
And that is when everything changed, and suddenly there was a nauseating sensation of tumbling from a great height as the faces around the table and the room itself seemed to wink in and out of existence until suddenly it was ten minutes earlier and…
Feet were shifting under the table. Joyce looked meaningfully at Tom who shrugged and made a face, as he was often wont to do. She turned to Bob and coughed, tapping her watch.
Bob looked up from his notebook and smiled. “Oh! Have you got a smartwatch too, Joyce? I must say I do find mine very useful… once I’ve managed to tap it to wake it up!”
Joyce sighed and shook her head sadly. “It’s twenty-to-eight, Bob. Don’t you think it’s time we…”
Bob clasped his hand to his brow. “Oh, the meeting! I’m so sorry, everyone! I was just composing one of my love poems for the anthology.”
Bill leered. “Is that dirty dominatrix woman in it?” he asked.
“Now just stop there, Bill,” Bob said primly. “I will have you know that I have left that embarrassing period of my life behind me. I’m more into fluffy little lambs and hosts of daffodils and murmurations of starlings nowadays.”
Joyce banged her bottle of Budweiser on the table. “We really ought to start the meeting NOW, Bob!”
Bob took a sip of his sparkling mineral water and daintily wiped his lips with a monogrammed silk handkerchief. “I don’t know, Joyce,” he mused. He looked enquiringly around the assembled writers. “Does anyone want to have a meeting?”
“Oh, for goodness sake!” thundered Joyce. “What’s happened to you, man?”
“I have become a better person,” he said.
“Bollocks!” said Joyce, as she wrestled Bob to the floor and applied a strangulation lock worthy of Mick McManus.
“But I wanted to read my poem!” he cried with his last gasp.
So there you have it.
I have heard that Joyce has claimed that she was not even at the meeting, and that Tom supports her in this. But then they would say that, wouldn’t they?
With the exception of myself, this is clearly a deeply disturbed group of people.
If you think you would fit in, we meet on the first Monday of each month in the Blue Cap in Sandiway, except when it falls on a Bank Holiday when we slide forward a week.
Or back, depending on how we feel.