This week Moville writer Sharon Thompson shares another tale exploring the life of local people.
Each Sunday this series will showcase works of literature written by local women for readers to enjoy.
Sharon first introduced us to the 68-year-old gentleman who is looking for love and life again, following the death of his wife Milly in the first instalment of this excellent short story series, when he went golfing with his close friend Malcolm.
Since then, Sharon has given us a deeper insight into Arthur’s family life when he paid a visit to his son and daughter-in-law’s home on Crescent Close, and Arthur was left feeling red-faced when his friend Malcolm discovers the contents of Arthur’s recent spending spree at the pharmacy. Last week, Arthur attended a computer class and was left feeling slightly hot and bothered when he encountered the subject of his daydreams.
This week, he gets in hot water with his teacher when she overhears a cheeky conversation.
All Arthur Needs: Part Five
The week goes painfully slow for Arthur. It takes forever to get to Monday night’s computer class again and the rain hasn’t stopped all week, making it feel more and more wintery and miserable.
‘The weather must’ve kept some of the older boys indoors tonight?’ Arthur is trying to make polite conversation as Sky looks at the empty seats in the class. ‘Some of them old boys probably think they’ll melt in this rain.’ He chuckles, trying to sound strong and masculine.
‘I think some of them might be at the funeral of their dear friend.’ Sky’s eyes are slits and show lines at the sides that Arthur hasn’t noticed before.
‘Oh,’ says Arthur, ‘a funeral.’
‘Who croaked it now?’ Malcolm is back from the toilet.
‘I’m not sure who croaked it.’ Sky is standing firm and glaring. ‘But I know it was a dear friend of Johnny’s.’
Sky’s trousers stop at her ankles and show slim feet and shapely calves through the fabric.
Her shoes look new and are flat with gold buckles. Arthur’s shame makes him look at them for a time. Concentrating when the class starts Arthur is determined to make a twitter account in an hour.
‘You’ve been very quiet tonight,’ Malcolm says.
‘I’m thinking about who might’ve died? A dear friend of Johnny’s? We know most of his friends.’
‘Some old pal?’ Malcolm is tapping away on the keypad.
‘But why would half the class be at the funeral?’
‘At least Sky’s had time to tend to our needs tonight.’ Malcolm is looking smug. ‘I’m following Stephen Fry and the Pope on twitter!’
‘What does one say to ump their profile? Like when, you’re a retired bank manager and a boring old fart?’ Arthur scratches his bald head.
‘You could make summit up?’
‘Like what? Horny, widower looking for a good time?’
‘Arthur, I think that is wholly inappropriate talk for this class!’ Sky’s eyes are doing that witchy-squinty look.
‘I didn’t write that Sky. I was only …’
‘That really is enough now! You two are like bold boys.’ She storms off to help a few other students who are smirking.
‘If we’re bold, do you think she might spank us?’ Malcolm whispers and doesn’t look like he’s joking.
‘Will you stop. You just get me into trouble every Monday.’
‘Any luck with the women in general?’ Malcolm hisses.
‘Will you be quiet, we’ll get kicked out of Computer Class and then there’ll be no chance of me finding out how to work the internet to my advantage.’
‘Any word on Cathy and Martin? How are things there?’
‘Not great. Affairs aren’t good for family life, Mal. I’m off to see them tomorrow night.’
‘Do they know of your love quest?’
‘Course not. It’s bad enough that Sky thinks I’m a pervert.’
‘I don’t think you’re a pervert, Arthur. I just think you need to behave,’ Sky says loudly and some of the men whoop a bit.
‘She’s definitely into being bossy,’ Malcolm whispers and winks as he clicks to follow Miriam O’Callaghan on twitter.
Sharon is the co-founder of #WritersWise a trending, writers’ tweet-chat (www.writerswise1.wordpress.com).