Chapter Nine (In which the plot develops….what do you mean ‘what plot??’)

‘What other parcel?’

‘Oh for goodness sake Phil, you had two parcels earlier, honestly I do worry about your memory, you’d forget your head if it was loose, remember that time you forgot you’d driven to work then caught the bus home and you had to go and get your car later and then there was the time you forgot where you worked and spent a whole day at another place because you were too embarrassed to walk out and then there was the time…’

‘Can I just stop you there?’ said Phil, and walked off into the other room. Phil was a big believer in allowing a writer to put in full stops and realised Paula wasn’t giving me chance. He’s good like that.

The parcel remained where Phil had left it. That surprised Phil. It might not surprise you as your parcels are not prone to getting up and wandering about the house on their own although that might be useful. Imagine, you get a parcel; it unwraps itself, disposes of the packaging, puts itself in place and gets itself ready to go. If it’s a pedal bin the latter is not as impressive as if it were a computer or a TV but still, you want it to happen now don’t you? Go on, admit it.

Anyway, the reason Phil was surprised wasn’t because his parcels had this tendency but because Paula had a tendency to move anything he left lying around, usually within seconds. Sometimes he only turned his head and it would be gone. This was particularly difficult if you were drinking tea for example, or reading or gluing bits of plastic together. Phil had forgotten some of the hobbies he’d attempted over the years as he’d never seen the things again. He had a vague collection of sticking some stamps in an album but then he’d gone to the toilet and it had been put away somewhere before he got back. He was sure he’d attempted painting at one point but he’d taken a ten second break to look out of the window and his palate of paints, canvas and easel had gone when he turned round. Where the hell had an easel gone? He still had the brush now and had it in his hand at the time so he was pretty sure all this had happened. Imagine if that had happened to Dali or Picasso he pondered. Or were they photographers?

Phil sat down then got up again to get the scissors to open the parcel, then he sat down again. He wasn’t surprised the scissors weren’t still by the parcel but thankfully he’d seen Paula put them away once and made a note of it. Apparently they had a desk in which such things were kept and it was a veritable cornucopia of stationery items when he opened it. There was the sellotape he’d used to wrap presents once, there was some glue marked Airfix, notepads and even some drawing pins. He remembered thinking what a wonderful idea it was to keep all these sort of things together but decided to test it out.

He secreted a knife and fork behind some elastic bands to see what happened and counted the remaining cutlery. He’d then gone to get the post from by the front door and when he came back the knives and forks were back in their proper place. He’d nodded to himself, muttered

‘I see…..’ and got on with his life……after scribbling in his notepad the things contained in the desk; and the cutlery drawer….what a bonus find that was! Who knew such a thing even existed?!?!

Back to the desk and, YES, there were the scissors placed neatly in a little pot with some pens and a ruler. And so, without further ado and waffling from me, Phil sat down and opened his second parcel of the day which was also his first parcel of the day as it was the first parcel that had arrived but the second because it was the second one he was opening as he had opened the second one first. I hope that’s clear as it will be important later on and given my writing style I am free to hammer home the important bits. Imagine if that had just been mentioned once and you’d missed it; what a turnip you would have felt later on! And if you’ve missed it this time I suggest you put down this book and take up staring at things instead.

Right, the parcel is being opened…what is it? What can it be? It’s another camera! Exactly the same as the first, definitely addressed to Phil and from the same sender as the other parcel.

‘Hello is that Willfield Camera Supplies? Yes, my name is Philip Jeynes and I received a camera from you today….yes I love it….thank you….took a fantastic picture actually…..yes very happy…..but, you appear to have sent me two. That’s not possible you say, you only had one in stock so there was no chance you could have sent two. No, it’s not from anyone else. It has your address on it, same as it does on the other one. Within two minutes of each other from the same delivery driver….who didn’t seem to remember his first visit funnily enough. Yes I know, crazy huh. It was your last one eh. I guess Christmas has come early then. Okay, if you’re sure, thank you. Errr, yeah…Merry Christmas to you too.’

‘Merry Christmas indeed’ Paula said as Phil hung up the phone. ‘You could sell it on ebay and….no, never mind….keep it…..we don’t want you on ebay again…..’

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About the author

Fresh from failing to be an actor, a singer and retaining a full head of hair Glyn is now attempting to be a photographer and a novelist. He has taken more pictures today than he has written words of his novel in the last six months. Some of them he regards as okay..

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