New Horizons at the Blue Snail Convention

Blue Snails, Place des Spectacles, Montréal, July 2015

When Barry transmogrified into a blue snail he knew who was to blame: Alice. He was torn between admiration and fury. How amazing that she was able to turn a perfectly normal human being into a blue snail! But how infuriating that she’d chosen to use her special skill on him.

His first thought was to storm over to her place and beg her to change him back into a human but he wasn’t going to give her that satisfaction.

No, he’d Continue reading


Prunella Plume, in the Bedroom, with Sulphate of Zinc?


The devil is in the details.

Mrs. DeLacey was found in her bedroom at 08.28 by her housekeeper Dolores Pritchitt when she brought Mrs. DeLacey her morning coffee. On the bedside table were the cup containing the remains of Mrs. DeLacey’s hot chocolate and two digestive biscuits. Dolores Pritchitt says she knew mischief was afoot the moment she saw the digestive biscuits. Mrs. Delacey was not one to let a digestive biscuit go uneaten.

Prunella Plume is missing. So too is her new green car. IMG_5581

This much we know for a fact.

A quick deduction would lead us to the logical assumption that Prunella Plume was the perpetrator of this vile, heinous and despicable act.


Let us examine the details:

Item 1: The keys. Did Prunella Plume use them to let herself out of the house after committing the dastardly crime? If so, why did she go back inside to Continue reading

Walking Down Walls

Invisible Theater, Bristol

Looking up, he saw the girl half-open a window on the sixth floor, squeeze through it and walk down the wall to the street.

“The party was a bust,” she explained.

Her voice was flat, thin, a little nasal. He wondered if that was caused by her having walked down the wall. Resistance to gravity must surely have an effect on the nasal passages. She was extraordinarily pale under the streetlights.

“Do you need special shoes to do that?” he asked.

“Do what?” She walked with an easy stride that seemed to cover inordinate Continue reading

Cat of Malice

Alice snatched Mr. Sporratt’s cat when he went inside his house to fetch the clippers to trim his prize rose bush.

She was surprised at herself.IMG_4631

She knew she hated Mr. Sporratt’s cat, the way it sat on the wall staring at her, flicking its tail from side to side. She felt in her bones it was a cat of pure malice.

But there had been no plan to snatch the cat, no premeditation.

The problem was, now that she had Mr. Sporratt’s cat, what was she to do with it?

And why was it not trying to escape? Why was it Continue reading

No.6 – House of Ghosts

Door of number 6My house – number 6 – is a house of ghosts.

I know because when I turn around the old lady is standing there, right behind me.

“This is my house now.” I tell her firmly. “It’s time for you to go.”

I don’t want to be unkind but it’s very disconcerting to have someone, however insubstantial, wafting around, appearing when you least expect or want it. In the kitchen, when I’m experimenting with a complicated new recipe. In the bathtub, soaking in the fragrant foam. Changing a light bulb, teetering at the top of the stepladder, the little screws between my teeth, about to drop the glass cover.

Sometimes her husband comes with her. I assume he’s her husband. He’s a little more wizened, a little more stooped than her. He stays behind her, his shadowy body averted as though he’s embarrassed to be inconveniencing me like this. He’s showing me by his stance that he’s apologizing for this intrusion. I feel he wants me to know that she’s doing this against his advice, that it’s not his idea.

At least he has boundaries. He never appears when I’m in the bath. That really would be the limit. And he never appears alone. I suspect he is Continue reading

The Bundle of Spare Dreams

She has so many dreams. Far too many.

Surely she could spare a few for those less fortunate, who don’t have any at all?

This one she doesn’t need any more, the one about becoming a famous film star (with her teeth? stupid, stupid).

Nor this one about becoming a concert pianist (almost…no, nowhere near).

As for the dream about losing fifty pounds in four weeks, that dream has hardly been used. It’s as good as new. Someone could Continue reading

The Ecstasy of Jubilation Theory!

Hi! I’m Julie, Jubilation Facilitator, level 5, and I’m on breakfast duty right now, waiting for Mr. Joneses to come down.

I love being on breakfast duty.

“Where’s our ju-ju-jubilant face this morning?” I sing out as Mr. Joneses comes down the stairs.

He grabs his head in both hands and sags at the knees. I’m not discouraged. I’ve seen it before. That’s exactly what The Ecstasy of Jubilation Center (the Jube-Cube as we insiders call it) is here for.

“Remember Theory Number 3?” I take his elbow and allow a note of Continue reading

Pushing Through To The Back Of The Bus

When Terry begins scrolling through her phone, none of the photos she finds are hers.

Only seven this morning. That’s a blessing. Sometimes there are as many as two dozen. At first (two months ago? four? more?) she’d deleted them as quickly as they came in. But now she checks each one.

There’s never anything extraordinary or striking about the photos, nothing indecent that would prove embarrassing if the people in them were identified. In fact there are no people in them.

She’s done everything possible – changed her ID, the app, her password, had the store clean the phone and return it to factory default, and even bought a new phone. Still the photos keep coming.

And her photos?

She no longer takes photos. They don’t show up on her phone anyway. The only photos she sees are someone else’s.

She goes through the seven photos as she eats her bowl of cornflakes. Taken from Continue reading

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Parrott

She is a most admirable woman. Everyone says so. Always so kind and generous to those less fortunate. What charity! What munificence! What benevolence!

She picks the silver tea spoon up from the white tablecloth, polishes it with the linen napkin and smiles at her reflection in the spoon’s bowl. She really can’t think of anyone more deserving of admiration than herself.

She always thinks about this on Sundays for Sunday is the day she distributes her largesse.

Every Sunday she invites – she likes to think of it as ‘sponsoring’ – some impecunious young man to afternoon tea at Hotel Parrott.

This week’s fortunate fellow is a philosophy student. He’s clean, which has not always been the case with some of the young men.

How he’s tucking in! The cucumber sandwiches, the petits fours, the tarts, the scones, cream and jam.

More? she asks.

He can’t manage another mouthful but she urges him on. More! she says. More! More!

How grateful he’ll be, how he’ll thank her. That’s only right of course.

And as for him? He forces down the last cranberry scone and gazes through the window, admiring the blue rooster in the square. So proud and calm on his plinth.

More! she says, waving to the waitress to bring another plate of scones.



2016 is my Year of the Blurt. Each week I’ll try to take advantage of odd spare moments to write a quick Blurt which I’ll post Thursday mornings. Probably the Blurts will mostly be fiction, but who knows!

 Thank you for dropping by to read this week’s Blurt. It was inspired by the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Admiration.

The photo is of “Hahn/Cockerel” by Katharina Fritsch, Trafalgar Square, fall 2014.

Please note: all material on this website, except for comments by others, is © Susi Lovell

If Not The Ghost Man, Then Who?

I know Oliver claims to have been the first to see the ghost man, but in fact it was Tommy.

Tommy was heading home for breakfast with two brook trout he’d caught in the stream that meanders through the town when he caught sight of the ghost man emerging from the forest.

He’d wolfed down two helpings of french toast before he thought to mention the ghost man to his parents.

Word spread in no time. By elevenses there was quite a crowd in the park where the ghost man had installed himself on the bench beneath the big old oak.

No, that wasn’t the ghost man. This fellow was far too solid to be a ghost man. But if not the ghost man, then who?close-up of bannister finial

“The mushroom man!” said the mayor.

Of course! Of course!

The first thing they all noticed about the mushroom man was obviously that he was extraordinarily pale.

Of course he’d be pale, they told each other, with the forest so dense and tangled that no sunlight could penetrate. (But really, how would they know? Which of them had ever dared venture into the dark, dank, silent forest?)

The second thing was that he looked at them with eyes that saw more than they were comfortable with.

The third thing? That Continue reading