Corona Revisited

I wrote this multipart short story a while ago. I’m planning on including it in a my latest book of short fiction, as something a bit different.

Before I do, I wondered if a few of you might read it and let me know what you think? Does it makes sense? Does it flow. Are you left wondering? It’s just under 15,000 words. I’m not looking for a detailed commentary, just a general sense.

Ideally, I’d garner your views by the end of May.

If that appeals, please mail me or use the contact button above.

And here’s the start if you need tempting.


‘Well, I’ll be blowed.’

Janice Scrutt stuck her head through the loft hatch. ‘What is it, Roger?’

Roger Scrutt pulled a dusty black leather box out from behind the water tank. ‘Dad’s old typewriter. I thought Mum said she’d got rid of it.’

Janice climbed down the ladder, muttering just loud enough for Roger to hear, ‘When did she ever get rid of something?’

Roger’s grinning face appeared through the hole. ‘Hey, that’s my mother you’re accusing of being an incorrigible hoarder.’ He reached down, the old case hanging from his fingers. ‘Here you go.’

As she reached up, dust and debris fell on her face. ‘Geez.’

He laughed. ‘There’s probably some of Dad in that dust.’

Wiping her tongue on her sleeve, she felt close to throwing up. ‘Oh great. I’ve ingested your dad.’ She dropped the case by her feet. ‘You will get rid of this, won’t you?’

‘Course.’ His voice already sounded distant and, to her ears, insincere.

When, half an hour later, it was still where she’d left it, Janice sighed and carried it to the heap of rubbish that was growing exponentially.

Four hours later, Roger locked the front door to his mother’s house and climbed into the driver’s seat. He leant across to kiss his wife. ‘Thanks for helping.’ He licked his lips. ‘You even taste of Dad.’

‘Stop it. I’ll need counselling.’ Janice groaned as she took in her grime-encrusted jeans and hands. ‘Wine. I need wine.’ She settled back into her seat for a snooze. She’d be pleased when the dirty old mausoleum was empty and sold. Whatever Roger said, not all his memories were ones to cherish.

Janice woke with a start, momentarily disorientated. They were home. She climbed out and stretched. Roger had his head buried in the boot.  

‘Do you want to make us a drink while I empty this lot?’

‘Oh no.’ Playfully, she elbowed him out of the way. ‘I’ll empty the car, thank you. I know you. You’ll have tried to sneak something past me.’

He held up his hands in mock surrender. ‘Not guilty, your honour!’ He grinned and headed for the house.

She tugged the cardboard box of his old books to her; even her ruthless decluttering instincts hadn’t been sufficient to deny him these. As she pulled, something fell over. Peering behind the box, she mouthed, ‘You sod, Roger Scrutt,’ and dropped the box onto the drive. The old typewriter case lay on its side. Oh no, not on your nelly.  Leaving the books, she hefted the typewriter to the rubbish bin and dropped it inside. Grinning, she thought, Roger Scrutt, you will pay for that deception.


Monday mornings were always chaotic. While Roger knotted his tie with one hand and buttered toast with the other, Janice read her overnight mails as she applied lipstick.

‘Can you put out the bins? I forgot last night.’

She scowled at him and then stuck out a tongue. ‘If you feed Mandela. Oh, and refresh his water.’

Twenty minutes later, she headed outside, swinging her car keys around a finger. She nearly forgot the bins; spinning on her heels, she hauled them to the road. Why the bloody bin men couldn’t walk the few yards to fetch them she would never understand.

She had half-turned back to the car when a thought occurred to her. She opened the lid and peered inside. Oh, you tricky man.  The old typewriter had gone. Right. She headed back inside and for the garage. If she knew her husband, she knew where she’d find it.

Sure enough, it sat on the bench. He hadn’t even tried to hide it. The arrogance. Tonight, she would give him so much grief. She smiled to herself. And then they could make up… She picked up the case and hefted it out to the bin.


Two days later, Roger sat in his ground floor office at home, studying the weeds in the garden. His father never allowed a weed to show its face; it was like a personal insult. He shut his eyes and saw his father, the back of his neck reddened from the sun and effort as he cursed the weeds out of the beds. Funny, Roger thought, Dad spent hours in that garden and never expressed any joy at his achievements, never once sat and enjoyed it. He didn’t garden, Roger realised; he wrestled plants. WWF: William Wrestling Foliage.

Roger sighed. Normally, working at home was a pleasure, but today all he had were memories. He should begin that family history he had promised himself. Unable to settle, he headed for the kitchen and coffee.

The door to the garage was open. Had it been open earlier? Maybe, but still, he’d better check. A cursory glance showed doors and windows all shut; he turned to leave when he spotted it: the old typewriter case, all clean. Janice, you sneaky little minx, he thought. She’d given him grief about it and here it was. Carefully, almost reverently, he eased back the lid. She’d cleaned the old Corona and replaced the ribbon. A crisp new sheet sat in the roller, “Write Me” neatly typed in the centre. Ha, so she wanted him to write that history, too. Who was he to argue?

Lifting the case, he hurried back to his desk. He’d start it, surprise her with it. His work could wait.

He opened the case and took out the typewriter to put on the desk. The foot caught on the base and lifted it. Intrigued, Roger picked at the corner until it came loose. There were some closely typed sheets hidden beneath, which he pulled out.  The heading made him start – this is for you, Roger – and his hands shook slightly as he read.


Roger was so engrossed he didn’t notice the shadow, nor hear the slight click. When the hand touched his shoulder and he looked round, he couldn’t comprehend what he saw. He clutched at his chest, the pain almost unbearable.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in short story and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Corona Revisited

  1. Darlene says:

    I like what I’ve read so far.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sadje says:

    Oh wow! Interesting and intriguing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. noelleg44 says:

    Ooo, very spooky. I need to read on….great beginning.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You’ve tempted me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ritu says:

    I’d be up for it His Geoffleship, you know that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JT Twissel says:

    So easy to lose yourself at a typewriter, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. willowdot21 says:

    I am definitely up for reading Geoff 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tootlepedal says:

    It draws you in.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed reading that. You carried me all the way through to the end. It’s a nice mystery story, Geoff, which has me asking many questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. V.M.Sang says:

    I like it. I’m intrigued already.
    Just one little point. How can you do up a tie with one hand?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pam Lazos says:

    Nice beginning! Happy to read if you still need it, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.