Sitting in the shade of the trees outside the pub Anon Penship waved his finger once again at Lucy.

"I tell you I'm the greatest scribbler of all time. There can be no doubt about it. I'm appreciated like no other scribbler ever has been. Just look at the comments I get. People are queing up just to be able to access my website."

Lucy looked at her longtime friend and smiled. She'd known Anon for a long, long time. She wasn't surprised at this clearly exagerated statement. That's just the way he was, it was part of his makeup. Who was she to undeceive him.

Anon saw the faint smile and immediately went back on the defensive.

"You don't believe me, Lucy. You never do."

"It's not that I don't believe you. With you things change so often. All those many years ago when we met at school, you were the greatest rugby player the school had ever seen. You even convinced the sports' teacher. But your one try that season did somewhat belie your reputation, even if, as you keep reminding me, it was the greatest ever in the history of the school."

I looked at her stone-faced and reflected on whether I'd ever invite her out for a drink again.

"After that, it was woodwork, then speaking French and all because that smart-looking assistant said you had such a cute accent. And the list goes on. And right now, you're the greatest scribbler the world has ever seen with hundreds of publications to your name. So what!"

"You mean to say I'm good for nothing." Anon was close to tears.

"Of course, not. There are hundreds of things you do really well. You're just not necessarily the very, very best." She could see Anon smiling between the tears. "Besides," she continued, leaning forward and taking his hand, "there are two things where you really are the best."

At those words the sun broke out on the troubled face opposite her.

"Well, you really think so?"

"Yes, of course! Without a shadow of a doubt, you're the greatest bragger I've ever met."

Anon contemplated this in silence for a long time. He was unsure whether it was all that much of a compliment.

"You did say two things," he muttered shyly.

Lucy's eyes started to dance as she saw him hanging on his very words. Slowly and deliberately she replied, "You are the most generous person I know, especially when it comes to buying your friends
a drink"

Now who could resist a compliment like that?


Dear Reader, do you want to show Lucy that I really the greatest scribbler of all time. If so, just leave a comment on this scribble. We'll be going out for a drink Tuesday evening and if I can show her a few thousand comments by then, maybe she'll be convinced. Here's to hoping.


Simon stepped through the door and inhaled deeply. He looked up at the sky, then all around before walking slowly, deliberately the few hundred yards to the tow-path beside the canal. Here he stopped, lay down and spent the next thirty minutes virtually immobile, staring up into the sky.

Getting up again he continued on his way, ignoring the few passers-by and paying little attention to anything but the difference between the multiple varieties of flora on the verge beside him.

Arriving at the lock he tried clambering onto the operating bridge. Just four days ago he'd have had no problem with this, but now his back was aching, obviously as a result of the cramped up prison conditions he had had to suffer. He made it eventually and stared into the shallow waters below him. A voice rung out and for the first time Simon acknowledged the presence of a fellow human being. After a brief exchange the voice petered out and Simon looked out from all four sides of the operating bridge into the world around. A few minutes later he clambered down and began the walk back along the path the way he had come, picking up pace the closer he got to the village. By the time he reached the turnstile that marked the start of the village he was walking at his usual brisk pace. Simon had once again entered the land of the living.


Let's be honest, I was glad to see the back of them. It wasn't just their swearing but the way they mistreated all and everything in sight. Oh yes, I'd realised from the start that I'd be misused, and strangely enough that didn't worry me; not if it meant Abdul could shake them off his heels. That's why I let him write that fake message on my back. In fact, I was quite proud he considered me worthy of hiding that message for a time. Of course, it wasn't really hiding. I had to make sure they found it sooner or later, but mustn't seem to keen on letting them know, otherwise they might have smelt a rat. Well, it worked a treat. They came in and turned the place upside down; angry and scornful they started shouting and swearing at each other. I couldn't understand much of what they were saying but then I didn't really want to. Once they started drinking things became worse and I could only hope this torture wouldn't last much longer. Then one of them, grabbed hold of the pencil hanging down by some string from one of the tacks used to hang me up. I don't know what it was he wanted to write but before he had the chance, his colleagues were all on him at once. If there was a pencil, then there must be some paper, and pencil and paper together meant a secret message. In a matter of seconds I was torn in two and the soldiers were pouring over the words that were to lead them off on a wild goose chase. They took just a few minutes to gather together their few belongings and before long they were marching off into the distance. I wished them the success of their chase; at least so much success that they wouldn't think of coming back.


It's a strange phenomenon and one I'd never thought possible. Perhaps it only happens to those of a delicate nature. You're accused, you know you're innocent. And yet, you rack your mind to find what you could have done to warrant the accusation. I was taken away without an inkling as to what I was being charged with, or why the police felt I was the guilty one. But during the short trip to the police station my mind came up with at least three reasons for my incarceration. Of course, in reality, I hadn't yet been charged with anything. For the moment I was just being taken in for questioning. And it didn't take me long to discover why.

"Mr. Brightwell, we've invited you here to discover what happened to the funds attributed by the Regional Development Council to the Espace Loisirs centre of which, if my sources are correct, you are the current director."

I looked at him stupidly and bumbled a few words, not quite sure what to answer.

"Mr. Brightwell, you are I believe the director of the said centre."

I nodded in reply, only succeeding in exasperating my interrogator still further.

"Mr. Brightwell, kindly reply to my questions audibly, if you don't mind. If this continues, I shall be obliged to note down your lack of cooperation; something I'm sure neither of us wish for."

As to whether or not he wished to do such a thing, I had serious doubts, however I certainly didn't want to antagonise him further. So I volunteered all the information I had, which was, in fact, next to nothing. It seems the Regional Council, enthusiastic about our attempts at setting up a popular cultural centre had in fact accorded us a large grant. This money was to help us set up an art house studio cinema, something we'd been hoping to do for a long time, but as yet had no money to do so. I was most certainly unaware that any such funds had been attributed to us for this purpose. The inspector explained that no trace of this money had been found during the annual audit of the centre's books and the powers that be wanted to know why and what had happened to it. My flight - this was the interpretation the inspector attached to our sudden impromptu trip - to Ireland, apparently just minutes before this discovery had been made, had hardened suspicions against me. The inspector himself had no doubt as to my guilt. His only wish now was to discover to what extent my fellow executives, as he termed us, were also involved in the fraud. It seems both Thérèse and Jean had previously been taken in for questioning and only released because of lack of evidence. This evidence, the inspector now hoped to get out of me before throwing all three of us into jail with the greatest of pleasure.

I replied in all honesty that I knew nothing whatsoever about such funds. I had never been informed about the council's decision, had never taken receipt of the money and had certainly never touched one single centime of what had been promised.

"You'll have to do better than that, Mr. Brightwell. If you want to go down on your own, then just carry on in the same fashion. But if you tell me the truth, then maybe I can help you."

"You mean if I lie to you about my friends..."

Well, I guess given the situation that really wasn't the most diplomatic thing to say. The result was all too predictable. I was charged with fraud and taken back to my cell, where I spent the next 4 days and nights waiting and wondering, accusing myself of all possible crimes and convinced that sooner or later evidence enough would come up to convict - despite my innocence. So I was surprised when the next time I saw the inspector he informed me I was being released. I felt so jaded that I had to get him to repeat the fact to me twice.

"I see you're still using the same tactics, Mr. Brightwell. But there's no need for that now. I only hope you've been treated well during your time as a guest of his majesty. No hard feelings, now!"

S uch an amazing playwright
H as never lived on earth.
A ll the time I sit here wondering how such
K nowledge was ever acquired.
E ventually, one may
S urpass such sublime
P laying
E nough of sacrilege
A nother will never reach emotion with such depth as
R omeo or Rosalind or
E dgar.

In Prison

Prison is not conducive to words; just to one vindictive question after another thrashing around effortlessly in my mind. Too confused to sort them out, too tired to write them down. No problem, I'll still be here next week.

Let's Eat!

"Adam, you know that tree in the middle of the garden."

"You mean the one next to the tree of life."

"That's right. You know we always thought it's fruit wasn't very good because it didn't shine like the others. Well, I've been having another look at it, and I'm not sure that it's so bad, after all. I was thinking..."

"But you know God told us not to eat from that tree. He expressively forbade it."

"But why do you think, he forbade it."

"I don't know, I suppose he thought it wouldn't do us any good. Besides, there's really no point talking about this. We've got far more than enough to eat as it is. Why do you want to look elsewhere."

"Well, I've been thinking... What if..."

"What if what. There's nothing to think about. God said no, and no it is. After all, he not only created us, but he's the one who looks after us every day and look at all the good things he gives us."

"But whose word do we have for that? How do we not that God is so good as he makes out."

"What's got into you? You never used to be like this."

"Well, I've been talking to..."

"You've what? Who have you been talking to? There's no one else here. What on earth have you been up to?"

"I've been talking to someone much older than us. And much wiser too. He must be some kind of special creature. He's been around for ages and ages and he knows all about God. He says..."

"I don't believe you're really saying this. What has got into you"

"It's the serpent. He's one of those special creatures from way back when. He's been explaining so many interesting things. According to him, God isn't all that good to us, after all. He just pretends to be that way, so he can keep us in our place. That way, we'll never develop to our full potential. Don't you realise Adam, the whole world is beckoning and we can make a real mark upon it. But to do that we have to break free. We have to assert our independance. It's the only way."

"You mean it's up to us to forge our own destiny."

"That's it. Once we've eaten the fruit, then nothing more can hold us back. We can decide for ourselves what's right and what's wrong. We can set our very own standards."

"Do you know, strange as this may seem, but that's sort of what God himself told us, when he explained about the tree. If we eat it, we ourselves will know what's right and wrong."

"Well, then what are you waiting for? Here's the fruit."

"Thanks! It looks... But, why is there already a bit missing?"

One of my jobs is Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). And with some groups I enjoy making up little texts where some words are mixed up. They have to find the words and put them back in the right place. With more advanced groups they also have to note down the misplaced words and rearrange them. So how about it. Read the scene below and tell me what I really want to say today. In keeping with our theme, there are only eight words.

Ruth never gets up before eight o'clock. Her husband has already left, so she feels days. The weather is five. She looks for her earrings. They're friend. "Where did I put them last night. Lonely bus will be leaving soon." She hurries out of the flat and meets her miserable, Jayne at the bus stop. Jayne and Ruth work in the same office. They've known each other since they were more. They arrive ten minutes later at the office. Ruth goes straight to her desk, but Jayne needs one missing cup of coffee before she begins. She's getting married soon, and she's counting the my before the big event.

Apart from the usual and in my opinion, deliberate, British Airways problems of minor delays and difficulty locating luggage our journey home went well. Had we known what was awaiting us, we may have wished for further delays. By the time we got back to my flat, we were both tired and hungry - the meal on the plane having had little effect in nourishing our bodies - so without much thought, we decided to go out for dinner and then an early night. Morgana was just freshening herself up, when the doorbell rang. I opened the door only to be confronted by a policeman, not our local officer, but someone from the judicial police in the city. At the same time the phone rang and I called out to Morgana to get it.

"Excuse me, Sir, but are you Mr. Simon Brightwell."

"Yes officer. What can I do to help you?"

"And are you the director of the Espace Loisirs cultural centre in this town?"

"Yes, I am!" I replied, beginning to wonder where all this was going to lead. Just at that moment, Morgana came out.

"Simon! It's Guillaume on the... Oh..., I see I'm too late."

I looked from her to the police officer and back to Morgana. "Would someone please tell me what's going on here. And what did Guillaume want?"

"He wanted to..."

"I regret to inform you, Sir that I have here a warrant for your arrest on suspicion of fraud. I shall have to ask you to accompany me to the station, if you please."

"What! I... I..."

"If you'll kindly come with me Sir, we can go to the station and continue this interview there. I need hardly remind you, that should you fail to comply we have ways of enforcing the warrant. And I should also inform you of your right to have a lawyer or other person of confidence present at the interview."

"Morgana, you stay here. But get back to Guillaume and tell him what's going on. Ask him to come down to the police station. He's got to intervene; urgently."

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