Community Spirit – Episode 34

NATE cleared the empty glasses from the near-side of the green as the bowls team had a friendly post-match drink with their opponents.

He chatted to those he recognised and smiled at those from outside the village before Arthur stopped him to ask how things were going.

Nate answered positively, but avoided the direct question of whether the brewery had got back to him about serving food.

On the other side of the green, Fergus appeared at the front of the Goose clutching some large white envelopes and made a beeline for the group. He handed them out to those with their name on front.

“Should be the best night Much Mucklebury has ever seen,” he crowed as the men and women pulled out the contents of the envelopes.

“Oh, I’m Lady Muck!” one lady from Arthur’s bowls team cried, revealing her character name for the murder mystery evening.

“And I’m Screaming Lord Much,” a man put in.

“Now, now,” Fergus began. “You can share your characters, but don’t reveal any other details before the night. We don’t want to spoil the fun. There won’t have been such a death in Much Mucklebury since the Mucklebury Arms gasped its last!”

Beside Nate, Arthur took a step forward, muttering under his breath. Nate put a hand on his shoulder.

“Only joking, Arthur,” Fergus said. “But we all know the Arms is on borrowed time!”

Arthur took another step towards Fergus.

“Now, listen here . . .”

Nate stepped in front of him.

“It sounds like a great evening, Fergus. I’m sure everyone will have fun.”

“Shame you didn’t think of the idea first, eh?” Fergus laughed.

“Not at all.”

“You may as well take the night off, seeing as everyone will be over at ours.”

The group started to look uncomfortable at the turn of the conversation.

The opposing bowls team looked confused, and the locals seemed embarrassed to be in the middle.

Nate caught the mood.

“Now, Fergus, let’s not make it a choice between the Goose and the Mucklebury Arms.”

“Oh, but it is,” Fergus replied, turning to leave. “And they chose us.”

Nate returned to the bar to find a customer waiting.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “Have you been waiting long?”

“Not at all. I parked at the back and came through the beer garden, I hope that was OK?”

“Of course,” Nate assured the man. “I’m sorry, I was out the front. If I

had realised you were here –”

The man held up his hand to stop him.

“Don’t trouble yourself. In fact, I was watching you talk to Fergus through the window.”

“You know Fergus?” Nate asked, pouring a half from the pump.

“I do. And I know you by reputation.”


“Let me introduce myself. I’m Richard White, area manager for the Invicta Brewery.”






Alison Cook