Tomcat Tompkins – 40

This novel is something a little different for me. It is a satire set in the UK at the present moment. There are striking parallels between these days and the 1930s. There’s a lot of racist people around who are crawling out of the woodwork as they have been encouraged by the implications of the Brexit vote.

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Thanks, Doc, a Japanese machine recording England’s finest, how dare they? That makes me annoyed, y’know.” Tompkins hit his open hand with a balled fist, causing the chandelier to sway.

“Well, it’s no longer doing so, Tomcat, so that’s something.”

“I’ll send the card off to Getty Spinks in East London, he’ll tell me where the damned thing was purchased and who bought it. Is there anything else in the bag?”

“Nothing much, just some alternative footwear, outside shoes, two pairs.”

“Some of them walked here,” said Tompkins, “rather than getting a taxi or dropping off the roller with the valet service, the scoundrels.”

Suddenly, a smart white pigeon with blue tinges on its wings, landed on the table and pecked at some imaginary specks of food.

“Hell, a friend’s finest pigeon has landed on me table at The Glitz Bar,” said Tompkins, “who’d have thunk it, eh Dr. Black?”

“There’s no shortage of surprises on a night out with you.”

“You can tell this is one of hers, because of the colour scheme, virginal white with blue leading edges on the wings, let’s see what the message is.” Delicately for such a big, strong man Tompkins unclasped the small casket containing the message, unscrewed the top, and read out loud the words on the high-class parchment: ‘Message received old boy. Am on my way. Let’s see what he says.’

“Sounds like someone will be undertaking a rite of passage, Tomcat,” observed Dr. Black, tilting his head to one side.

“Very much, Dr. Black, he will undergo a trial, though it won’t feel like one, in fact it might well be the opposite of one, he will have a smile on his face, that’s for sure, but if he says the wrong things then he won’t die with a smile on his face, but it will be a recent memory as he fades out of sight into whatever comes to us after this life.”

“Sounds serious, is it necessary, though?”

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