Today’s offering is a brand new little story featuring the Reverend Pontius, one of my endearing Larus Series characters:
‘Ah, this oppressive heat!’ said the Reverend Pontius, fanning himself with his hat. It was a moment before he realised he was not wearing his hat and was actually fanning himself with his wig.
He didn’t often bother with the wig, saving it for Sunday sermons and special occasions. But today was Sunday and there was the wig. His own hair, rather sparse these days, was damp with the heat and his scalp prickled as it dried. The Reverend stepped into the shade of a stone wall and regarded the wig doubtfully. It was of a very old-fashioned style, and looking a little moth-eaten these days, but it did add a certain gravitas to his sermons. Or, rather, he hoped it did. Would it be acceptable to leave it off, he wondered, at least until the weather should break? He looked up, hoping for a hint of a distant storm-cloud, but the sky remained obstinately blue from horizon to horizon. Very inconsiderate of it, the Reverend thought, mopping his brow with a handkerchief. Why was there never a convenient cloud when you needed one?
He thrust his hands into his coat pockets in annoyance, and found, in each, a mothball. How did they get there? The Reverend did not know, but surely, nay certainly, this was a clear sign from the Spirit of the Sky. Wigs were best kept for winter and should be safely mothballed at this season!
The Reverend tied knots at the four corners of his handkerchief and put it on his head against the sun. Then he tossed the mothballs into the upturned wig and set off for the chapel. He would fill the wig with healthy, preservative camphor against the moths! Whether those in the front two rows at his future sermons would be similarly enthusiastic when the wig surfaced again remained to be seen.
If you like this story, and would like to meet the Reverend Pontius again, you can find out more about him in my novella Call of the Merry Isle, available at www.veneficiapublications.com