Miss Catastrophe

Miss Catastrophe lived in chaos drive, since none of the other houses were in sound repair, hers fitted in very well.

Miss Catastrophe worked for Unbreakable.co.uk, a curious job you may think at first glance. Miss Catastrophe worked for the research and development department. The thinking behind that being that if Miss Catastrophe couldn’t break it then it must be unbreakable.

Poor Miss Catastrophe, if word got round Smartville town centre that she was on the way:

Shops would shut
Cafés close
Buses and taxis would become unavailable.

Some shopkeepers were friendly but they even insisted that Miss Catastrophe stand outside and hand them her shopping list.

Once a month Miss Catastrophe would go to Dodgeville to shop. No one minded they just dodged out of the way.

The usual shop included:

Broken biscuits
Squashed cake
Bruised apples
Crushed grapes
Dented tins…

I mean what was the point of buying perfect food if…

At the earliest opportunity the whole lot would end up being hurled out of something resembling a tartan shopping trolley. This would happen at least once on the way home.

On arriving back home Miss Catastrophe:

Burnt her microwave meal
Broke 3 coffee cups
Split 2 pints of milk

Then sat on her 55 ‘piece’ sofa and stared at her 17 ‘piece’ TV.

At least I can be safe at home thought Miss Catastrophe.

Oh the loud crash you’ve just heard,

is the bath coming through the kitchen ceiling.

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© Ruth M Whitehead - Oct 2017

Print Block

Mr Forward lived in Print Block Close. It was owned by the company he worked for, and provided rent free. This suited Mr Forward as he hated dipping into finances that would be useful in the foreseeable future. Mr Forward liked to plan at least fourteen years ahead, he even had diaries especially commissioned so he could do just that. He was also very forthright in his speech and attitude to others, you knew exactly where you were with Mr Forward.

Mr Forward was a very conscientious employee, he always turned up forty minutes early for everything which left time for fourteen cups of coffee while he waited. Mr Forward liked his job at Mr Wordsort’s firm, well why shouldn’t he, he wrote forewords. Everything was going well until he received a letter forwarded by his boss from a Mr Lastword it read…

Dear Mr Wordsort,

I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with my workload. I am therefore writing to ask if you could spare one of your employees to write afterwords for me.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Lastword.

Mr Forward read, then reread the letter. Was it some kind of joke? I mean everyone knew he only wrote forewords. He confronted Mr Wordsort and was told…

“We at Block Print Publications think you should broaden your horizons, think outside the box so to speak. Oh your first assignment arrives on the fourteenth.”

This did nothing for Mr Forward’s formidable temper. He stomped out of the office.

That evening he needed forty doughnuts and fourteen coffees to calm him down. He was about to turn on the TV to watch Family Fortunes when the post arrived fourteen minutes late. Mr Forward tutted loudly. Amongst the usual bills was an interesting letter, it said, FORTUNE AWAITS. Mr Forward opened it carefully it read…

Dear Mr Forward,

We know you are a very forthright person and formidably intelligent. We have a formal proposition to put to you. Mr Forward you will be given a vast fortune if you perform to our satisfaction a backward roll.


Mr Fortesque Esq.

P.S. if you wish to take up this challenge open the enclosed envelope then please respond in the next fourteen days.

Mr Forward thought well how hard can it be. I can do forward rolls so why not the reverse. Being forward thinking he decided to practice, after all a vast fortune was at stake. He cleared a space four meters square and rolled. The next thing Mr Forward remembered was waking up on ward four of Formica Hospital being glared at by a formidable matron. She was very forward in her prognosis.

“I’m afraid you will be in traction for at least fourteen days.”

Poor Mr Forward no fortune for him or so he thought.

Three fortnights later he returned home. He had so much post he had to use the back door. Fortunately he always hid a key to it. Amongst the aforementioned mountain of letters regarding missed appointments, deadlines and payments, was a letter in a gold envelope with CONGRATULATIONS written on it in big letters. Mr Forward looked at it in a forlorn way. I mean there must be some mistake, after all he never entered competitions, and no one had offered him anything. You see Mr Forward had totally forgotten about Mr Fortesque’s letter.

Mr Forward nearly fell forward when he opened it. The envelope contained a cheque for forty million pounds. It also contained a note that read…

From Mr Fortesque with complements. PTO (it also had a contact number)

Mr Forward turned over the note and continued reading, it read thus…

Mr Forward after your misfortune in carrying out our request we hope this will cover any unforeseen costs you may have forthcoming.

After having spent four hours arguing with Mr Fortesque’s PA. He deposited the cheque and was fortunate to find his bank empty at the time. His secret was safe for now. It was another four days before Mr Forward returned to work. Fortunately for him all Mr Wordsort did was laugh and hand him his next assignment.

As Mr Forward left, he thought I’m not going to look forward to this I can tell. To his surprise it was…


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© Ruth M Whitehead - Oct 2017
24 October, 2017
All images and written works by David Forward are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License