A copper's "tail".

Jack Swan had to duck really low to avoid hitting his head on the door frame, being 6ft 8ins he had no choice. He hated being tall and lanky, the way he towered over everyone, the way people stared at him, the way his clothes were too short in the leg and arm. Strange, as his parents were both short, under 5' 6" in fact. So why the hell he was this tall Jack had never understood.

“You must be a throwback from generations ago,” his dad used to say. “Thanks Dad. Make me out to be some weirdo oddball,” Jack would reply.

Jack had to have most of his clothes tailor made and on a policeman's salary that was hard going. Jack had joined the police force as a recruit at the tender age of 17 years. Now, six years later, he was the village local bobby and everyone loved 'our Jack', as he was fondly known by the locals.

Jack may have been tall and lanky but he was as handsome as they come. With hair as black as jet, ice blue eyes and finely chiselled features, Jack with no uncertainty made every female he met fall head over heels in love with him. This adoration though had little effect on Jack as he had his lovely Lisa. Sweet, adorable Lisa. Only 5' 2" in her dainty stockinged feet. She had to stand on tippy toes in her highest heels to reach up to plant a kiss on Jack's full and perfect cupid bow mouth.
They had known each other since primary school and were to be married next spring in the local village church; the reception was to be held in the Old Manor for all who wanted to attend to celebrate the wedding of the year.
Jack and Lisa had arranged to meet at the ‘Stag and Hounds’ to discuss the wedding plans. Jack, already at the bar was supping a pint of best Somerset ale. He had ordered Lisa’s favourite, a white wine spritzer. Six-thirty on the dot, Lisa walked in.
“Hi babe. Arrested any arch villains today?" Lisa laughed.
Jack thought how lucky he was to have such a stunning girlfriend. She was, in his eyes, perfection. Jack rose to his full height and grabbing Lisa by the waist pulled her toward him and gave her a long lingering kiss. Lisa hoistered herself up onto the bar stool and crossed her shapely legs showing a hint of stocking top.
“Lucky git.” Jack overheard the barman mutter under his breath. You bet I am, Jack thought to himself.
“I’ve had a crap day. I’ve given out one parking ticket, a caution to two school lads dropping litter and an uneventful afternoon filling out forms.”
Lisa looked a Jack sympathetically and patted him on the back of the hand like a mother would do to comfort her young child.
“Aww, that’s too bad babe. Anyway, let’s forget about work and get down to planning the wedding of the year. I’m so excited, I could burst.”
“I thought I’d have sweet scented lily-of-the-valley, white orchids, snow white roses and trailing lily grass for my bouquet. At the end of each church pew, ivory organza swags with a posy of white and yellow orchids in the centre. Oh my goodness, it’s going to look gorgeous.” Lisa was as excited as a child on Christmas morning not knowing which present to open first. “Oh, I almost forgot. Daddy says the garden flat will be re-decorated by the time we get back from honeymoon, so Molly and Missy can live with us and they’ll have a lovely big garden to roam around in. Isn’t that wonderful, Jack?” she asked.
Their life together would have been oh-so perfect but for one fundamental and very important factor, Jack hated and feared cats. Jack, under no circumstances would be allowing Lisa's two cats to live with them . They were vermin in his eyes and why anyone would want one as a pet must be stark raving mad.
“Lisa, you know I hate cats. There is no way Milly, Mossie…. or whatever they’re called are going to live with us. What useful purpose do they serve? They stare at you and you know they are up to no good and are probably plotting to kill you. They use everything for a scratch post. They slop around in their own poo and then lick their paws - Yuk!” Tiny beads of sweat appeared on his forehead and his hands started to shake.
“Oh, for goodness sake, Jack. Get a grip. A strapping young man like you shouldn’t be afraid of such adorable, tiny creatures. You’ll learn to love them like I do.” Lisa protested. “And you know Mummy and Daddy can’t have them as they are going back to Australia next year. What am I supposed to do with them? Put them to sleep?”
“Well… I wouldn’t go that far, Lisa. Maybe give them to the local cats home? The M5 is only half a mile away. Joking… Lisa.” Jack immediately regretted his words.
Lisa scowled at Jack. “You're a cold, unfeeling bastard sometimes, Jack. I hate you!” Lisa slammed her glass down onto the bar and grabbed her notebook. “I’m going to leave before this stupid row gets out of hand. Just have a think about it Jack, for both our sakes. Get yourself sorted. Otherwise…. Otherwise… the wedding will be off.” Lisa slid off the bar stool. A little unsteady she walked out of the pub, her high heels clattering on the stoneflag floor.
“Bloody stupid cats. Well, if she thinks more about them, she can marry the damn creatures.” Jack muttered.
He downed his pint of ale and ordered a pint of ‘Black Rat’ cider. Can’t solace be found in the bottom of a pint glass, Jack asked himself. Glancing over at the board behind the bar, he noticed an advert that looked particularly interesting…
Ms Davina Snook, Hypnotherapist
Hypnosis maybe able to help almost all problems. Try hypnotherapy for stopping smoking, weight loss, phobias, anxiety, fear of flying, driving test nerves, sexual problems etc. These can all be overcome.
Phone Davina now on: 013034 7775454
“Hmm, I wonder. I might give that a try. I’ve nothing to lose, apart from a week’s pay no doubt!” Jack didn’t want to lose Lisa over two mangy, flea ridden cats. He would phone first thing in the morning to make an appointment with Ms Snook. Feeling reassured, Jack ordered another ‘Black Rat’.
Jack felt confident and pleased with himself when he rang the doorbell of Davina Snook's house for his first hypnotherapy session. The door opened. Jack came face to face with a short, elderly plump woman with a disturbing shock of red hair. Draped around her shoulders was the largest and fattest ginger cat Jack had ever seen. The cat stared into Jack's eyes daring him to enter his domain at his own peril.
Jack breaking into a cold sweat and popping his fingers one by one, turned on his heels and raced down the street as fast as his long legs could carry him.

Sandra Reed



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