Throw Him Away and Get a New One

“I smelt bacon. That was my first intimation that something was wrong. It was only 7 o’clock and Hilary, my wife, was seldom awake before 8, let alone up and cooking breakfast.”

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Angus got out of bed and put on a dressing gown. He slipped into worn, grey slippers and went downstairs. From the kitchen came the sounds of breakfast. The clatter of crockery and plates. The hiss of a frying pan. The mechanical pop of a toaster. The happy gurgling of the coffee percolator.

A feeling of dread came upon him as he gripped the handle of the kitchen door. He had a notion his life was about to take a regrettable turn.

Don’t be silly, he told himself. This is your house, your kitchen. What on Earth can there be to worry about?

Nervously, he entered the kitchen. Hilary was frying an egg. His children – Andrew and Jessica – were at the table, looking smart and freshly scrubbed in their school uniforms. They, along with a stranger, were tucking into substantial breakfasts.

The stranger was about Angus’s age and well-dressed. His build was average as were his looks. In a crowd, he would not have stood out. At Angus’s kitchen table at 7 in the morning, he was an anomaly that refused to be ignored.





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