High Society: Charlie Malbery Part II

high society

Charlie Malbery

Within thirty-five minutes Charlie had been slapped in the face six times. The slappers (in the literal sense) were Charlie’s various ex-girlfriends dotted around Pimlico. Quite why they were so angry vaguely boggled his uncurious mind – he’d only asked them if he could stay the night. Charlie’s Father had kicked him out of the townhouse for selling the priceless family gold watch to his pal Denny for three hundred pounds. He was at a loose end…

By the time Charlie reached the final house on his list he had all but lost hope (and had completely lost feeling in his right cheek). He went to knock on the door but stumbled forward when it opened.  He saw Melody, dressed entirely in pink, staring at him. She suddenly looked furious and before he could say hello her hand was swinging towards him like a wet sock. He felt pain. Saw stars. Then all was black.


Charlie awoke to find himself in St James’s Park. How he had gotten there he did not know. He scanned around at the lake, saw the geese, noticed the snapping cameras … and in the distance he saw Denny. He appeared to be engrossed in conversation with a pink flamingo…

Feeling relieved that he had found his friend and that he could get his watch back Charlie walked over quickly. However, despite not taking his eyes off either Denny or the pink flamingo when he arrived at the bench they had both disappeared. In their place was an older gentleman with thick white hair.

Now look here old boy,” Charlie said to the gentleman, feeling perturbed at the fact this old gentleman had somehow replaced both his friend and a wading bird.

How can I help you young man?” the gentleman said, ever so politely.

Charlie faltered. He struggled to remain aggressive at the best of times, let alone to a polite old gentleman. For some reason too, he knew this man’s name was Albert.

Er… do you know where my friend went? He was just here and now… you’re here.”

Have you been eating cheese by any chance?” the older gentleman said, chuckling to himself.

For lunch yes,” Charlie said confusedly, “What of it?”

I’m partial to a slice of cheddar myself,” he said chuckling again.

There was a pink flamingo too, where’s that gone?” Charlie said and began feeling increasingly strange.

Yes there would be a flamingo if you’d had cheese at lunch…”

What does that mean? Who are you? Is this some sort of dream?”

The older gentleman chuckled and suddenly everything started swirling.


Charlie opened his eyes to find the entirely pink-clad Melody staring down at him with her phone in her hand.


Sorry Mum, I’ll tell you the rest later,” she said to her phone then hung up. “Charlie! I thought you’d never wake up!”

I think I was dreaming… Where am I?”

My garden. I slapped you a little too hard I think. Knocked you out cold. Sorry! I was going to get an ambulance but I had an audition you see…”

Oh that’s ok. No doubt I deserved it?”

I’d say! Don’t you remember running away from the restaurant without paying last year? I had to foot the bill.”

Ah yes sorry about that!” he said sheepishly (secretly recalling the memory fondly).

Hmm” she said, still seeming annoyed.

How long have I been out?” he asked to change the subject quickly. He clambered back up.

About an hour. Maybe two.”

Sorry Melody. I made you miss the audition.”

He went on to tell her about his dream but she cut in before he could.

Oh no I went to the audition. I got back ten minutes ago.”


It was dreadful. The part was for an aging porn queen. The shame! Do I look aging to you?” she asked getting angry again.

No, not at all” he said quickly (though looking at her face he wondered if she might have contracted mumps).

But that doesn’t matter anymore. Because after that I had a lovely encounter with this sweet old man. We ate cheese together in silence – it was so… random. Albert he was called… so distinguished and wise. I’ve just been telling my Mum all about it before you woke up.”

Cheese… Albert… the dream…” Charlie said to himself.

Melody wasn’t listening.

“… Completely turned my day around it did. I’m not even angry with you anymore Charlie.”

Oh good,” Charlie said, starting to think about how bad his own day had been. He told her about selling the watch to Denny, being kicked out of the townhouse by his dad… becoming homeless… penniless too… and all on his twenty-fifth birthday.

Christ that is worse than my day. Want to get drunk and forget all about it?

Absolutely.” he said.

Charlie forgot about his bad day before his lips touched the glass.


Written by Gareth Brown | @GarethBrown26

Check out Gareth’s Youtube Channel and Booksie Page for his films and short stories.

Next Wednesday: Denny


Chapter One

Part 1: Charlie Malbery

Part 2: Albert

Part 3: Ernest Malbery

Part 4: Ingrid

Part 5: Dalton

Part 6: Melody

Part 7: Marion


Chapter Two

Part 1: Albert

Part 2: Melody

Part 3: Marion

Part 4: Ingrid

Part 5: Dalton