Posted Saturday October 1
His vegetables always won awards at the village produce show. From the smallest brussel sprout to the massive orange pumpkin he wheeled in his barrow to the village hall each autumn, he was always the prize winner.
Yet unbeknown to us, beyond his polished brass doorknob lived a different person. Since his marriage apparently ended in acrimonious circumstances, a happy and contented soul he was not.
Partial as he was to a drink or two, no one foresaw what he was to do that chill winters night. He sat before the blazing log fire in the Dog and Duck listening to his dreams crackle then disappear in a cloud of smoke; his hopes sizzle then fall as grey ash. I saw him shuffle a handful of photographs, then take one from centre and gaze at it for what seemed ages. I watched as he dropped something into his glass before swirling then swallowing its lethal contents.
Next year there is to be a new top prize at the village produce show; a special award named after the man behind the mask, the man none of us really knew.
For Sunday's Whirligig where the given words are swallow, doorknob, sizzle, marry, partial, swirling, orange, shuffle, blazing, crackle, vegetables and smallest