The Good Shepherd – Part 3

storyding“They’re such fucking sods,” said Melissa, the admin for Room 237. “Such fucking, fucking sods.”

Tanya hadn’t really been listening. They were walking up Oxford Street, apparently against a tide of oncoming foot traffic. Tanya loved the flow of crowds. People moved differently in crowds. Like flocks of birds, heaving and streaming, then scattering and coming back together. Each slightly unique and erratic, but still a tribe, a flock, a herd until they encountered something that would force that uniqueness to the surface – a bench or a rubbish bin – and then their right or left-handedness would reveal itself in the way they moved around the obstacle.  There was always a higher percentage of people wearing something red on a Friday. Fourteen percent.  The rest of the week it hovered at around eleven. “Who?”

“You’re not listening.”

“I am. They’re sods.”

“Kevin and Michael and that lot. Sociopathic ubergeeks.”

“We’re all geeks, love.”

“They talk about women like there’s a queue of ramp models waiting to suck their knobs.”


“They’re all porn-watching losers.”

“We’re all porn-watching losers, Mel.”

“I don’t.”

Tanya stopped, tugged Melissa’s jacket sleeve and cocked an eyebrow at her. “Yes you do.”

“I…” Melissa pursed her lips and glared at Tanya. “How the fuck would you know?”

Tanya shrugged and smiled. “Come on. I want to get this over with.”

“You haven’t! You bitch. You haven’t!”

“Haven’t what?”

“Have you put something on my computer? Cos if you have, I’m going to be fucking pissed.”

Tanya laughed aloud, her breath misted around her in the chill of the early evening. “I don’t do that sort of thing.”

“Yes you do.”

“Not personally.”

“Well have you?”

“No. Of course not.”

“Then how do you know I watch porn?”

“Because we all do, Mel.”

“Do you?”


They’d reached the big H&Ms at the corner of Regent’s Street and pushed through the clots of browsing shoppers. Tanya found the shirt she was looking for. Black, thin cotton, long-sleeved.

“What kind?” asked Mel from the other side of the clothes rack.


“No, you silly cow. What kind of porn do you like?”

“Oh. The close-up kind,” said Tanya, sifting through the hangers, looking for another shirt in her size.

“No threesomes or bondage or spanking? Just the seafood?”

Tanya added two more of the black, long-sleeved cotton shirts to the pile on her shoulder. “Just the seafood. Are there any more of these on your side in a 12?”


“I don’t like looking at their faces. It’s distracting.”

“Why do you want another black one? You’ve already got five there. What about another style? Another colour?”


“What about the blue?” said Melissa, holding the shirt up for Tanya to see.

She shook her head. “Don’t do blue.”

Melissa drew it to her ample chest.  “Ooh, I like this.”

“Suits you. Get it.”  Tanya looked around. “Where are the bras? I need bras.”

* * *

“You’re odd, you know that?” said Melissa. “You’re really, really odd.”

They were standing in the queue for the tills.  “I’m not odd. I’m just practical.”

“Five shirts, five bras, five pairs of knickers, five of socks. All black.”


“It’s fucking mad. Why don’t you mix it up a bit?”

“I’m shit at combining colours. This way, nothing clashes and I don’t have to think about what to wear in the morning.”

“But why five?” asked Melissa.

“So I don’t have to come back for another year.”


They shuffled forward in the line. “Hey, I’m not the one who gets off on gay gang-bang extravaganzas.”

“I do NOT!”

Tanya kept her eyes straight ahead and grinned. “Just a wild guess.”

“Well, just a few times.”


“Want to go for a drink?”


  8 comments for “The Good Shepherd – Part 3

  1. Laura
    December 30, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Really liking this so far, it’s interesting and very different.

    I agree with Melissa – it is fucking mad 🙂

  2. TFP
    December 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Knowledge is power, Tanya is certainly enjoying the power. I’m curious to see how she handles the power when the path is not so easy. More please…

  3. John
    December 30, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    You are a real talent. Sorry I have overlooked you.

  4. Samantha
    February 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm


    After a long hiatus I have found my way back to you and your words… and what a wonderful welcome back story for me to delve into.
    There’s something about Tanya that’s just begging to be unpeeled and unleashed and I’m very much looking forward to how you crack her open.
    Thank you

  5. July 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Why am I so interested in this type of character? Could be simply voyeurism, perhaps the draw of latent female power, or something more basic , like lack of control in ordinary life, the sense of having the world swing away from me as I try to cope with the “algorithms of 21st century life” (She doesn’t even have a golden dragon tattoo, yet!)
    I read mostly in the evenings, to escape into worlds that are typically unreachable. I am not supposed to be thinking this much, but your sentence structure is so provokingly complicated that I find myself needing to respond. You really are a wake up call.
    I must revisit why I find this girl so damn attractive, and dangerous. To sit with someone who knows all too much about you, is both exciting and terrifying. It also dismissed most of the small talk that we engage in….maybe that’s what she is really all about here. Expediency, for its own sake, brutal honesty so no time is wasted…comets don’t usually slow down for idle chatter. I hope she visits longer before she burns out.

  6. DG
    July 28, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Refreshing, talented writing!! I occasionally take notes when I read good writers; in your last few stories I wrote a whole page.

  7. Elri
    March 13, 2017 at 2:56 am

    There is something about your writing that is irresistible. Like a fine meal, I want to savour it.

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