The beginning of If Minds Had Toes

Lila opened the door of the study. The room was dark; it was midday but the shutters hadn’t yet been opened. She went to the window to let light and air in to the musty room. The study appeared to be empty, but Lila checked under the desk and in the large cupboard, just to be sure. Socrates must be lurking somewhere else. On the table was some orange peel, a bit of cheese rind and a glass with some stale dregs of liquid. Lila threw away the food and picked up the glass. On second thoughts, let him do his own washing up.

Where was he? Lila had already looked in his bedroom and, given the freak rainstorm, she was unlikely to find him in the citrus grove. Socrates was meant to be chairing a meeting of the Management Committee, but he was rarely where he was supposed to be. Especially when being in the right place meant taking part in a discussion of ‘Points For Action’. Lila had been sent to search for Socrates out of courtesy, even though the other Committee members preferred it when he couldn’t be found. His persistent interrogation irritated them. Last week he’d caused a forty-five-minute delay in the debate on whether it would be a good idea to grant Epicurus a licence for a new restaurant, by demonstrating that none of the Committee had a firm grasp of the meaning of ‘good’. And how could they possibly decide whether it was a good idea or not, if they couldn’t properly define a “good idea”? […]

Read the first three chapters of If Minds Had Toes

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