We are thrilled at the response we have had to our blog, and warmly thank all those who have commented, liked, and also shared their own work here. if you have a story, a review, a poem, a reflection, a memoir… anything in written form, then do please get in touch if you would like it shared here. We will link your work back to your blog, your website, your social media pages… wherever you want us to refer back to!

Here is a story, one of the first we posted, from a great writer, Gill Pettitt:

Revenge

“Keep the blighters”, shouted John, giving the RSPCA crew a two fingered salute.

“He should be put away”, James looked at John with disgust. This evening they had removed twelve dead rabbits, and six malnourished cats from the premises. They would be returned to the surgery for examination before proceedings continued against John, but John had been warned that he would very probably be banned from keeping animals.

“Wish he was dead”, Alison said under her breath as she helped James with the last of the cages into the van. Perturbed by the vehemence of her feelings against the man she could barely speak when she saw James’ desolate eyes. Sometimes this job was just too much.

John kicks open the kitchen door, he’d find some way around those stupid interfering busybodies. He gives a cursory sweep of the table where rabbit droppings seemed to appear from nowhere. There had been no rabbits in the house for two years now; lord knows where the bastards kept coming from. That buck had been the last straw, biting and kicking whenever John came close and forever scrabbling at the hutch walls. That was when he’d put them in the barn; where he forgot ‘em. The buck was the last to cop it too.

He opens the laptop, rolling a ciggy whilst the thing warmed up. If they were gonna keep tabs on him, ferrets was probably the way to go. Easily hidden, and he could use them in the woods. Rabbits were too much trouble to keep for eating anyway. He’d get a kick outta hearing them squeal. Between draughts of his fag, he starts surfing for ferrets. He could keep ‘em in the barn, same as he’d kept the rabbits, but the ferrets‘d be in smaller cages. He’d buy a few hay bales. Keep ‘em hidden. Take ‘em up Turners Wood, plenty of rabbits there. Have to look for nets too; have to cover the holes up, pesky ferrets are fast, don’t want ‘em running off once they’d got their kill. Mebe he could get some cocks, he liked a good cock fight and ole Bob was always up for a stiff bet. Then again, mebe not, couldn’t hide ‘em so well. Nah, ferrets was the way to go.

Almost oblivious to the world around him, John doesn’t immediately hear the claws scratching at the kitchen door, but gradually the persistent noise impinges on his consciousness. He looks up from the screen, listening, alert; an animal tension in his muscles.

Rats. Damn. They’d taken his cats and the bloody rats were already mithering about the place. John scrapes back his chair; there should be some warfarin left. He clatters about in the cupboard under the sink, chucking rags and half empty canisters around him in search for poison or traps, but comes up with nothing. In frustration, scratching the grimy stubble on his chin, he looks for something suitable to drown out the noise of the vermin and, if he is lucky, dispel his bad humour too. His eyes soften slightly as he finds Led Zeppelin and puts it on the 50yr old deck.

Fetching a can from the fridge, he settles again at the laptop and loses himself in the throbbing beats of Plant’s playing and his labyrinthine search for ferrets. Immersed in the screen and slightly inebriated, John doesn’t notice the scratching at the door any longer. Nor does he hear that the noise has become higher. No longer at floor level, it is now at the latch. He doesn’t see the latch being randomly jiggled. He is unaware of the latch rising off the catch and the door swinging open.

The night air swarms stealthily into John’s kitchen and a shadow with it. A shadow which is almost formless. A shadow with bulk. A shadow that has two ears erect on the wall behind him.

In fact, John doesn’t notice a thing, until his face is smothered by the sweet smell of straw and musty rabbit-thick fur, and the sharp pain of keen claws slicing into his cheek. The last thing he is aware of is a massive thump to his chest by what feels like the kick of a buck’s hind legs.

Two days later James and Alison are again at the house. The kitchen door is open, but there is no reply to their knocking. Inside John lies with his head on the laptop keyboard. Eyes wide open; three great slashes describe bloodlines on his cheek.

Copywrite ©Gill Pettitt 2016

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