Like Cats And Dogs – Episode 13

The quiz night came round, and as it turned out, Tim was not only excellent at geography, he could also hold his own on the subjects of sport, history and, surprisingly, Eighties pop music.

With her usual team members’ strengths of literature, TV and the natural world, Cally’s Heroes soon took on quite a respectable lead.

The evening had begun with Tim picking her up from the cattery.

“It’s stupid to take two cars,” he’d pointed out on the phone earlier.

That had caused Marna to smirk a bit.

“Lucky you! Maybe our Mr Military has his eye on you.”

“Oh, stop it!” Cally had protested. “He’s just being polite.”

Yet she’d felt her face turning pink as if Marna could see the way the butterflies had taken off in her tummy.

It was his voice that had done it. She hadn’t realised how deep and resonant it was when they’d spoken face to face, but on the phone it seemed to vibrate right through her veins.

She had taken slightly more than her usual care with her appearance, and had to acknowledge that she might be developing a bit of a crush on her new neighbour.

When he’d knocked at her door, she’d thought it was nice that he hadn’t just sat in the car and tooted to announce his arrival.

She’d been even more impressed when he’d held the car door for her, checking that she was comfortable before he closed it behind her.

It was a bit different from Ged, she thought, who half the time seemed to forget she was there.

She’d been thankful that Tim’s car was roomy enough to leave a foot or so between them.

If they’d been elbow to elbow, she had the feeling she might just have melted.

He’d ushered her into the bar ahead of her, and again she’d had that feeling of being looked after. It was new to her.

She’d always been a very independent girl who looked after herself. She was surprised that she liked the feeling. But she did.

Then she instantly felt guilty as Ged gave her a wave from behind the bar.

She’d been seeing Ged for a year, for goodness’ sake. What was she thinking, coming over all swoony about Tim?

Now here she was, jammed on to one of the bar’s upholstered benches beside him, their elbows touching as they leaned on the table, their two team-mates opposite, as they all stewed over the final question of the night – the titles and order of Sean Connery’s Bond films.

They were confident of the first and last two, but couldn’t decide on the two in the middle.

“Come on, guys – get this right and we win!” Cally coaxed.

“I reckon it was ‘Thunderball’, then ‘You Only Live Twice’,” Tim said, screwing up his eyes in concentration.

“No, ‘Thunderball’ came after,” the local vet, Pete Dawson, protested, just as the quizmaster tried to hurry them along.

Tim’s elbow gently nudged hers.

“What do you think, Cally?”

“Pete’s pretty hot stuff when it comes to films.” She shrugged.

“That’s good enough for me, then. OK, Pete, mate,” Tim said, with a thumbs-up. “Go for it.”

Pete recited the six film titles and waited, pulling a face of comic dread at his
team-mates as the quizmaster allowed the tension to build up.

“Correct,” he finally announced. “Full marks. Which means Cally’s Heroes are tonight’s winners with a grand total of –”

The precise figure was lost in the applause and cheers of the packed bar. Tim gave her a quick matey hug which made her heart flip-flop.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.