Like Cats And Dogs – Episode 28


“Do you think any have got out?” Cally asked him.

“Not sure yet. Come on, Gemma, girl, let’s get you back in your kennel.” He grasped the collar of the black Labrador milling around his legs and ushered her into a pen that had its door hanging open. At least the lock was intact, he thought, as he slipped it into place.

“You, too, Freddie – time for bed.” The mongrel wandered obligingly into his kennel, and again Tim bolted it shut.

“I’ll check the rest of the run!” he shouted out to Cally and Craig, waiting outside.

He limped along, checking every single lock, and heaved a sigh of relief when he found the rest of the animals present and correct. If they’d got out, he might never have found them.

“That’s a bit of luck,” Craig said.

“Thank goodness.” Cally grasped Tim’s arm as he emerged from the run, but he shook her off.

“I need to find some rope to tie this up in the meantime,” he said, closing the outer gate as best he could.

Craig stepped forward to look at it, then swept his torch around the ground. Over by one of the outhouses there were some scraps of wood left over from the building work. He raked through it and selected a stout spar.

“Do you have a hammer and some nails? I can cobble a repair together with this. It’ll be more secure than rope, and I can fix it properly at the weekend when I come back to see Imogen.”

“Great. Give me a minute.” Tim limped off again, gritting his teeth against the pain. It felt as though someone was grinding red-hot sand into his knee joint.

He was aware of Cally’s sympathetic look and somehow it just made things worse.

It took every ounce of his strength to walk back as normally as possible with the tools for Craig.

In silence they watched as Craig quickly nailed the spar in place, and managed to reattach the bolt. Tim flexed his leg surreptitiously, fearing he’d done real damage.

Craig gave the repair a firm shake.

“That should hold. As I said, I’ll look at it again at the weekend.” He straightened and looked at Tim. “I guess you should phone the police.”

Tim considered. If he phoned the police, how much longer would he have to stand here? He needed to sit down before he fell down, though he would die rather than admit it.

“We’ve pretty much destroyed the evidence,” he said, indicating the repaired gate. “And if it was just a kid, as you said . . .”

“You can’t let him get away with it though, Tim!” Cally exclaimed, and he knew she was right.

He sighed.

“All right, I’ll phone from the house. You coming?”

****

It was another hour before the police had finished taking statements from all three of them. They examined the damage to the pens, and questioned Craig in detail about the figure he had chased.

“You ran after him alone, sir?” the policeman asked Craig, glancing at Tim.

“Tim was busy ensuring the animals were all secured,” Craig said, and Tim gave him a discreet nod of thanks for his tact.

By the time the police car finally drove out of the gates, they were all exhausted. It was very late.

“Thanks for your help, Craig. I appreciate it,” Tim said, struggling to get to his feet to see them out. He saw Cally wince in sympathy.

“Will your leg be all right, Tim?” she asked him. “Do you need me to get you anything?”

“I can manage,” he snapped, despising his weakness. “Don’t fuss. I just need to rest. Just leave me alone.”

Her lovely open face closed like a book.

“Pardon me for being concerned. I show some kindness to the man who’s ruining my business and that’s the thanks I get! Well, more fool me. Craig, take me home, please. I’m obviously not wanted here.”

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 aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.