Sunday, 15 July 2018

A New Case. Chapter 18

Firstly, it's Sunday Selfie time.... 
We are joining The Kitties Blue, from The Cat on My Head blog, for the weekly celebration of blogs and bloggers from across the world and across the species.

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Here is this weeks selfie.....

This weeks selfie is about........ memories.

To see what all my pals are up to this Sunday, please click the links below.

I hope you will have time to stop by and enjoy this weeks chapter too, (4:42 min Grade 6 read) and to leave a comment below.....

And now, it's Story time!
(Chapter 17 can be read HERE.)

      Erin watched Anders leave, and listened carefully until the slapping sound of the slippers had long faded away. Uncurling herself from the now sleeping kittens, she carefully stretched, first her front legs then the hind. Then, after stowing the knitted rope back into her harness she left the hutch. The rabbit area was quite large, and contained three smaller fenced areas, each with a different style hutch. Hers, aptly enough, was a palace, whilst the adjoining was a replica of the King Herod’s store, complete with flags and a replica of the owner himself standing by the door. The third had been modelled around a Wild West stage post, complete with log cabin, fake horses and a stage coach the bunnies could climb into.

      She hopped over the lower picket fences and looked into the two other hutches. Within each she discovering groups of miniature rabbits, curled up asleep in the bedding, like the kittens she'd just left. They looked for all the world like her own two kittens. Now however was not the time to be meeting the neighbours, well not unless they had any spare mice. There was a kitten on the loose and she needed to find it before the store opened and that man came back.

      Looking around, there were any number of places a small kitten could have got into, under or behind. Factor in the fact that this little guy was clearly an adventurer, she couldn’t rule out the possibility that it had left the area completely! Another problem was that being a kitten, he would take a lot of naps. She could easily overlook him if, for example, he was asleep. Start at the bottom, Mrs H always told her, and work your way up. Unless you’re dusting, in which case work from the top downwards so any disturbed dust doesn’t settle on what you’ve just cleaned. She smiled at the thought of them both dusting back home, and the fun they’d had. Once they’d got to give the curtains a good beating when a family of mice had run up them to avoid Mrs H’s vigorous, if somewhat haphazard, broom action.

      Whilst kittens are very adept at climbing, though not necessarily getting back down, Erin doubted that she would need to check that high up. Additionally, the only curtains she could recall, were in the 'Soft Furnishings and Fabric Department', on another floor. There were, however, decorative frills and covers to some of the display cabinets, and they seemed a great place to start her hunt. She headed to where Anders had found the yarn, and began her search, sniffing around until she picked up the unmistakable aroma of smelly kitten. A lick behind the ears to bond with the kittens was one thing, but a whole-body wash was not happening. These would need a good and proper bath when they get home, she thought, as she lifted up and peered behind one of the covers. That was one job she was happy to leave to Esme and her mamma.

      There was no way she could squeeze under the stand to follow the scent, but she didn’t have to. She had passed a gap between two of the display units a few feet back and so padded over to have a look. It was going to be a squeeze but if she could hold her tummy in she would be OK. Coming back with a kitten in her mouth would be more interesting. She just hoped it wouldn’t wriggle too much.


      Back on the ground floor, Anders had scribbled a note in the accident book about the stray cat, or cats, and his heroic attempts to stop them killing the pets. He also, in a graphic and a much-overstated manner, described his own injuries in the course of duty. Injuries that would conceivable force him to have a few days off, and maybe counselling too.

      Checking is watch he realised he'd need to complete one more round of the building before signing out for the day staff, who would be due in about an hour’s time. Just long enough to have a quick glance around the floors and then have a look for that cat and his kittens.

      He signed off the log in advance, as having visited the floors, and then strode over to Mr Herod’s personal lift, and headed to the 8th floor. He peered around the lift doors into the darkened offices beyond and then shut the lift doors again and did the same on the seventh and sixth floors.

      On the 5th floor he got out and walked around the square central core of the store, which housed the shoppers, as well as Mr Herod’s personal elevator. From this point, he could see all the departments, though not the side rooms or behind the counters or pillars. Part way round he heard a strong long rumbling sound, like thunder. He went to one of the ornate windows and looked out into the early morning sky. Strange, he thought to himself, the radio hadn’t said anything about rain or a storm. Another longer low rumble sounded, escalating in severity, followed by booms that seemed to shake the building……. and then silence. His mind recalled the old adage that you hear the lightning after you see the flash. But he hadn’t seen any flashes of lightning, which was strange for a storm that sounded so close. 

      He shrugged, maybe it was around the other side of the store, it was after all a big store. And what the heck, so long as it wasn’t raining when he went home he didn’t care what it did. It could rain on Her Majesty so far as he was concerned. Royal cow deserved that, getting all the best dresses, fine wines and foods, and going on all those foreign holidays. “PAH!” he exclaimed, and spat onto the floor. “Who needs a queen. I could do better than she can. Queen Anders the first, that would be me. First thing I’d do would be to have a public holiday, for a whole week. No, for a month. And there’d be NO pets either. Pesky things always leaving hair everywhere, and dog droppings on the street.” He smiled and headed back to the lift, composing in his mind a new national anthem, and a list of new public holidays, just for him. 

      Along the way he saw small patches of dust on the polished floor. Looking up he saw that they had come from the ventilation ducts that ran along the ceiling. “Bally things, so old that thunder must have shaken the dust off of ‘em. Can’t wait to tell day shift they’ll have a big clean up job as soon as they came in.” Again he chuckled and, almost in harmony, there were more rumbles and then bangs from overhead, but this time just a little bit further away.

To be continued.........