7 Days in May
“Yes Mani, but at least that means that the spread of the virus will be restricted.”
“We have to get this out to the authorities as soon as possible.”
They both turned as the door opened and Frank Booker strode into the laboratory.
Two cats slid through the garden fence, both bearing the marks of matted fur where the big male had bitten their
necks during mating.
They stopped as a dog barked from next door’s garden. A deep voice shouted and the dog disappeared back indoors.
The cats continued across the grass towards the back of the house.
Up in his bedroom, Ryan was unable to get back to sleep. Getting up, he decided to update his Facebook page, hoping
that Carolyn would take their budding relationship more seriously if he altered his Profile to, „In a relationship’. Frustrated
he gave up, realising that he couldn’t get on-line for some reason. She had agreed to meet him again this afternoon and he
wanted her to see the message first. Closing the laptop, he thundered his way downstairs to the hall, telling himself that
he’d try again later.
“Hi Chuckles,” he called in passing to the cat whose head was poking through the cat flap in the back door. “Want
Without waiting for an answer, Ryan walked down the hall and into the kitchen, where he opened a tin of cat food,
setting it on the floor beside a water bowl. Then he sat at the kitchen table and poured himself a bowl of flakes from a
packet, his pet already forgotten.
Chuckles pushed its way through the cat-flap into the back hall, the other cat following it, looking about uneasily.
Chuckles was familiar with the house and headed up the stairs, gliding up the carpeted treads like a silent spectre. The
other cat, uneasy in the strange surroundings, hesitated. Chuckles reached the top landing and looked back down, giving a
soft hiss. The second cat hissed back, then quickly joined it.
Four doors led off the landing at the top of the stairs, one of which was slightly ajar. Chuckles stood listening for a
moment, then pushed its way into the room. As the other cat followed, it picked up the faint scent of warm milk, its
interest quickening. Slinking across the room, Chuckles stood beside a white and pink cot, its tail whipping back and forth.
The second cat followed, yellow eyes fixed on the creature gurgling happily behind the wooden slats.
Leaping from the floor Chuckles landed on the narrow rail along the side of the cot, leaning over to study the baby.
Spotting the cat, a big smile spread across the baby’s face and it reached out its pudgy fists, fingers opening and
closing as it tried to touch it.
Chuckles hissed softly, the synapses in its brains firing electrical impulses faster and faster until the rage had raised a
fur ridge along its spine. The second cat jumped up onto the windowsill, watching Chuckles, its black pupils wide, hissing
as the rage mounted in its own brain.
Keeping its rear end on the top rail, Chuckles slid its front paws down the side slats of the cot, balancing precariously
until its front paws were on the mattress and it could drop down without frightening the occupant.
The happy baby kicked its feet in the air, slapping the mattress with both hands, tongue slipping in and out of its
mouth, eyes wide with pleasure.
The cat slid along the side of the cot until it was standing at the baby’s head, then leant over and looked directly into
its eyes, teeth bared, hissing softly.
The baby’s face suddenly screwed up, turning red as it began to wail.
The cat on the windowsill made ready to pounce, growling low in its throat as Chuckles lay across the baby’s face,
cutting short it’s cries.
Alex groaned loudly, rubbing his temples, his stomach rumbling as he sat on the edge of the bed. He was paying the
price for too many beers and that last couple of double whiskeys. Stumbling to the shower, he stood head bow ed and eyes
closed, hot water cascading down his back, doing his best to recall the events leading up to his arrival home. The details
were fuzzy and mostly missing. Easing his head back he let the water hit his face, rolling his head from side to side. He’d
drunk a litre of water before going to bed, otherwise his hangover would be a lot worse.
Ten minutes later Alex was sitting at the kitchen table trying to eat a piece of dry toast. He persevered and his
protesting stomach began to settle down. Rubbing his eyes with his thumbs he pushed away the plate and stood up. He’d
downed two painkillers earlier and was feeling a lot better. Standing with one hand on the back of the chair he considered
whether he was fit enough to drive to London and pick up the seal he needed for his submersible.
Deciding that he wasn’t, Alex drunk a large glass of water and went back to bed.
“You’re up early,” Ryan’s mother said, walking into the kitchen.
“Suppose,” Ryan replied, still preoccupied with his plans.
“Surprised you aren’t up in your bedroom playing with your computer.”
“Can’t get on-line mum.”