Coypucat - Chapter 3

Inspector McCarthy had left his van parked near the construction site, just off Church Walk. Following the instructions he had jotted down from Rebecca on the 'phone he headed back to the junction, turned right and walked down the road. He was paying particular attention to the lamp posts. He spotted the 'old fashioned' lamp posts, as Rebecca had described it. As he drew level with the first one he crossed the road. He looked up at the houses in front of him, noting the numbers. Evens only on this side, which made the house he was looking for the forth one down from where he stood. He continued down the road. As he passed number 14 he saw the samll hedge which divided this property from it's neighbour. The animal he had come to see, and hopefully capture, was apparently nestling under the hedge opposite this one. As he looked over the hedge he noticed a car parked in front of the house. Like several houses in this street the front garden had been paved , to make a parking space. The car effectively obliterated his view of the hedge on the other side. He altered his pace, approaching more slowly, as he drew level with the car. He looked across the bonnet and held his breath. There, just as described, was an animal hunkered down against the hedge.  He stared at it. He wasn't quite sure what he'd expected to see, but it certainly wasn't what was in front of him now.

'Coypu?'  He thought. Large guinea pig like rodent. But this creature had no snout,  the nose of this creature was, as Rebecca had said,  more like a cat. It sat there, staring back at him through tiny, black shinny eyes, from it's position under the hedge.

'Nothing like she'd ever seen' Rebecca had said. He understood exactly what she meant, this thing was wierd.

He glanced towards the front door, wondering whether the car could be used to shield his presence and prevent the creature becoming scared and running off. He look back at the animal, it was still starring at him. It seemed to pick up on the movement of his head, and it responded by turning it's own head slightly to one side, as if appraising the level of danger he might pose. Or maybe it was just trying to put some perspective on what it was looking at. The creature righted it's head, then rose up slightly, straightening it's hind legs. The two front legs, he noticed, seemed to dangle across it's abdomen, not unlike a kangeroo. Except that the legs on this creature weren't short, but long and well developed. He presumed it normally walked on all four limbs, although he did notice that the hands appeared to be quite tactile and delicate.

As he watched, the creature raised it's head slightly, the skin on it's nose pulled back exposing a set of quite sharp , definately carniverous, teeth. At first it appeared to be a snarl, but as he watched his imagination suggested to him that maybe it was a smile. He imagined it was some sadistic, mocking grin. He blinked, chastising himself silently in his head. It was, after all, just some poor creature lost and out of it's natural habitat. Furthermore, he told himself, it was most likely  more afraind of him than he of it. He redirected his thoughts back to the problem at hand, glancing once more at the front door, then back at the creature. Slowly he took the first step, crouching slightly to use the car, as best he could, to cover his movements. Glancing again toward the creature he wondered whether he would scare it off as he made his way across the last foot or so from the back of the car to the small porch which surrounded the front door. The full extent of his silhouette would be visible briefly. He looked back at the creature, it was still staring at him, although at least it had allowed it's lips to move back over it's teeth, making it's appearence less creepy. But as he watched it, the creature slowly moved it's gaze from him and appeared to briefly look in the direction of the door, then back to him. He stopped moving and stared at it, hard.

"This thing appeared to be thinking - looking to see what he was looking at - animals were not  supposed to do that"  he thought.

To his relief, when he looked back at the door he saw that it had opened and Rebecca stood in the doorway. He rationalised that the creature must have heard her, and that was what had drawn it's attention to the door, not him. He involuntarily let out  a sigh of relief.


The End

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