Chapter 7

The creature continued to stare at the Inspector but, as the Inspector talked of capturing it, it raised it's lips explosing it's teeth again. But from the angle Rebecca viewed it from, seeing it's face full on, it looked to her more like some malevolent grin.

"Ah ..." She started to say, but caught herself. Maybe it was just her imagination, she thought. It's a wild animal. It doens't have cognitive thought. It's not grinning at anyone!

"Right!" She sadi, just a little too enthunsiastically. "What's the plan?" She was begining to think the Inspector was right, the sooner this thing was in a cage and on it's way to some rescue centre or other, the happier they'd both be. "Out through the front door? Or out the back and through the alley? Not that it makes much difference, the alley comes out at the gate next to the front door." As she said it she shrugged and smiled. "Sorry, that's not very helpful is it?"

The Inspector stood watching the creature for another minute or two, thinking about what she had said.

"Do you know what? I have an idea" He announced.

Rebecca raised her eyebrows. intregued to hear what he had thought of. She could think of many options at all.

"What if ..." He paused, getting the idea straight in his head before continuing "I use the alley and at the same time you go out of the front door and stand by the car. That might distract it from what I'm doing. I can cut through next doors garden whilst it's attention is on you. What do you think?"

"If I go out the front door and step behind the car that thing is likely to bolt" She stated. But as she looked at him her conviction faltered. They both turned at the same time to look again at the creature. It just sat there, staring at them through the window.

"Are you sure?" He asked "I bet it won't"

Rebecca frowned. She tried to reason with herself in her head.This was a wild creature. When she had first seen it she thought it was scared and out of place. But as she looked at it now it's composure seemed to have changed. Now it didn't seem scared at all, it appeared menacing and calculating. In fact, she couldn't help thinking, even if it did bolt maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing. She realised that she didn't really want to catch it anymore. She didn't want to get that close to it and she certainly didn't relish the idea of having to handle it. She shook her head a couple of times, as if trying to shake the thoughts away.

"You might be right" She said, finally. "Lets give it a try"

They both turned and left the room. Rebecca lead the way back through the kitchen, picking up a small key by the back door, she went out into the garden. Unlocking the padlock to her back gate she lead the Inspector through the small alleyway between her house and the house next door. Unlocking another padlock when she got to the gate at the other end. This gate was slatted and the Inspector looked through one of the gaps . He could see the front garden of the house next door, off to the right.

"OK" She said. "I'll head back and go out the front door. You should see me as I step out of the porch from here"

"Right" He replied.

She headed back down the alleyway and when she got to the garden gate she turned back towards the Inspector.

"Good luck" She called.

He turned and smiled back at her. "You too" He said.

She went back inside and made her way down the hall to the front door. As she reached for the handle she hesitated. Then, she pulled open the door and stepped into the porch. She took took a couple of paces 'till she stood just behind the car, then turned toward the creature. It had barely moved, just enough to turn it's head to stare at her. She shuddered as the creature raised slightly off it's haunches. the same move she'd seen it make earlier. It stretched it's nose and sniffed at the air. She was aware of the Inspector as he made his move. Out of the corner of her eye she could see him making his way down next doors path.

A thought went through her head. She could walk toward the creature, maybe scare it away. She considered it as the creature continued to stare at her. She could not shake that irrational idea that, somehow, it was sizing her up. She tried to tell herself it was just trying to assess the decree of danger she posed, a perfectly natural instinctive response! But it didn't help, her mind inagined calculating thoughts going through it's head, behind those small, shiny black eyes.

Swallowing hard she took a step towards it. She expected it to show fear, or some concern, at least. But it just tilted it's head to one side, watching her. She took another step, it's head straightend again. She realised she was shaking. She balled her fists and concentrated on her breathing - slowly in, then out. Her heart was racing. She leaned against the car, watching the creature.

"Where have you come from?" She asked under her breath.

The creature just tilted it's head again and continued staring. 



The End

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