Chapter Eighteen

Malory
had thought that eleven years of friendship meant that you stayed friends
through thick and thin, not drop your best friend because she ‘needed’
counselling, not help Luella shun or torment her, not graffiti ‘FREAK’ across
any book she left on her desk, then lie to the teacher about it.

The
purpose of the stray dog was to find one small enough to tie up in the
bike-shed without being spotted. Hardly anyone brought a bike to school anyway,
so that should be easy enough. Then at home time she would retrieve it, walk up
to Arianna and ask if she wanted to see some more dogs, cute little ones,
Arianna loved dogs. Malory was hoarding a small amount of dog food and the collar,
leash, food-bowl and brushes her old dog had used before it died, under the
hay-bale with the candles and matches. She planned to bring the dog back to the
barn after she’d caught it, make it look all cute, leave it there in her former
dog’s dog-bed, tied up to stop it from escaping. Malory wouldn’t kill it once
it had served its purpose. She would help it to acquire a taste for human and
inhuman flesh, let it devour her victims. Ms. Dahmer had rotted away to almost
nothing, but Malory kept her necklace and earrings under the hay-bale with the
rest of her hoard.

Malory
had found something else useful at home, the remnants of a bottle of
dog-shampoo. If she found a small enough dog then she could bathe it in a
bucket, if the dog was bigger it could stand under the tap. Either way Arianna
wasn’t going to evade her death.

So
after school the following day it was dog-hunting time. As far as her mother
knew, she was over at a friend’s house and would be back later. Her mother
delighted in hearing these fictitious tales of knew-found popularity.

The End

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