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Creature of the night

Looks a bit like the chechire cat

 by Caroline Airson October 2015

A greedy nose glinted in the moonlight, sniffing eagerly at what awaited it.

“Do you have my package?” asked the cloaked figure.

The voice, half absorbed by the damp walls of the alleyway, sounded almost timid were it not for its hardened tone

Another hidden creature stooped to obey his request and withdrew a lumpy package wrapped in brown paper, oozing from one corner.

Pressing it quickly into the buyers hand he then snatched a gold coin in exchange  and, after quickly testing the metal between his sharp, neat teeth, pocketed the payment.

“Before you go you despicable creature, when is my batch due? I have important clientèle awaiting word.”

Asked the cloaked figure.

“You know I aim to please sir.”

Replied the shadowed creature in a syrupy voice.

“It’s just that stuff is hard to come by. How about an egg in the meantime?  I know of a freshly laid clutch.


Came the retort through gritted teeth,

“But you better have more next time we speak.”

With that the cloaked figure made its way back down the alleyway.

The shadowed creature, with eyes glowing golden in the darkness, began to smile a neat little smile. He then  turned and limped away. As soon as he was sure he was out of sight, he picked up his rolls of fat  revealing long legs and gracefully picked his way over the cobbles.

As dawn approached, the creature squeezed his bulbous backside through a gap in a fence, uffing and puffing in order to guide his fat through to the other side. Moulding debris and detritus around himself, the creature found a dark hovel in which to slumber until darkness came for it again.

Cleaning the remnants of last nights deeds off his teeth the creature sniffed the air.  Pinpointing prey, he set off at a purposeful shuffle. Arriving at some slumbering infants in a nest amongst long grass, he smiled that neat little smile before baring down on a first chick…

After an hour, business was finished and the creature returned to his own nest, leaving only faceless chicks and a few bloodless ticks to show for his night-time outing.

Quickly he scampered to gorge in private. The buyer would have to wait until next time.

A light suddenly stopped the creature in his tracks. Forgetting itself, it rolled into a ball while his spikes twitched with irritation.  The oldest of habits die hard when you’re a… hedgehog.

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