The Robin Flew

I couldn't help making little contented noises. As I lay across her fragile legs, she scratched my left ear, and I felt loved. The low coal fire cast flickering shadows across the old furniture, the bowl of roses on the mantelpiece and the antique clock. A slight breeze of cool autumn air made the floral curtains flutter in the wide bay window and for a moment I saw where the wallpaper had come unstuck. Moved by the chilling winds I lightly padded over to the small rocking chair and began again my restful existence.

As I was settling again into my carefree slumber, the great clock struck with a resounding clamour. It had made the same protests on the hour every hour since I could remember. Yet its protests still did irritate me.

She twitched. She moved her aging limbs and bent down, clasping me to her whiskery old face and held me again. Then rising and slowly and painfully standing she lovingly whispered in her banal, caring manner. "Puss, puss. Dinner time." A long shadow was cast across the flag stoned path as a solitary figure made its way towards our home. The old wooden door slowly creaked open on its old hinges. "Hello, " he muttered as he stood blocking the peeling doorway. "Hello there, " she delicately replied to her grandson. He sneezed. "Damned cat, " he said as he wiped his sweaty nose with his sleeve. Not waiting any longer I made my way up towards the lone carpeted landing. Dinner would be delayed as she was made to pander to his egotistical person. I had only just reached the small table at the top of the stairs when I heard the small bowl of roses rattling along the white mantelpiece and a short, dreadful scream. With my feline grace I pounced down the carpeted stairs, brushing against the small stand at the bottom. Before I reached the open door to the lounge, I heard a door slammed in the kitchen with such ferocity that it startled the lone robin perched on the poor whitewashed fence. Skidding into the now lifeless lounge, the bowl of roses fell, smothering and splattering over the burning fire. My companion's face lay mirrored in the pool of fresh blood slowly seeping into the carpet. Her previously brightly shining eyes stared back vacantly from hollow empty holes. The proud, straight poker lay bent a grim reminder of its most previous use.

I silently padded over to her lifeless body and nestled with her, as I had done with my own frigid mother's body. She, my aged companion had gone at last to her Harold. I lay with her and remembered the love and caring she had shown to me, as a small blind kitten. It was Harold who had found me, lying half frozen, hungry and near death in an old bin, stinking of garbage. He had found me lying against me own dead mother, brothers and sisters. With gentle words and ways he had carried me safely home, warm in his deep pocket. I had loved his pockets, the way they smelt always of her cooking. She would never cook again.

As her body died I was overcome with a sense of hate towards the man who could do this. She was an old lady, wrinkled and soft. Her face was, like mine, covered with whiskers and she dribbled whenever she was excited or ate. I still had loved her. She had had very little to get excited about in the past three years since her Harold's death. He was gone, her children rarely came and grandchildren only visited when the wanted something. She missed Harold. I had tried to be there for her but..its not the same for her.

A loud bang intruded on my reminiscing. Unconsciously, I did something I had never done before as the hate again coursed through me. I hissed and arched my muscular back. A soft male voice, accented only slightly with French, drifted into the house. "Maria, Madam Maria, are you here?" I half hissed, half purred in both greeting and warning to the soft warmth of the voice. Wether he heard me or not, the oak door was again pushed open and I heard the shuffling of feet as they carried their man across the large faded rug that greeted all to this house. As the voice called again I recognised, through my hate, its owner. It was Mr Joubourt. He had only visited a few times to help with the gardening or some other task my dead friend had been unable to accomplish. As the old Frenchman's eyes peered inquisitively around the corner I saw them open in obvious shock and horror. Taking in with revulsion the body and blood, cat and poker, he stepped back knocking over the old vase, filled with yellow flowers. Gasping for breath and holding his weak heart through his thin black overcoat, he composed himself as another man entered the room.

Both the unfamiliar hate and fear that have changed me, coursed through me again like venom as the young grandson fell with faked shock to his worthless knees. The blood on his hands only I could see. Not knowing the truth, Joubert helped the sinner to his feet and consoled him. Looking at his face over the Frenchman's worn shoulder I saw the same empty hollows as I had on his victim.

One did the deed; another suffered because of it. I am the only one who knows the truth. My dead companion will rest in peace, but I will not until one more death is done.

As Mr Joubert consoled the young grandson, the red breasted robin again took up its vigil on the poor white washed fence.