It’s Story time!
This adventure is suitable for ages 12+, and for younger readers with adult guidance/permission.
Getting through the gap was much harder than Erin thought, and clearly those extra snack-mice between meals would have to stop. But then, she mused, it was only comfort food and therefore comfort calories for the cold winters days and nights. Come spring she could wear it all off chasing around the palace between naps. One final push and a pulling in of the waist and she popped out behind the aquarium display. She suddenly felt very tired. Probably the warmth of the heated aquarium and the gentle bubbling sounds from the filters lulling her to sleep, she said to herself. As much as she was tempted, she shook herself to stay awake, and went to where the kitten’s scent path seemed to be headed. But try as she might, she couldn’t pick it up, so clearly, she surmised, it had stayed under the aquarium, but which one? She sat and licked her paws, and considered the problem. She had failed to make a note of the position of the one the kitten had gone under, and now she was the other side and back to front, she just didn’t know. Plus they all looked alike, covered as they were with a red, gold trimmed cloth.
Mrs H would’ve known what to do, and which one to go to, she meowed out to herself. The basics of detection were, she had told Erin one evening, to observe, take notes, and then have a nap. She thought about that last statement and decided that taking a nap wasn’t what Mrs H had said, when she said consider a problem. Taking a nap was what she herself had done when the talk had moved onto logic, permutations, variables and deductions. They all sounded like something to do with a tax return, and had made her so very tired and wish she were asleep. It wasn’t until much later that she realised she had fallen asleep. What had awoken her that evening was that sound of Mrs H’s dictionary falling to the floor with the sort of flumping thud, that only dictionaries seem to manage.
The only thing she could think of was to be logical as Mrs H would be. And so, she did what seemed most logical and with a paw pointing at the counters, she began to sing. “Eeny-meeny-miny-moe, catch a white mouse by the toe, if he wriggles make him squeak and then he’ll be ready to have to eat.” At least those were the words she knew; Mrs H’s were way less tasty! She went over to the middle aquarium, which was the one she had chosen, and pawed at the cloth backing underneath. There, and much to her surprise and delight was a dark recess. She popped her front paws and head into the opening in the material and peered around and gave a good sniff. A heavy aroma of warm damp and algae came to her nostrils. There was a reddish glow to one side, and a faint humming sound too. The adage, ‘Fools step in’, came to mind as she pulled her whole body inside the space, but she really had nothing to fear, she told herself, so long as she was silent and quick. Peering around she headed into corner where the light was. Call it a hunch if you will, but Erin knew if a kitten wanted to be safe, it would head for somewhere warm. And the throbbing of the electrical device would in a way, mimic the comfort and sound of his mother. Reaching out towards the red glow, the soft outline of a sleeping ball of kitten came to her paw. Safe and sound, he was cuddled up asleep.
She managed to rouse the kitten with a purr and gentle nudge with the paw. It uncurled and meowed at Erin and staggered to its sleepy feet and nudged her under the chin. Erin’s heart opened up to the baby, as though it was her own and she felt she needed to spend more time with it, rather than cart it off. But time was scarce, so without any more ceremony, she took the kitten by the scruff and headed out and back over to the gap.
In the few strides to the gap, the docile kitten had come alive, and was squirming everywhere, trying to get free. Try as she might, there was no way she could get them both through the gap at the same time. It had to go first else it would probably not come out on its own. She unceremoniously dropped the kitten into the gap and pushed it forwards with her paw.
In the ground floor lobby, Anders was handing over the shop keys to Herman, the new daytime security guard. Herman was an ex-army man, a sergeant and proud, and was in character everything Anders wasn’t. As the ever-present face of help, as well as security for the store, he tried to get along with all he met, and give the benefit of the doubt as required. It had however only taken two weeks before he had taken a dislike to Ander’s careless, devious and cheating ways. Things never added up in the security log, not where Anders had been involved. And whilst he was prepared to allow for his lack of education, the man, to Herman at least, was not stupid. But he was careless about the times he recorded for when he had visited the floors. And he was signing work off before it was done, or as was more likely, not done. Still, he thought to himself, at least I don’t have to work with the idle so and so. Wouldn’t cut it in the modern army.
Anders grabbed a hessian sack and headed back into the store with just a curt ”I’m just going to look for something I dropped, then I’m out of here. Don’t wait up now, will you Herrrrr-man!” The new guard had, he noted, given him a strange look. That instantly put Ander’s back up, not that it took much with Anders who had a short temper and even shorter fuse.
“I’ll see you this evening then, Anders.” was the guards reply, as he went through the routine of switching on the stores lights at the main control panel.“
“Not if I can help it or see you first,” Anders sniggered to himself when he thought he was out of hearing range, and then threw an exaggerated and condescending salute to the guard.
After watching Anders disappear into Mr Herod’s personal elevator, Herman turned to the log and read Anders report. “The mans a complete liar,” he muttered, as he wiped away a smear of red sauce from the page. “And a disgrace too. Wandering around like he owns the place and in those awful slippers and stained jacket. Thank goodness he won’t be here when the royal party and guests arrive!” He picked up his pen and made a new entry under Anders, stating how the previous entries were not consistent with the time the log was signed. He also added how dirty and unkempt Anders had appeared and rude too. He then marked it for the attention of Mr Herod, and closed the log. He was not a vindictive person, but Herman knew that if he didn’t say something now, it would reflect badly on himself later on. Still, he couldn’t help but feel a little satisfaction knowing once Mr Herod read it, later that day, he probably wouldn’t have to put up with Anders attitude much longer.
To be continued………
Has Anders finally blown it, or will he bluff and lie his way out of it? Will Erin manage to get through the gap and back to safety with the kitten? And do all cat nursery rhymes have white mice in? Tune in next week for more kitten mayhem and Anders based shenanigans in this, Erin’s & London’s BEST Adventure!