That night …

Chapter 3 of the English Family Anderson continues 😀

 

Yes!  That’s how you deal with diabolical reprobates!

If you missed the beginning, you can find the whole story on The English Family Anderson page 😀

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DON’T COME BACK!

Chapter 3 of the English Family Anderson continues 😀

Ooh, what are they going to do?  What’s Mrs Anderson’s idea?  How can they stop the shoots on the Viscount’s estate?  Find out tomorrow 🙂

Or if you don’t want to wait you can read the rest of the story now 😀

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Startled

Chapter 3 of the English Family Anderson continues 😀

Ooh, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes! 😮

Story continues tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you know what to do 😉

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Then what happened?

Chapter 3 of the English Family Anderson continues 😀

😮 How did Caitriona make sure her friends were safe? Find out on Monday!

Or read it now if you don’t want to wait 😉

Have a great weekend 😀

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Up before dawn

The story of the English Family Anderson continues 😀

 

Gasp! 😮

Story continues tomorrow …. unless you’d like to read it here now 😀

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It was no accident!

The story of the English Family Anderson continues 😀

Story continues tomorrow …. unless you’d like to read it here now 😀

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Venus glows in the dark

The story of the English Family Anderson continues 😀

Oooh 😮

Story continues tomorrow, or you can read it here now 😀

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Spooky

The story of the English Family Anderson continues 😀

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Oooh, sounds like an angry ghost 😮

Story continues tomorrow, or you can read it here now 😀

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A Story for Halloween

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Gil Thompson shut down his computer, put his notepad and pens in his desk drawer and took his empty coffee cup to the dishwasher.

See you Monday Terri,” he said to his colleague as he picked up his briefcase and headed for the door.

Teresa was engrossed in her work and took a moment to respond.

Oh, yes, see you then,” she called after him, “wish Sally good luck from me,” she remembered to add.

Sally Thompson, Gil’s ten year old daughter, was playing the lead in her school’s production of Calamity Jane. Tonight was opening night and Gil had only an hour and a half to get home, eat dinner and get showered and changed before he drove the whole family to the performance.

It was already dark and raining hard when he pulled out of the multi-storey.  The traffic was bumper to bumper and every light turned red as he approached it.  It took him nearly twenty minutes to get out of the city centre so once he was on the open road he put his foot down.  Visibility was bad.  He knew he should slow down but his wife would be livid if he was late.  With wipers going full pelt and main beams on, he tore down the country lanes towards home.

He heard a gunshot.  And another one.  He wasn’t alarmed because he knew what they were.  The badger cull had started again.  It was a shame but unless the country wanted to give up on dairy farming, it had to be done.  He had issued another seven licences that day.  It was vital that the spread of bovine TB was stopped.  It was so upsetting for farmers when their herds got sick and had to be slaughtered.  Plus, it was costing the tax payers a fortune.  Ok, dairy farming was costing the tax payers a fortune anyway, but at least they were getting cheap milk out of it.  He shook his head.  He was the one who signed the forms but he didn’t like it, and he didn’t want to listen to it.  He switched on the radio to mask the sound of the guns.  The weather forecast warned that it might rain later and then one of his favourite songs began to play.  His furrowed brow relaxed and he absent-mindedly started to sing along.

Suddenly something rushed out into the road in front of him and he slammed on his brakes.  The car had been going too fast for a quick stop on the wet road and it hit something.  Filled with dread, Gil put on the handbrake and got out to have a look. At the side of the road lay a badger. Her left ear was bloody and heart-shaped.  It looked like a gunshot had taken a piece out of it.  He’d hit her with his car as she ran from the guns. How awful.  He looked closer and saw that she was still breathing.  As he leaned over her she opened her eyes and recoiled in fear.

It’s ok,” he tried to reassure her, “I’m going to get you some help.”

There was no way to tell how bad her injuries were and he couldn’t bear to think of her suffering.  He would take her to the vet.  They might have to put her to sleep but at least it would be humane.

The badger, however, had no intention of letting him near her.  With great effort she got to her feet and limped towards the hedge.  She squeezed through it to the field and was out of sight.  Gil felt responsible.  He’d been driving too fast.  He switched off his headlights, turned on his hazards and locked the car.  He climbed over the gate and looked around.  Under the full moon he could see a dark shape limping sluggishly across the field and walked towards it.  There was another one ahead of it, and another one. Six, seven, …. there were eight dark shapes moving across the field.  Which was the injured one?  He fumbled in his pocket for the miniature torch on his keyring and shined it over the dark shapes, crouching to look for the bloody, heart-shaped ear.  But they were gone.  There was not one dark shape; not one fleeing animal; not one injured badger.

Then a deafening boom shook the sky and Gil hit the ground hard.  He heard voices approaching.

Got another one! Bring the cage!”

Oh my God! What have you done?”

I thought it was a badger! I saw the glint in it’s eyes, close to the ground. I aimed for the glint!”

As he breathed his last breath, Gil saw the cage of dead badgers.  Just visible, sticking out from under the pile of bodies, was the soft, black and white head of the first kill, two hours earlier.  She had a blood-soaked, heart-shaped ear.

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First of all …

For the story so far, click here

“First of all I had to make sure my friends were safe.”

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“After some practice I found that, if I concentrated, I could move things inside the cottage.  Donnan lay down by the door, watching, waiting for my return.  I draped a shawl across his back which startled him and he whined as he looked around for me, confused.  The shawl slipped to the floor and I lifted it and draped it over him again, this time slowly dragging it across his back, stroking him with it.  He rubbed his face against the shawl, breathing in its smell, my smell.  Then he rolled around on it, wrapping himself in it and howling.  Somehow he sensed me.  He knew I was there.

“The others watched Donnan’s strange performance and gradually they too became aware of my presence.”

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“I needed to let them know that it wasn’t safe for them here, that the Viscount’s men would be coming back.  There was a cave at the foot of the mountain where they could hide until the danger passed but I didn’t know how I was going to explain that to them.  I repeatedly tried taking the shawl so that I could use it to lead them there, but Donnan thought it was a game and kept pulling it back and rolling around, barking and wagging his tail.  Eventually I got so frustrated that I screamed with vexation.

“My friends were suddenly still and alert, their ears pricked up.  They had heard me!  I looked at Donnan and Brighde and Beathag and the wee bird, and realised that they were all looking back at me.  They could see me!

“There was a small sack of oats in the basket by the hearth.  I pointed to it and told Donnan to ‘bring’.  Then I moved to the doorway and he followed me, and the others followed him.  We all made our way to the foot of the mountain and I told them to wait in the cave while I went back to the cottage to wait for Faulkner’s men.

“I didn’t have to wait long.”

To be continued …

Diabolical Mountebank

For the story so far click here

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“In spite of being a drinker, a gambler and a generally neglectful parent, my father had at least made sure I wouldn’t be destitute before he lost the rest of his estate to Viscount Faulkner – or ‘that diabolical mountebank’ as he called him.”

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“His son was worse.  It was he who shot me and I knew that he would not be satisfied with the manor and most of the vast estate if he thought he could get it all.  He owned the bankers and the solicitors and  would not rest until he had in his possession every last blade of Allaway grass.  I had to make sure he didn’t get his hands on my four acres.”

To be continued …. 

The Viscount’s Lackey

For the story so far click here

“The following morning I saw one of the Viscount’s lackeys arrive and try to enter my home – I knew what he was after and tried to get in his way but he walked right through me.  I felt helpless.  Angry and helpless.”

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“I should have known Donnan would not let him pass.  Even the little grouse did her best to see him off.  The lackey turned tail but I knew he’d be back and that meant my friends wouldn’t be safe.  The Viscount wanted my Indenture.”

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To be continued …

“The night before I died …”

For the story so far click here

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“The night before I died I was sitting at home by the fire, nursing a baby red grouse who had been orphaned by the Guns the week before.  My friends, Brighde the doe and her fawn, Beathag, were asleep on their blanket and Donnan, the collie, was taking a deep drink of water.  It was peaceful until Donnan suddenly stopped his lapping and turned to the door with ears pricked up, growling.  Then came three heavy thuds on the door.  I was afeared but Donnan was there.  I opened the door.”

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“There stood the nasty gamekeeper and his henchmen, from the Viscount’s household.  I had had run-ins with him before when I put out his heather-fires or freed foxes and other souls from his evil traps and snares.  Donnan stood beside me, snarling at the keeper and the lads behind him who held shovels and sticks menacingly to intimidate me.  The keeper spoke low, his voice sounded cracked from too much smoke.  He told me that if I did not stay away from the grouse shoot on the morrow, and keep entirely away from the Viscount’s estate, it would not go well for me, or my friends, and with that he raised a stick as though it were a gun and aimed it at Donnan.  Donnan leapt at him and bit his leg hard.  The nasty man yelled and kicked my good boy off, shouting at me to “be warned!” as he limped away.”

To be continued …