Tuesday 21 November 2023

Worrying by Jane Mooney, espresso


 His ears twitch when he hears the whistle. He knows he should stop but he can’t. Something is driving him forward. He crashes through the undergrowth, the woody smell of bracken in his nostrils, their sharp shoots scratching his belly.

Just over the horizon he can see black heads and woolly bodies. Their panicked bleating sends a primal thrill through his body and he runs faster, head down, tongue lolling.

He hears the whistle again. He should stop.

‘FIN, FIN…here boy’

His paws feel hot and his vision is a blur. He comes to a gate. They are on the other side.

He hears a rustle behind him, a familiar rattling, scrunching sound. He turns. Head on one side he looks into her eyes. She reaches out, hand flat to show the treats. His mouth starts to water. He knows that all he has to do is take a few steps and she will be fondling his ears, scratching his chin, blowing into his nose. He lifts one foot, slowly, ready to move towards her.

Then he hears a snuffle and spins around. They are there, a white fluffy mass on the other side of the gate. Fin flattens himself to the ground and wriggles under the gate.

He gallops at full speed into the mass of black legs, white round bodies, panicked bleating. His senses are overwhelmed by the sound and the smell of them.


And then, two cracks as gunshots echo across the valley.


About the author

Jane Mooney writes in the beautiful Pennine hills in Yorkshire, England. Her short stories have been published by Funny Pearls and Pure Slush


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