Friday, 12 December 2008

Dragging the millstone

The stone hit with a thud and a whine. There was no movement, thereafter.
Though it was late afternoon, nobody was around the village green and no cars were driving past. Charlie acted quickly, dragging the body by the scruff of its neck away from the open lawn where it lay and soon into the bushes and soon into the trees.
He knew the hidden ways well, places where he’d hide and watch the children play. The body was surprisingly light. He looked back at it for a minute and saw blood pooling upon the crack in its head, mixing with hair and dead leaves.
When he was a safe distance from the village, he thought of leaving the carcass in the trees to rot, or for animals to feast upon. But his eyes heard the babbling of the brook and he was soon sliding down the bank with the small body trailing behind him. They made two firm splashes as they hit the water. He stopped to peer about the banks, for signs of fisherman or nosey children, but the area was as silent as any a dull day in Breckford ever was.
As he dragged downstream, the body grew heavier with water and his arm soon weakened. He eventually decided he would find a deepish pool, under overhanging branches, and weight the body down with stones.
Charlie looked down at the sad bedraggled creature he had killed. Blood mingled in tugging draughts from its head wound, matting its fur. Its pink tongue lolled from its once snarling mouth. Its tail hung pathetically and uselessly behind, like some broken rudder.
Still, it soon sank, and the stones fell slowly to crush its bones.
Charlie withdrew, up the bank, covering his pants with mud. On the shivering walk home his mind whirred with excuses, ready for the parental inquisition to come.

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