He stalked the alley, pride of possession showing in the angle of his twisted tail. His torn ears and scarred nose alert for intruders. His yellow eyes inspected each familiar dustbin, ready as ever to protect his territory. Beside old Mrs Flynn’s dustbin were the usual choice titbits; he ate, neither thinking of nor caring about, the strange old woman who threw stones at him in the day time yet left him food at night.
Suddenly this king of alley cats tensed, each hair of his arched back stood stiffly away from its neighbour, the skin was drawn back from his needle sharp teeth, each of his whiskers quivering. Carefully he searched for the source of his unease. He found only the same year-laden smell, washed a little sharper by a recent shower. There was no change in the moonlight’s begrimed shafts among the man-made angles. The night sounds of protesting decay were all familiar, yet still his whole being cried out danger.
The strangers appeared from the centre of a pool of vibrations that could be felt only by the alley cat’s trigger senses. He was too old a campaigner to waste time with futile warnings. He sprang. He died in mid arc.
Jason’s tail stirred in mild irritation as he reholstered his weapon. “Really Thane the Society does not expect me to risk my whiskers protecting time travellers that you land in the wrong era. We will be lucky if we get back into our own time stream. Even historians of the primitive have never dared to come back this far.”
Thane twitched his ears, the nearest he ever came to showing emotion. “Nevertheless these buildings are interesting, large all out of proportion. Plague era I would surmise by the look this fellow, some sort of outcast I would guess.” The travellers huddled together keeping their distance from and warily eying the dead alley cat.
“Careful! Jason stilled Thane’s half taken step. Surely as an historian you travel time enough to recognise visual distortion? We must be at the gate between two very distant times. That creature almost too primitive to be thought of as an ancestor, belongs to one. Those building which only appear to be so large belong to another time.
“Yes of course, I must reset at once. Personally I have no desire to form an addition to the statistics of missing travellers.”
As they shifted along the time passage, Thane smiled to himself. For just a second he had actually given credit to the legends of furless giants.
For several years I have enjoyed meeting with fellow poets and poetry lovers every other Monday at the Bear in Wantage. There we discuss both our own work and that of other poets both well known and obscure. Many of the poems in the category Wantage Poetry Club were first presented at the Club. That category dedicated to friends in the Club contains the poems which I have not as yet published in a collection.
Copyright © 2013 by Pamela Boal. The moral right of the author has been asserted. All right reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval systems, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
Please feel free to utilise my poems in your projects but do give accreditation in an appropriate manner and make a charitable donation in recognition of the fact.