During the great pandemic of 2020 – 2024, the home accommodation of cats and rabbits fell, while for the same period of time, the figure for dogs rose. Writing as a dog, I find the statistics both believable and understandable. After all, you won’t get very far down the road for your daily exercise expecting a rabbit to lead the way. However, this hasn’t been all good for the dog world, at least not in my part of town. First-off, the additional influx has brought with it pressure onto the ownership of territories, with new claims appearing every month. These new dogs, often they don’t even have English as their first bark, growl and whine language, making civil communication over a dispute near-on impossible.
“I wonder what’s up there?” Phyllis said to Zelda over a background noise of the elevator counterweight system in motion. They studied the control panel showing floor levels marked with gallery names. The label for the top floor read PRIVATE NO PUBLIC ACCESS. A mutually-shared sense of curiosity dispensed with any need to exchange words, as her companion pressed the corresponding button.
Outside of the elevator, everything in view was a disorientating whiteness. A labyrinth of echoey corridors, soon found them lost and confused. “Wow,” said Zelda, “Are we in Heaven?” Aside from the floor, skirting boards, the walls, the ceiling and pendant lamps, there was nothing. Not a trace of decoration, no tropical plant displays, water-cooler or snack-bar vending machine, not even a fire-extinguisher canister, as one might expect.
“I don’t recall dying.” Said Phyllis sardonically, “This, is like some mad Minimalist’s fantasy! What is it about minimalism’s fascination with the colour white? Why not all this in mauve, for example?”
I lived alone Sunday morning, awoken, I watched, as a bright burst of shimmering light entered the bedroom, and a vision appeared Just like how we are told they do
I said “Who are you?” I answered myself, “You’re an apparition of a saint, aren’t you?” The figure emerging, acknowledged my statement-question, with a bow of the head “Patron Saint of, what?” I asked
“This,” the Saint spoke with a marginal echo, “is of no importance” “Maybe not for you,” I said, “but maybe for me it is, giving credence to my story, for when I tell others, about when a vision of Saint So-and-So appeared before me”
Pam received a knock on the door at five in the afternoon, to the door of the house she’d rented and a place she’d called home for the previous fifteen years. She hadn’t done much with the place over this time, trapped as she was, by the renter’s dilemma: Why do things the landlord should do, when she might decide to leave next year. A dilemma that felt progressively meaningless, as each year followed after another. Yes, the carpets had worn thin long ago, the power of the shower, never good, was pathetic now. The small sun room on the back of the property leaked-in rainwater, paint peeled from the window frames and from the front door, the same front door that had just received a rap from a lightly tightened fist, trying to gain her attention.
Pam was slouched on the futon-settee, a laptop computer resting on her thighs as the anticipated second burst of reverberations from a more firmly tightened fist rang out several decibels louder. She felt irritated by the interruption. Who could it be, another door-to-door sales person selling window replacements? A police officer half-heartedly investigating a local burglary? A pesky teenager doing a knock and run? Keiko, her mangy black and white cat was slotted comfortably within a space formed by Pam’s legs, sleeping, twitching occasionally. This was going to be a considerable disruption, Pam thought. She felt conflicted. To answer, or ignore? She glanced up at a the bright, unshaded wall light and concluded that from the outside, this would indicate to an observant visitor that someone was indeed, home.