She’s not old, never wears black. Her cat is a rich ginger. It sits on her shoulders when she cycles through the village, glaring at everyone with its one green eye, dismissing them with a hiss.
Joel points and calls, the other children follow. He looks at her and the cat with a centuries-long recognition, steeped in smoke and screams.
One morning Joel doesn’t turn up for school.
The woman and her cat are long gone from this Earth when Joel is found at the bottom of the village pond, his bones nestling amongst those of so many others.
Written by Nicola Murphy