They are bought with a purpose. Not cheap, but worth it. June prepares carefully. Works out the best place from which to spy, disguised, far enough away to be unsuspected. The binoculars take a bit of fiddling with until she gets the hang of them. Simple really, she doesn’t need her reading glasses. On the chosen day she dresses in brown, the better to disappear into the natural surroundings. The caramel cable cardigan she knitted herself when Jim was ill, the khaki trousers bought from the bargain bin at the supermarket, her comfortable gardening shoes and a clever sunhat which folds flat and fits in her pocket. She settles into position, her back against a tree, sitting on a picnic rug. See and not be seen, that is the plan. It will be impossible to miss the guilty party from here. Beside her she lays out provisions: cheese and pickle sandwich on granary bread, flask of black coffee, fingers of buttery shortbread. Nothing that will rattle or crunch, no plastic wrapping or greaseproof paper. Only cling film. She misses her daily lunch apple but it too involves crunching, perhaps she will eat it for supper instead.
And so she waits. A plane flies overhead, two magpies have a raucous battle in a nearby tree, the rumble of the recycling truck moves slowly along a nearby road. June’s head begins to nod forwards.
Then, with a sixth sense as if she hears an inaudible whistle of warning, she lifts her air rifle and shoots the pigeon dead. The pigeon that perches on the edge of her ornamental bird bath, its bottom hovering over the water, preparing to poo.
That night June eats her apple for supper, a baked apple with brown sugar, raisins and custard. The apple is pudding, the main course is pigeon roasted with red wine and shallots.
© Sandra Danby
[this story was first published at Ether Books as part of the ‘Flash Fortnight Challenge 2014]
Read story 1 from the Challenge:-
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
REVENGE: a #shortstory about a woman & a pigeon via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-2vl