By popular request I've added another chapter to my story about the leopard print dress!
Since he left, her constant companion had been her kitten, but now, suddenly it was gone. She held its collar to her cheek then broke down into uncontrollable sobbing. Then grabbing her coat she stumbled to the door, her legs almost buckling beneath her. She flung it open and tried to call out, but she was unable to make even a sound.
It was then she saw it. There among the daffodils lay the motionless creature. Her precious kitten. She collapsed onto the ground and reached out. The kitten still felt warm, but there was no sign of life.
She scraped and burrowed in the moist soil then laid the kitten in the hollow. The earth she brushed over the limp body scarcely covered it. Then she lay there with her head on her arms, unable to move, unable to think for what seemed hours.
She sat up with a start. Get away. She had to get away. He’d be back and next time it would be her.
She went to stay with a friend in France. She told no one she was going and made no attempt to contact even her closest friends while she was there. A year passed, and slowly but surely she began to regain her confidence. It was time to go back. She had to. She couldn’t hide forever.
Her cottage looked exactly as it had when she left it. But the grass was overgrown and the garden wild. She had to stop her hand from shaking as she put her key into the lock. She turned it then pushed the door. A mountain of mail which had built up on the mat made opening the door difficult, but by leaning on it with her shoulder she eventually managed to get inside.
It was like the Marie Celeste. All was just as she had left it. Except that everything had taken on a dull dusty appearance, and there was a damp musty smell in the air. She walked into the bathroom. The bath was still filled with water, and her cast off clothes were still scattered all over the floor as she'd left them. She glanced toward her bed, and there, where she left it was her kitten’s collar. She unpacked her case and hung her clothes on the rail in the wardrobe among those she'd left behind when she went.
The next day she awoke to a beautiful sunbathed morning. She threw open the curtains and windows, and let the fragrant warm air fill the room. It was time to get her life back on track.
Later that day she walked down to the village. She needed food, something to drink and plenty of cleaning materials.
There was a charity shop in the main street. She had often donated clothes which she no longer needed, and once or twice managed to pick up a hardly-used designer dress. She stopped to look in the window, and gasped as her eyes suddenly fell on her leopard print dress. She rushed inside.
“Where did you get that dress?” she cried “Who gave it to you?”
“A gentleman brought it in this morning” said the startled assistant. “He brought us a bag of clothes which used to belong to the poor soul who died in the white cottage last year. Now you look familiar.....” but by then she had run out of the shop.
She crashed into the cottage, and flung open the door of her wardrobe. It was empty
Go to part five