To The Animal Refuge: A Narrative Fiction
Storm looked back in the rear vision mirror at the still form of the marsupial lying on its back in the bend. All four feet rigid in the air and bloated with gas to the size of a fattened calf. “I told you not to do that. You’ve stunk up the car.”
“The poor thing.”
“They’re as stupid as heck. Probably fell asleep on the side of the road.”
Lightning crackled over the line of jagged hills that ran like a row of broken teeth along the horizon. Another roll of thunder. Not so distant.
“I wish we were home,” Penny muttered to herself.
“Why? You afraid?”
She smiled at him. “I usually like storms.” She turned back to her side window to stare at the hills. “But I’ve had enough of the kind we’re …show more content…
We are NOT!”
“We can’t leave it here. You can put it in the boot.”
“And take it where, Pen?”
“To the Animal Refuge.”
“They’ll be closed.”
“I’ll ring Kay Wilkins on the way.”
“You know her?”
“I have spent some time in this town too!” She reached down and touched the soft fur. “She’s a friend of Mum’s.”
“I wouldn’t have thought Franchette…”
She gave him a quick look and saw the warning in her eyes and stopped himself in time. “I’ll go back to the car and get the blanket from the backseat. Mum’s going to be real pleased I used it to wrap around a bleeding kangaroo, you know?”
What is the in arguing with her. She will try to pick it up by herself and get kicked. Then we might be heading to the hospital instead of the vet clinic.
He returned with the blanket. Carefully he covered the head so the animal would not be able to see what was happening. He wrapped the material around the twitching body and carried it gently to the boot.
Penny dropped the phone back into her shoulder bag.
“Were you able to get her?”
“Yes. She said, ’sure that’s what we’re here for’.”
“Great! Let’s go.”
He started the engine.
“You never answered my question.”
He glanced over at her as he swung the car back onto the road. She was staring at him. Reminding him of Franchette …show more content…
“Yeah. I guess so. Hard to tell.” She clicked the pen and closed the book on it.
“I wasn’t going that fast.”
Penny blew a raspberry. “Yeah, right.”
“They were spooked! They were running along the side of the road and the next thing they’re bouncing along in front of us. You saw them!”
Kay gave him a tight smile. “You must keep an eye out for wildlife when it gets like this.” She put her hand around the clinic door and flicked off the light. “If you both could see what we’ve seen here the past few weeks. So many animals hit on the roads. Crazy! This weather we’ve been having is freaking out the critters.”
“No kidding,” Storm said.
“We’ve had livestock on farms doing stupid stuff like getting stuck in weird places and needing to be rescued. It gets crazier and crazier. Been that way for months now. There are no more foster homes available to take our babies while they recuperate. Everyone’s already got all the kangaroos, kookaburras, snakes, and echidnas they can handle.”
She locked the clinic door. They stood beside their cars for awhile watching lightning snap and crackle. The sky fracturing into a thousand