Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Miaow by Helena Nolan

Meena knows things. She knows a lot of things about the neighbours. For instance, she knows when the McCarthy's have sex. Mr McCarthy travels for work. Meena often sees his shiny silver car pull out of the driveway on a Monday or a Tuesday morning and it might not return until the Wednesday or even the Thursday night. When Meena sees the silver car back in its slot between the flowerbeds, she knows that the McCarthys are having sex. She has excellent hearing. Mr McCarthy looks like a man who needs a lot of sex, a man who would be anxious to make up for lost time on the road. Meena has no way of knowing if he has sex with anyone else while he is away. But she knows that Mrs McCarthy does. This happens when the pale blue car takes the place of the silver car in the McCarthy’s drive. The two cars are so similar, a casual observer could hardly tell them apart, but Meena can.

The pale blue car usually arrives later on the same day that the silver one leaves. It pulls up mid-morning and leaves mid-afternoon, when no one else is about, no one except Meena. She thinks of the man in the blue car as The Blue One, he always wears a blue shirt. It looks a bit like a uniform she has seen before, except the top buttons are undone. She thinks of Mr McCarthy as The Red One because his face is always so red and crinkled, like an old apple. The red man is smaller and wider than the blue man, who is very tall and thin and gleaming, like a fork. Neither of the men ever notices Meena at her window. She has been sitting there for so long now, it’s like she’s become invisible. One day when Meena peeks out, both cars are in the driveway at the same time. It's a tight squeeze. The house looks like it might explode at any moment. Even the glass in the windows seems to be trembling. Meena settles herself down to watch. She licks her paws and waits.

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