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Anabasis: Text # 5


Text derived from writer Patricia Ann McNair's daily prompt series, #4, We were never sure what happened:
We were never sure what happened. Because when I picked up the phone, she was still babbling in a high pitched hysterical voice so that I couldn’t make out the words, only her name. I handed the phone over to my mother and said, “It’s Linda.” My mother listened, saying “Oh God, oh God” into the mouthpiece of the big yellow phone, from which I could hear Linda’s voice, tinny and distorted now, still wailing in long sustained notes.
My mother went next door, to where Linda lived, and didn’t return until hours later. Ashen-faced, she told me what she knew. 
Linda had finally locked her violent husband out of the house, telling him that he was out for good this time. 
Her husband, a soldier who had just completed his third tour in war-torn Northern Ireland, had bellowed through the door that he would get her back somehow. 
The next morning, their teenage son Tony had told Linda that the family cat was nowhere to be seen.
Later that day, when Tony came back from school and entered the house through the back garden, he noticed a mound of fresh soil covering what looked like a hole that had been dug and quickly filled in again.
Tony began clearing the soil away with his feet, and then with his hands.
In a few minutes, he discovered the decapitated body of the cat, and the cat’s head, lying in the soil in the garden.

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