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by Tracy Fells

The girl holds up a printed card as I move to shut the door. “We don’t need anything,” I say.

She beams at me, her eyes wide as she points at the words telling me she is mute. Charcoal drawings appear from her bag, each picture is held aloft. Something in my expression makes her stop at the hare. Ears alert, the hare sits in long grass, one eye fixes me.

From the kitchen Gary shouts out, wanting to know who’s at the door.

The girl mouths: you like? She sketches a number in the air, an exorbitant figure. I shake my head.

Gary growls from behind, his hand on my shoulder, and the girl shoves the hare at me. “I’m going to have to fit a lock and chain. Sue, why did you answer the door at this time of night? You never know what low life is out there.”

Turning back to the step, I find she’s gone.

“How much did you give her?” Gary sighs then tosses the drawing into the recycling box.

Days later when I squash the contents down with my foot I know the hare is still watching me.

Tracy Fells lives in West Sussex. She has won awards for both fiction and drama. Her short fiction has been widely published in magazines, online and in anthologies. She is the 2017 Regional Winner (Canada and Europe) for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and has been shortlisted for the Fish, Brighton and Willesden Herald Prizes. She tweets as @theliterarypig and is currently seeking a publisher for her short story collection.