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by Rob Walton

I’m happy to visit Chris’s house and I’m happy he’s invited me to stay. It’s been a long time. I laugh a lot when he reminds me about my fear of the foxes in his garden all those years ago. I see the long row of dog bowls in the kitchen and I laugh a little bit. I say something else about the foxes and Chris says, Yes, they’re on the next floor. I hear scampering and I almost smile. I will be sleeping in the attic. I will be away from the foxes when I sleep, but I will have to walk past them. I know they are not interested in attacking humans. I also know they can bite if they are distressed. I tell Chris I’m a big boy now and I’m going to take my bag up. He says he will do it. I grin and tell him it’s no problem. I don’t want him to disturb the rusty red cub I’ve been carrying round with me. It’s amber, alert and ready to make friends.

Rob Walton grew up in Scunthorpe, and now lives with his two daughters in Whitley Bay, England. His short fiction and poetry for adults and children appears in various magazines and anthologies. His flashes have been published by Blue Fifth Review, Gravel and 101 words in the US, Flash Frontier (New Zealand), and various UK publications. He is a past winner and current judge of the UK’s National Flash Fiction Day micro-fiction competition. He sometimes tweets @anicelad and is on Instagram: r.ob_w.alton.