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The Strange Story of Mr. Briggs- Chapter 2

by Geetashree Chatterjee
(New Delhi, India)


Chapter 1


Chapter 2
(v)

Lately, a cat has come to prowl in the vicinity. A dirty yellow cat with black stripes!

The other day I was working in the kitchen. As I looked up, I got a start. My eyes met a pair of dark grey ones staring at me unblinkingly.

My kitchen window opens on the front lane, just a few feet wide. Across the lane is a small MCD park.The cat was crouching on the railing of the park and gazing intently at me. Expressionless! Or was there a peculiar taunt lurking in those gray depths? It was mid morning but a sudden chill ran down my spine.

In the afternoon, I saw him again. Sprawled on Mr. Briggs’ balcony, the door to which was surprisingly unlocked! In the evening, he was curled up on the parapet lining his front window, his bushy tail hanging down, lazily swinging in the mellow autumn breeze and a know-all smile hovering on his soft pink lips, eyes closed. I would not have been surprised if a hum of a tune had floated to my ears. He seemed to be enjoying the dying sun of the day!

***

Snow is bringing down the roof with his incessant barks. The yellow cat makes it a point to sashay down the front lane in an irritatingly unruffled gait and sometimes stops by to look at Snow in the most infuriatingly innocent way.
I hear Snow howling and impatiently pacing the front balcony like a caged beast dying to be let out so that he can confront his arch enemy, in all his fuming ferocity, once and for all.

***

I bumped into Mr. Briggs in the market place by chance. Where else but right in front of the fish shop! He looked faintly annoyed as I told him not to encourage the cat. I was sure he was the culprit who tore the bin bag and gorged on the fish bones. Mr. Briggs listened to me quietly with an intent look which was disturbing and at the same time frustrating. A few seconds and then he was gone without even a nod or a bye. Right inside the fish shop, his favourite joint!

Of course! I do not expect him to say a yes to whatever I propose………..that is, not in “so many words”, at least. But still. There is something called courtesy!!!

End of Chapter 2

To be continued ....

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