Isaac kicked the stone further up the path, he’d managed to bring this one all the way up from the stream. It clicked and bounced along the tarmac which gave way to weeds at the edges of the path. Turning round to check on Mac’s whereabouts, his feet scrunched the loose surface. Where the hell was that dog.
‘Mac?…..C’mon! Maaac!’ he took a few steps back down the path but was loathe to walk the whole way back down the hill – their progress had been good today. To the right he looked through the old chainlink fencing at the allotments. They’d been there all his life, all thirteen years of it and rarely had he seen much activity. The occasional old man wearing a flat cap and bending over to tend some row of young plants which all looked the same. ‘Maaaac!’ Nothing. He whistled.
A little further down, the fencing bowed and had come away from the concrete posts. The older kids had gained access, making a sort of den. He saw discarded empty beer cans and cigarette butts pushed into the gashes in a tree stump where it had been taken down by the council and treated so it wouldn’t grow again. Something then caught his eye.
‘Mac, you bugger. Come here, now!’ the jack russell was digging at the edge of a small wooden shed furiously, like he did when he knew a rat was hiding tantalisingly close. He ignored instructions at times like these, the hunter in him taking over. Sometimes they’d had to throw cold water over him in the garden to get his attention. Isaac squeezed through the fence and worked his way through large leaves of rhubarb plants and around sacks of horse poo. Dishes full of stagnant water long forgotten now held eco systems and when he knocked one by mistake, the stench reached his nose quickly as the green gunk seeped onto the grass and a wave of mosquitoes lifted into the warm afternoon. He reached down and grabbed the dog’s collar, ‘When I say come on, I mean it.’ it took Isaac’s persuasion ages before Mac stopped turning to face the way they had come. Bloody rats…
(Read Part 5)