Title: RETURN TO BRUDE
Genre: MG Fantasy
A streak of black fur shot over the hill, her paws skimmed the lane, her green eyes keened ahead. No need to turn; she heard him panting too close at her heels. Ten whisker-widths behind her – his ears flapping, his head bobbing – was Dylan the terrier.
Cantrip sprang to clear the garden wall with elegant precision. She wove through rosebushes towards a white cottage, inhaling scented triumph.
Dylan skidded in a patch of mud, stopped inches from the wall and seconds from a flattened snout. He snorted, shook his head and darted to the wicket gate, and poked his nose through as her black tail licked the corner of the cottage for the last time. He barked as if to say – Catch you tomorrow.
Day after day, Cantrip shadowed the girl out of the cottage. Most school days were fine, but on weekends, she rarely got past the edge of the village before – Yap, yap, yap! And the chase was on.
She slipped through the kitchen door flap and paused to cool her pads on stone tiles, then leapt onto a rickety stool by the table where her breakfast lay. But as she bent her head to eat, a prickle shot from tail-tip to whiskers. They quivered. She froze and listened... no one. She dismissed the sensation and ate her bacon and black pudding.
The cottage stood solid in the morning sunlight as Dylan trotted back to the village, but shuddered on its foundations as he disappeared over the hill.