Connor Shaw

I came home from the city to find a dead sheep on my doorstep. It must have been there for some time judging by the smell. I shook my head, this was not the first time I had come home to such a grisly find. It had to stop and I knew who I had to see about it.

It was a short way through the woods to the cottage where he lived and as I walked along the narrow path I felt my anger rising. When I bought the house three months ago in this idyllic part of the world, I hadn’t expected to be made to feel so utterly unwelcome.

I’d been searching for ages for a weekend retreat in the countryside and when the house came onto the market it seemed perfect and was ridiculously cheap. There was just one condition, a lifelong tenancy for the occupant of the cottage that came with the house, situated in adjoining woodland. The tenant, Connor Shaw was aged ninety-two, so I didn’t think he’d be much trouble or even be around that long. 

From the start, it was clear that Connor was not pleased about my arrival. He made disparaging comments about incomers and city folk and was surly and unpleasant towards me. Despite supposedly being ninety-two he was lithe and fit with the appearance of a man half his age. But there was an air of menace about him; his matted grey hair, the sharp glint in his eye and the way his lip curled as he spoke. I almost declined to buy the house after our first meeting, but it was as I said, ridiculously cheap.

The other villagers were hardly any more welcoming. When I entered the pub or the shop it always felt like conversation stopped and suspicious eyes turned upon me. But it was Connor I was sure who was responsible for the dead sheep.

It was late as I approached the cottage. The full moon illuminated the tiny dwelling. I was about to knock on the door but something stopped me and I crept instead towards the window and peered in. There splayed out on the table was another dead sheep and crowded around it were several dark shapes, one of whom I recognised as Connor, only he looked different somehow. His shoulders were broader, his neck thicker and hairier and were those ears that I could see sticking out of the thatch of grey hair on his head? I let out an involuntary gasp of horror. As I did, the shapes turned and looked towards me. I found myself staring into the yellow eyes of a pack of wolves.

I turned and ran as fast as I could, jumped into my car and returned to the city. The house would be back on the market the next morning, ridiculously cheap.



Alex Sandys
Aug 13 2020

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An excellent and really well written example of how to tell a powerful story in a few words.

Rod Webb
Aug 13 2020