It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday here in the UK and to celebrate, we’re running another Round Robin romance featuring five talented Choc Lit authors. And, just like with the last story, make sure you read right until the end so you can take part in our competition!
The first author up is Berni Stevens, and she begins with just a little twist
‘Did you hear that?’ Lily turned her head towards the front door of the small apartment.
Her flat mate, Jo, shook her head. ‘I didn’t hear anything.’
‘It sounded like a cat.’
They both listened again. After a few minutes, a faint miaow sounded.
‘There,’ said Lily.
She went to open the front door, and on the step sat a small black cat. It looked up at her, big green eyes glinting in the light from the hallway.
The cat miaowed again, sounding more plaintive this time. Lily knelt down to get a better look. She held out her hand and the cat nuzzled and butted her.
‘Is it a cat?’ Jo came to the door, and sighed when she saw the animal on their step.
Lily picked the cat up in her arms and stood back up.
‘She’s pregnant,’ she said.
Jo knew the signs, so she went off to find a cardboard box for a bed. ‘Animals in distress always find you Lily,’ she said. ‘And birds.’
Lily had always been the same, ever since junior school. A blonde angel of mercy, forever rescuing birds with broken wings, finding confused hedgehogs, and abandoned cats and dogs. Once she’d even brought an orphaned fox cub into school that she’d found alone and starving under a hedge. The cub’s pungent smell had infiltrated the classroom and most of the corridors by lunchtime, and their teacher had begged Lily to take it home.
When Jo came back with a cardboard box filled with old towels, the little cat was on Lily’s lap, purring happily.
Lily looked up, ‘I think she’s going to have her kittens soon.’
Jo looked worried. ‘Do you know what to do?’
‘I’m hoping she will.’
‘What if something goes wrong?’
Lily stroked the tiny ears gently. ‘Where’s the nearest vet?’ She asked.
Jo pulled her iPhone from her jeans pocket. ‘No idea,’ she said. ‘Let’s have a look.’ She plonked herself in the other armchair and began scrolling through likely surgeries. The nearest veterinary practice was half a mile away.
‘Wychwood Veterinary Practice, Orchard Road. Shall we call them?’
Almost on cue, the cat howled and they both jumped. Lily scooped her up and put her carefully in the box. ‘Call,’ she said. ‘I think we need help.’
Jo held the phone to her ear, listening to a recorded message, and suddenly began opening drawers frantically. ‘Pen!’ She shouted. ‘And paper!’
Lily found an old envelope and a stub of a pencil. ‘Okay.’
Jo read out the number and Lily started to write it down. The pencil broke and the cat screeched at the same time. Muttering the number to herself, she tipped her handbag upside down and shook it frantically. Her phone skidded out amongst the debris, and grabbing it, she jabbed at numbers on the keypad.
A deep voice answered immediately. ‘Wychwood. Rob Daniels speaking.’
‘It’s the cat,’ said Lily.
‘No, she just – sort of – turned up.’
‘What’s the problem?’
‘She’s having kittens.’
‘She’ll be okay. Cats are good like that.’
A muffled discussion could be heard between the vet and what sounded like an extremely angry woman. Lily was sure she heard a door slam. Then he came back on the phone. ‘Give me your address.’
Lily sighed with relief. Help was coming.
We’re already a little intrigued by this vet and very much looking forward to meeting him! Look out for Sarah Waights’s Part Two coming tomorrow.
If you’d like the chance to win a mystery prize in celebration of Mother’s Day, make sure you come back every day until Sunday so you can answer all five questions. You will need to read right until the end of each part to answer. We will give contact details of where to send your answers to on the final day of the Round Robin. Please wait until the end of the story to send in your answers.
The first question is: What is the veterinary practice that Lily rings called?
If you enjoyed Berni’s writing, you’ll be pleased to know she has a new book (the second in her London Vampire Chronicles series) coming out in April. Until then, why not check out her first novel with Choc Lit – Dance until Dawn. Available HERE.
You can now read Part Two by Sarah Waights here.