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Day 5

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There’s that noise again: a scratching, ticklish sound. I thought it had just been the blonde making her way into the house, but with the door to the den open, it’s obvious now that the noise is coming from the back.
 ‘You hear that?’ she asks me as she hops out of the chair, agile and liquid. I guess that she wants to investigate, but I’d really rather barricade myself in the room than go looking for trouble.
 ‘It’s probably just a rat, or something. Or a cat,’ I say, remembering the bowls I’d seen in the kitchen. ‘There’s a cat that lives here.’
 ‘Cat flap?’ she says.
 ‘Don’t know.’
 She’s already on her way to the back door. I follow only after she calls for me. Yes, I know, but my cowardice has served me well tonight, so why fight it?
 ‘Cat flap,’ she says, a statement this time. There’s a scrabbling sound from the other side of the Perspex. Something wants in.
 She stands next to the door with a kitchen knife in her hand and nods at me.
 I don’t understand.
 She makes some cryptic hand gestures.
 I still don’t understand.
 ‘Kneel down and tell me what you see,’ she whispers, irritation hissing through the words.
 I really don’t want this job. She glares at me. I screw up my face and do as I’m told.
 I have to press my cheek to the terracotta tiles so I can get a clear view through the hatch window, and as soon as my face hits the floor, something darts through. I scream and jump back. The blonde strikes with no hesitation.
 We both look down at the hand, impaled and writhing on the floor, the knife wedged firmly into the grouting.
 ‘Not a cat,’ she says.

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