Smorgasbord Short Stories – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries – Animal Magic – The Night Shift by Sally Cronin

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Smorgasbord Short Stories – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries – Animal Magic – The Night Shift by Sally Cronin

As is my custom, I am serialising one of my past books here on the blog, and over the next few weeks, stories from my 2020 collection, Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries, Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet. I hope you will enjoy.

Animal Magic – The Night Shift

The corridors of the care home were silent, with only the soft sound of the night-matron’s rubber soled shoes on the tiles. Everyone was asleep by now, televisions switched off, a last cup of cocoa and biscuit consumed, along with a sleeping pill for those elderly who suffered from insomnia.

Jessica had worked in this elderly care home for the last ten years since she retired from nursing and, as the night shift was not popular, she had been welcomed with open arms by the manager. The home was just around the corner from her flat where she lived with her husband Mike, who also worked nights in a factory in the centre of town. It suited them very well, as they managed to work the same shifts, giving them plenty of free time together.

There was plenty to do overnight, with paperwork to catch up on, and stores to check and restock from the basement of this old Victorian house. Admittedly it was a bit eerie walking up and down the dimly lit staircase, but after all these years, she knew there was nothing frightening lurking in the shadows. As she approached the end of the corridor, having gently opened each of doors as she passed along its length, to check on the occupants of the room, she saw a sudden flash of movement out of the corner of her eye and shrank back against the wall.

As her breathing calmed and her heart stopped thumping, she reasoned it was likely this old house might have a mouse of two, but the brief glimpse she had caught gave the impression of being rather bigger than a mouse, or even a rat for that matter.

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