Emu - A Crowd-Written Story

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The Story

Emu - A Crowd-Written Story

Looking through the gap in the corrugated iron, she could see that she'd been wrong about Frank. The Vauxhall, the handbag, the faint smell of hot dogs ... It all pointed to one thing. But to admit this, and on this day of all days, would have repercussions she simply wasn't ready to face. So, with the feather gripped tightly in both hands, she slowly walked away.

"Cop out!" she heard, muttered under an old man's breath. Or was he simply coughing? It was hard to tell.

"What's your problem?" she snapped, swivelling round to confront him. She brandished the feather.

He backed away. "Nothing. I never said nothing!"

She took a step towards him, still waving the feather.

He put his arms in front of him in a defensive gesture. "Get that thing away from me."

The emu's charismatic face flashed into her mind.

She wished she hadn't been given the responsibility of being the feather's keeper. It appeared that far too many people knew what the feather meant, and a lot of them were not shy in letting her know that she was out of her depth.

It hadn't been her choice to be the keeper, but she wasn't in a position to refuse, what was supposed to be an honour, but felt more like a punishment. Her brother had a lot to answer for.

Sarah's mind took her back to the beginning, to the moment Peter first told her about the emu. He had been standing in the doorway between his kitchen and living room, too wired to sit down. Her first reaction had been to laugh - an emu as a pet; it was nuts. But Steve was no ordinary emu - enigmatic, loyal and destined to be kidnapped - The Vauxhall, the handbag, the faint smell of hot dogs...