The cold bites at my face making me think that my cheeks and nose are burning with it. The snow has been coming down all afternoon and by the time I started walking home from the village it is now a full blown snow storm. My vision is seriously limited and I can barely see a few feet in front of me. It was becoming harder and harder with each step that I took to even keep my eyes open, it was beginning to give me a headache. I had always liked the snow, finding nothing better than to be at home with no where to go, fire on and a good book with it coming down painting the roads and paths that always look so dirty a clean bright white. It was almost as if the snow was trying to wipe out the sins of the world and allow us to start a new. Now though I was starting to change my mind, I just wanted to be at home. A few more minutes of this is all I would have to bare, a cut through the woods and I would be home, warm and dry. I just hoped now that Freddie had the fire burning ready for my arrival.

I stop as soon as I see the first tiny spots in the crisp white of the fresh snow. I can tell that the snow is not the only thing that is fresh. Blood, a few drops leading me on the path I would have to take for my short cut. I know immediately what has happened, and judging by the fact that the heavy snow has not yet covered up the spots, I know that it can’t have happened more than a few moments ago. I hurry on, following the trail. The spots are becoming bigger now and I know that soon I will be upon whatever is bleeding. Why does no one listen to me when I tell them to keep Brian out of the woods. It worries me, the more time he spends out here the more dead animals turn up in the house. I make it through the trees and almost to our back gate that is open when I see the rabbit laying on the snow a wound to its stomach, I know that the animal is already gone. I sigh and walk through the garden and push through the kitchen door. “Freddie?” I call out as soon as I close the door and slide my hood over my head. A few drops of melting snow drip for me and all I want now is a hot bath and a glass of wine. But that will have to wait, this must be dealt with first. I make my way into the living room and find my husband and grandson sat together on the sofa. Brian’s hair is wet so I know that he has been outside again. “Freddie, we need to talk.” I tell him waiting for him to come back into the kitchen again and out of ear shot of my grandchild.

We have brought Brian up, his father, our son died when he was six months old and his mother was unable to cope with him, so we took him in. He is named Brian after his father.

“This can’t go on Freddie.” I start as soon as he closes the kitchen door behind him. “I know that he has been out again, he has killed another one. Don’t you think we should do something about this now?” I ask hoping that that this time he will listen to me and realise what our grandson is doing is not normal. “He sneaks out of the house, he kills things. We have to do something.”

“He a lad, I did things like that when I was a kid. Me and my dad used to hunt on weekends.” He says and my shoulders sag as I know that he is not taking me seriously again.

“This is not hunting, sneaking out of the house and just killing is not hunting. This is not good I don’t care what you think, he can’t be doing this.”

“Kate listen to me, he’s ok. I no that your worried about him but the more that you make a big deal out of this the worse it will become. I’ll take him out tomorrow and try and explain to him that he can’t be doing these things. It will all be ok.” I sighed and turned away from him, opening the cupboard I reached for the bottle of red, what I need in this moment is a drink.

It wasn’t only the fact that Brian was going out and hurting these animals or the fact that he was sneaking out of the house to do it, but it was the fact that he was only five.

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