This piece was published on 101 words on 26th Feb 2016.
The Smell of Fear
She smells him first. Huddled in the bushes, she freezes, eyes tracing each step over the damp grass, unsure whether he’s seen her in the shadows.
He’s heading straight for her now, and her body is lost to terror, legs buckling, heart drumming in her chest. He’s standing over her and unfastens the buckle of his trouser belt.
She cowers further into the undergrowth, spiky branches snagging her thin coat, and scratching her face and eyes.
He feeds the leather strap round her rigid neck and yanks it tight. ‘C’mon, girl. Let’s get you to the vet, see if you’re chipped.’