• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 01
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Choosing to keep a white tiger and a macaque as pets was a curious and dangerous affair. Doing so in the aftermath of the city’s evacuation was regarded as insanity, even in the chaos where bombs fell through from another dimension to suck great swathes of property into a black chasm which was painful to look at. But the circumstance in which they met demanded little else. There was I, foraging for food in areas not teeming with the mindless and ruthless panicked who might just as well have been the zombies of countless screen apocalypses – namely anywhere but the shopping arcades – when I saw this huge furry carpet of a thing under a sycamore tree. To be honest, I’d have missed it if not for the shrieking. Now I was pretty used to shrieking, screaming and roaring at this stage – the tenth day of the attack which denied any sort of defence by military or police – but this was something else and, frankly, a welcome change of tenor. I’d hitched up my rucksack of provisions and approached, noticing a smaller grayer bit of fur bobbing up and down atop what I soon recognized as the muscular shoulders of a white frigging tiger. My eyes glued themselves to the hulking animal, as if intent on bringing my notice to the fact that it was still breathing. The grey fur-ball broke my semi-coma by making a half-rush at me. I swung the hurley stick in its general direction and it slouched off back to its post, casting a disapproving look over its shoulder. Echoes of Aesop’s fables came to mind and I edged nearer. The macaque’s bearded little face wore a curiously solemn expression. It had stopped shrieking and the cacophony in the distance seemed to fade into this curious plateau. I’d bent to examine the huge paws for thorns but found none. I swear the monkey had rolled its eyes before idly twanging the hypodermic dart buried deep in the cat’s flank. I don’t know why I blushed then, but I did. Amid the ubiquitous looting, I’d secured a generous supply of medical equipment and supplies.



The wee blonde nurse had even helped me load them into the abandoned ambulance – so much more useful than the fancy gas-guzzlers everyone else was stealing. An enticing post-apocalyptic relationship had been cut short by a weird-looking flechette suddenly sprouting from her dead eye. I’d laid her on the ground – vomited – and moved on; and must do so again … back to the tiger. After juggling visions of Tarzan-esque ideal and being eaten, I’d shrugged in the face of the latest alien barrage, pulled out the dart and administered the adrenaline I always carried in epipen format. Fortunately the tiger was more terrified than hungry. So here we are: I forage; "Tigger" guards; Macaque scolds and bares teeth at intruders. It’s harder feeding us all, but no-one is going to steal from us.