We Suspect

We Suspect

by Elizabeth Challinor

It was raining

We entered the chemist

I suspect

I've got the plague

The rat

Sat on my shoulder

Nodding in agreement

What medication do you recommend?

The man

In the bright white overall

Behind the counter


Put on a mask

Do you have any symptoms?

Not yet

Then how do you know?

A feeling

An intuition

A certain presence

The rat lifting up its head


The man blinked and said

We don't test here anymore

We walked back through the door

Into the street

Searching for another chemist

We suspect I have the plague

What makes you think that?

Asked the woman behind the counter

Ignoring the rat

A certain feeling

An intuition

Do you have any symptoms?

Not yet

The rat scratched it's head

The woman looked through him

And said

Then I don't know how I can help you

The plague, you see

Isn't what it used to be

Nobody cares

Nobody's scared anymore


Come on, Johnny

The rat jumped off my shoulder

Onto the floor

I took out its lead, strapped the colourful collar to its neck

We strode together into the street

From behind a cloudy cloud

The sun came out to take a peep

Burst into laughter

So loud

Everyone looked up into the sky

In horror

We returned happily home

To nurse our suspicions

Elizabeth Challinor