by Luke Tebb
Article from The Layton Times entitled ‘Giant Rats Invading Homes in Rider Way’:
Rider Way is usually a quiet area where not much happens. In the past few weeks, however, it has been host to larger than normal rats. The rodents have been appearing in gardens and, occasionally, inside homes. Attacks on children and pets have also been reported.
Pest control services have been kept busy with calls of monster-sized rats surfacing from the sewers or entering homes via pipes and cracks in the wall. Sheila Cowen, who lives in a bungalow, saw what she described as “the biggest, dirtiest, ugliest rodent” she’d ever seen dart across her kitchen floor and through a hole in the skirting board. She covered up the hole, but more rats appeared. Her granddaughter came to visit and was bitten while playing in the garden. She ended up in hospital and is too scared to step inside her grandma’s house. Rats can carry countless diseases, and a bite from one can result in vomiting, fever, joint pain and even death if left untreated.
Mark Reynolds claims that his cat is too afraid to go out into the neighbourhood to search for mice. “Most evenings she comes back with a mouse in her mouth,” he explains. “For the past few weeks she’s been staying indoors, refusing to step out the cat flap.” He thinks it’s because of the sudden appearance of abnormally large rats. “There’s a turn up for the books; the cat is scared of the rodents.”
The Wells family, who run a popular fish and chip shop, don’t even feel safe in their own home. Mr. Wells has discovered a family of rats in the attic, having built a nest out of the insulation and spare pieces of wood and cardboard. “All the photos I saw of giant monster rats in the area I was sure were fake,” he told the Times. “Now I’ve seen them with my own eyes I feel very uneasy in my own home and am worried for my family.”
An increase in waste and littering in recent years is believed to have contributed to the pest problems. Empty cans and bottles, as well as fast food containers and wrappers are being thrown out of cars. Items which could be recycled are being thrown in ordinary bins and overflowing the landfills. Much of the packaging used for food is too big; such as bags of crisps which are only half filled, and boxes of sweets and chocolate which contain more cardboard than food. Rodents make landfill sites and recycling plants their home and begin to build their nests there, so they always have access to food and shelter.
A recycling plant which was based on the outskirts of Layton has been moved to the fields close to Rider Way. Workers at the plant believe that the move has led to the rats spreading to urban areas.
Residents are advised to keep their windows and doors locked as much as possible, especially at night. Children and pets should not be allowed outside after 5pm. Poison used to kill rats is not to be used where children and pets are likely to come in contact.
Owen crossed the road to get a closer look at the animal two birds were fighting over. He wasn’t interested in a morbid way; like people who dissect animals or preserve their bodies to display at home. He was just curious.
A gust of wind blew a discarded McDonald’s box onto the pavement. A few nuggets and fries were still inside. Owen stepped around it and approached the dead animal. Up close he still wasn’t sure exactly what it was. If he had a gun to his head he would say it was a rat. It had the body, eyes, ears, mouth and tail of one. The size, however, made him think twice.
Owen produced a ruler from his school bag and measured the rat’s body. The ruler was twelve inches long and he needed two to cover the body. The tail was the length of another ruler and looked like a snake. The eyes were fully red. The whiskers looked like snippets of wire; the teeth like tiny swords. The birds continued to peck at the flesh; there was plenty to peck. The body was thick and bulky. An obese rat? Owen chuckled at the thought.
A Jeep tore past, causing him to jump back and the birds to fly away. The tyres flattened the rat, spilling its guts onto the pavement. Owen got up and carried on walking.
He was coming back from an after-school book club. He’d been searching for an activity outside of school hours which would mean spending less time at home. The club was run by a kind and enthusiastic teacher and he got on well with the other students there. Books were a way to escape. Getting lost in a good story and sharing in the adventures of the characters was absolute bliss. His dad wouldn’t let anyone else choose what to watch on TV in the evenings and said that cinema ticket prices were a complete rip off. Owen thanked God for books.
Just as he was about to walk through the narrow footpath towards Rider Way, a car screamed past and he found his school jumper soaked in fizzy drink. Someone in the car had chucked a Burger King meal out of the window. The car had vanished before Owen could react. He cursed under his breath, then bent down and picked up the wrappers and cartons. He threw them in the nearest litter bin.
Rider Way was a quiet and well-kept neighbourhood. The gardens were pristine, and the hedges always trimmed immaculately. There were no noises during the night, save for the rustling of tree leaves and owls hooting. Sirens could always be heard in the far distance; the only startling sound was that of a car alarm being set off by accident. Some said it was a boring place to live, but Owen didn’t mind.
The smell of melted cheese hit his nostrils as he stepped through the door. The hall was swamped in a grey dullness. Owen kicked off his shoes, shrugged his school bag off his shoulders and switched on the light.
Mum was in the kitchen, cutting a giant pizza into four equal slices. “How was book club?” she asked when she saw Owen.
“A lot of fun,” Owen answered truthfully.
His older sister Charlotte and Dad were sat waiting in the dining room. “Alright,” Dad greeted, loosening his tie. Charlotte gave him a smile.
Mum came in with the pizza. As soon as Dad saw the food he frowned. “I thought we were having steak and chips tonight.”
Mum set the plate in the middle of the table. “You said you still liked pizza.”
Dad rose out of his chair. “Don’t tell me what I said. I told you I didn’t like pizza anymore because the cheese gives me stomach cramps.”
Mum sat down. “I must not have heard you.”
Dad stared at her accusingly. “Why don’t you listen to me?”
“I didn’t not hear you on purpose,” Mum protested as she scratched her cheek. “Maybe the TV was on and I couldn’t hear you.”
Dad’s nostrils flared. “No excuses; you were ignoring me. I’ve been at work all week, getting up at six every morning. I pay all the bills, paying for your fancy clothes and ornaments, and this is how you repay me?”
Mum didn’t say a word. Dad grabbed the plate. For a second Owen thought he was going to throw it across the room. Instead he released his grip and grabbed a slice of pizza.
“Saw the biggest rat ever on my way home,” Owen said. “It was the size of a cat.”
“I saw some enormous rats too,” Mum revealed as she whipped out her phone. “Took a video outside a restaurant of a group of them rummaging through a pile of bin bags. I wouldn’t have noticed if they weren’t so big. It was scary. I got away from there in a hurry.” She showed Owen and Charlotte the video as Dad handed out the pizza slices. The rats looked just like the one Owen had seen earlier. Their eyes were red and hungry. They scurried in and out of the bin bags through massive holes as fast as lightning.
“Turn that off,” Dad instructed. “It’ll put you off your dinner.”
They settled down and ate.
Owen was woken by a scream, or at least he thought he was. There could have been screaming in his dream. He sat up in bed and listened closely. There were two distinctive screams. Mum and Charlotte.
Owen switched on his bedside lamp and walked out onto the landing. “Owen, get down here!” Dad called.
He hurried downstairs to find Mum, Dad and Charlotte running frantically around the kitchen. Dad was carrying a brush, Mum a rolling pin and Charlotte a spatula. “There’s a rat in the house,” Mum exclaimed as her eyes darted round the room. “It’s disappeared and we don’t know where it’s gone!”
As Owen stepped into the kitchen he heard a growl. The animal sounded more like a dog than a rat. Charlotte opened the utensil drawer and handed him another spatula. “I’m pretty sure the noise came from behind the fridge,” she said. “Please check Owen.”
Owen walked up to the fridge. He heard another growl, throaty and agitated. After what felt like an age of hesitation, he knelt down and glanced behind the fridge. In the dark a pair of red alien eyes glared back. Owen whacked the rat with the spatula, almost like a reflex action. The rat dove at him. He leapt up and jumped in the air. The rat scurried under the kitchen table and into the hallway.
“Get after it,” Dad ordered.
Owen ran out into the hallway. There was a big bulge in the doormat. Owen grabbed a chair from the kitchen and walked as quietly as he could over to the mat. Then as fast as he could he dropped a leg of the chair on top of the bulge. There was an agonised cry, then silence. Owen removed the chair leg and lifted the mat. The rat was dead without a doubt. Its blood began to soak into the carpet. Mum, Charlotte, and Dad were delighted.
Dad told Owen to clean up the mess before he went back to bed. He got rid of the rat’s body quickly, as the stench was like sewage. The rat wasn’t as big as the one he had seen earlier that day, but it was still very big and chunky. It took ages to scrub the blood out of the carpet, and he was very tired the next day at school.
A few days later Owen came home from school to find Charlotte lying on the sofa in the lounge, watching I’m Alan Partridge. Whenever she had the comedy series on it meant there’d been a falling out. It was riotously funny and silly, and always put her and Owen in a good mood no matter how sour they were feeling.
Owen slung his school bag on the coat hook and went into the lounge. “How was your day?” he asked, collapsing on the other end of the sofa.
“Okay,” she said monotonously. Her eyes were bloodshot, and she hadn’t reapplied her make up.
“What’s happened?” Owen asked, taking his school jumper off.
Charlotte turned the TV down. “I had an argument with Mum over Dad. I told her I can’t take his behaviour anymore.”
“What did she say?”
“Aargh; she just used to same old excuses. He has to work hard, he just has a bad temper, he always says he’s sorry.”
“Sometimes I think she’s just as bad as him,” Owen said.
Charlotte played with her hair. “I can’t live here for much longer. I think I might get my own flat.”
“Can you afford one?”
“I’ve put away a fair amount of money from working at the toy shop, plus there’s the savings Mum’s put away for me.”
“I thought you wanted to go to uni.”
“I do, I just can’t be here.”
“You’re gonna leave me on my own?”
Charlotte’s eyes held the faintest hint of hope. “You can come with me if you want. It would help if you could earn a bit of money as well, but it’s gotta be better than staying here for another three years.”
Owen didn’t like the thought of a job on top of his schoolwork. Then again, Charlotte was right. “I’ll think about it,” he said.
“One more thing. I keep hearing noises coming from the attic at night. Keeps me awake. Can you check up there?”
“If it’ll make you happy.”
Charlotte flashed a toothy smile. “It will.”
Owen went upstairs and deliberated on investigating the attic for fifteen minutes. With a torch and a Swiss army knife he opened the hatch and extended the ladder. The steel was icy cold to the touch.
When he reached the top of the ladder Owen shone the torch around the attic. Nothing seemed out of ordinary. After another five minutes of deliberation, he decided to climb inside and conduct a thorough search.
The attic was empty save for a few cardboard boxes and discarded camping gear. Owen searched through all the boxes and coughed as dust began to cloud the air. Inside there was nothing but board games and worn paperbacks.
He heard a growl. The same one the rat behind the fridge made. Owen spun round but didn’t dare make a move. In the torch light a pair of narrow red eyes stared at him, followed by another, and another.
Owen brought the torch up slowly to where the eyes were. There was a circular pile of loft insulation and cardboard. In the middle were four pairs of red eyes, less narrow and smaller than the others. They could have been baby rats; except they were the size of normal adult rats. They scurried around the nest, startled by the bright torch light.
Owen thought that if he crept to the hatch and went slowly down the ladder, as quietly as a mouse, he’d be fine. He envisioned himself doing it, but he couldn’t move. His feet felt as if they were nailed to the floorboards.
A rat scurried towards him, forcing Owen into action. He scuttled back to the hatch, banging his head on the ceiling. He was in such a hurry he missed the ladder and fell seven feet to the floor, landing with an almighty thud.
Owen felt pain in his knees as he heard footsteps racing up the stairs. Charlotte appeared on the landing. “What happened?” she asked.
“There’s a nest of rats up there,” Owen explained. “Loads of the little buggers.”
Charlotte closed the hatch and knelt beside him. “Are you hurt?”
“I think I’m fine,” Owen said. He didn’t feel any severe pain.
“I feel bad for making you go up now,” Charlotte said.
“If you didn’t they could have spread,” Owen pointed out, “and there could’ve been countless monster rats in the house.”
“How do they get that big?” Charlotte wondered aloud.
Later that evening Owen and Charlotte told Mum and Dad what they’d found in the attic. Dad nearly choked on his beer when he heard about Owen’s fall. “You muppet!” he said, pointing his finger at Owen.
Owen wanted to go up to Dad and break his finger in half. The urge was so strong he had to leave the room.
Article from The Layton Times entitled ‘Rules for Dealing with the Rat Problem in Rider Way’
Layton Council have issued a warning to residents living in and around Rider Way in regard to dealing with the increasing problem of rat infestations. A 7pm curfew has been issued to children and pets.
Notices have been placed on lamp posts, listing the items which will harm the rats in case they decide to attack. The notices also include a warning not to throw items such as food wrappers and fizzy drink cans onto the pavement as the tastes will only attract more rodents. Residents are also advised not to eat or drink outdoors.
Sharon White, who runs the library in Layton, claims her pet cat has been very sick since he was bitten by a giant rat in the garden one evening. “He’s usually keen to go out and explore the garden and the street; now he wants to stay inside,” she tells the Times. “He’s not eating very much and is throwing up a lot. There are these red marks on his back. I thought they were just scratch marks, but they’re getting bigger.”
There has been an increase in calls to pest control services in the area, but they don’t seem to be of much help. Mr. Watkins, a member of the Big Bugs, Slimy Slugs team, is tackling the giant rats in several houses. “Normal sized rats can chew through electrical wires and lead pipes,” he explains. “These rats can chew through bricks and even glass, no problem. I’ve advised homeowners not to apply any rodent killing sprays outside, as children and pets could be harmed. My warning seems to have gone mostly unnoticed, though, as two young children are already in hospital.”
He continues, “I’ve never seen a case in a neighbourhood this severe, affecting so many households. Whether it’s a change in rats’ genetics or environment, this new type of rat is proving a scary challenge.”
Those red eyes again. Glaring, studying, learning. Those sword teeth, glistening in the light of the sunset. Whiskers like wires, sprouting from the snout in zigzag lines. Thick unruly hair. The rat looked like it had been in a fight. The tip of its garden hose tail was missing. Its ears looked as if they’d been half chewed off.
Owen was on his way home when he saw the rat in the middle of the narrow footpath, chewing on a big KFC container. He’d been at a friend’s house that afternoon and wanted to get back before dark. A sensible decision, but pointless. He’d seen about three other giant rats on his way home, though luckily they hadn’t spotted him.
Now he was frozen. If he ran, the rat would surely outrun him. He didn’t have any kind of weapon at hand. The hedges on either side of the footpath were too high to jump over.
He wasn’t too far from the main road. If he could just make it there, he could get the rat run over. It was rush hour so there was a good chance.
There wasn’t any time to think of another escape. The rat stood up on its hind legs and started making a kind of hissing sound. Owen feigned indecision, then spun round and ran for the road.
He heard the rat hissing behind him. He listened for traffic approaching, but the whoosh of the wind blowing through the hedge leaves drowned out all other noise.
Owen stole a glance over his shoulder. The rat was right behind him. He didn’t have time to check for traffic. He had to risk it. He ran across the road as fast as he could. He heard several cars whizzing past. He stopped and turned around.
The rat hadn’t crossed the road. It was coiled on the edge of the pavement, its red eyes fixed on Owen’s. Owen didn’t wait to find out what it was doing. He carried on running, taking as many twists and turns as he could. The sky was darkening quickly, and he needed to get indoors.
He was running so fast that he couldn’t stop in time for another rat not to see him. It was in the middle of a playing field, munching on the leg of a dead cyclist. The rat’s body was as big as a calf’s. Its claws were like knives; its tail flailed like an eel. It chewed through clothes and skin like bread. Owen hoped that it would be satisfied with its current meal and he could slip away unscathed, but he had no such luck.
The rat’s eyes locked onto him. It threw the leg on the grass and scurried towards him. There was a high fence at the end of the field. He raced towards it and just managed to climb over.
He was about to carry on for home when he heard a violent crack of wood. Splinters and nails went flying through the air as a wooden board came loose. The rat’s snout appeared through the crack in the fence, covered in soil and blades of grass. Another board came loose, and a splinter nearly hit him in the eye.
Owen ran for his life. There was no one else around. He crossed roads without checking. He knew that the rat was right behind him. He could smell it; it smelt like out of date meat. The street lamps lit his path, but he guessed there could be more rats in the shadows.
When he reached home, Owen pounded on the front door. He screamed for help. The rat was metres away. Before he could find an object to attack it with the rodent clamped its jaws around his ankle and pulled him away.
Luckily it overestimated its own strength. Owen was dragged for a couple of metres before the rat stopped. It released its jaws, sending a river of pain through his ankle. While he had the chance, Owen limped back to the house and picked up a flowerpot. The rat’s red eyes burned into his. As it raced towards him he brought the flowerpot to shoulder height, then smashed it down on the rat’s body.
The rat squealed in pain and retreated into the dark. Owen banged on the front door again. This time it opened. Dad stared at him, a puzzled expression on his face.
“What’s the hurry?” he asked.
Owen explained what happened. “Sorry,” Dad said, “I was watching the races. Didn’t want to miss the result. I dunno what’s going on with these rats. It’s like an invasion. Charlotte’s been bit by one. She’s been throwing up into a bucket.”
Dad sauntered into the lounge and returned to the TV. Owen limped to the kitchen, grabbed the first aid kit and struggled upstairs went to the bathroom. He rolled up his blood splattered trouser leg and dipped his ankle in the shower. He felt a sharp stinging pain, but it had to be done. The bite mark was flesh deep and he shuddered at the thought of how his body was going to respond. He spread antiseptic cream over the wound and wrapped it in a bandage.
Owen realised suddenly how dry his throat was. He limped back downstairs and poured himself a glass of water. His stomach felt hollow, but he didn’t have any appetite.
“Hi Owen,” Mum said, wandering into the kitchen. “I was just about to cook dinner. What do you fancy?”
“I had dinner at Mark’s,” Owen lied. He told her about the rats. “At least you did the right thing,” she replied, pointing to his ankle. “Fat lot of good those pest control people did. I didn’t think rats could get that big. I Googled what’s best for killing them, and apparently baking soda does the trick.”
“How did Charlotte get bitten?” Owen asked.
“She went out to buy Dad a case of beer. He didn’t realise that he’d run out. She ran as fast as she could, but one of them got her.”
Owen limped to Charlotte’s bedroom and found her lying in bed. Her hair was stuck up and her face was deathly pale. It took her a few seconds to realise Owen was in the room.
“Hi,” she said in a wheezy voice, before leaning over the side of her bed and spewing out green and yellow vomit into a bucket.
Owen tried to lighten the mood. “Make sure to clean the bucket before using it to mop.”
Charlotte managed a half smile. “Those giant rats are everywhere in Rider Way. I wasn’t going to go outside but Dad–”
“I know,” Owen said, gritting his teeth. “Can I get you anything?”
“Just some paracetamol. My forehead feels like it’s on fire.”
“I got bit too.” Owen showed her his ankle.
“How do you feel?” Charlotte asked.
“Not too bad at the moment, but I’m probably gonna be joining you in the throwing up department soon.”
“Owen!” Mum shouted from downstairs. Owen found her in the kitchen, horror written across her face. A rat had smashed the window and was scurrying in. He grabbed the carving knife from the tabletop and plunged it into the rodent’s skull. It squealed for a couple of seconds, then dropped dead. Owen hurled it out of the window and said, “We need to get all the windows boarded up.”
Owen and Mum used furniture and wood for the fire to cover all the downstairs windows and doors. He could hear the rats trying to break in. When he went into the lounge Dad was still glued to the TV, sipping on his second beer. He asked him to help move the coffee table in front of the window. As they lifted Dad shouted, “Rat!”
Before Owen knew what was happening another rat was on top of him, baring a row of jagged teeth. Its whiskers scraped against his cheeks. Dad had shoved him in front of the rat. He screamed for his help but got no response. He held up his arm to push the rat away and the rat bit down on his forearm. Its body was crushingly heavy, and Owen no longer had the strength to fight it off.
Mum burst through the door, carrying a knife, and copied what Owen did in the kitchen. The rat rolled off him and went stiff on the carpet.
Mum asked Dad to help her get rid of the body. “I’m not touching it,” he protested. “God knows how many diseases it’s carrying.”
Owen snapped. “Diseases which I’m now carrying because you used me as a human shield.”
“Did you?” Mum asked.
“It was just an accident,” Dad said. “I was trying to find a weapon to kill the rat; I must have knocked into him in the panic.”
“Let me get you bandaged up,” Mum said, gesturing for Owen to come into the kitchen.
“You believe him?” Owen said. “Why do always believe everything he says?”
“He wouldn’t hurt you,” Mum said.
Blood trickled down Owen’s forearm and splashed onto the rug. He glared at Dad. “I’ve had enough of you.” Turning to Mum, he said slowly, “And if you’re going to keep sticking up for this bully then I can’t stay here anymore. As I keep getting told in school: laugh with a bully, you are a bully.”
“Don’t you dare speak to your father–” Mum started, but Owen didn’t listen. He was sick of listening and never getting a chance to have his say. He walked out of the lounge and boarded up the door, then ran upstairs to Charlotte’s bedroom.
“The house isn’t safe,” he said, fetching her coat. “I know you’re sick, but we have to go. If we stay here Dad’s gonna get us killed.”
Charlotte struggled out of bed and Owen helped her into her coat. He took her hand and went downstairs. Mum and Dad were banging on the lounge door. He grabbed the car keys from the kitchen table and ran into the garage.
“You can’t drive,” Charlotte said.
“I’ve no choice,” Owen explained. If they tried to walk to safety in their condition they’d be dead meat within seconds.
They got into the family car and Owen turned the key. He’d seen Mum drive hundreds of times; it couldn’t be that difficult.
The garage door cranked open and in the headlights were countless pairs of hungry red eyes. Owen wanted to ram them, but he decided to start at a steady pace. He released the handbrake and struggled out of the driveway. He kept stopping and starting. The rats surrounded the car and began to scratch at the windows. Charlotte made sure all of the doors were locked. Owen turned right and headed out of Rider Way. “Where are you going?” Charlotte asked.
“As far away from here as possible,” Owen said. “I don’t know where, but we’re dead if we stay here.”
Many of the other houses in the neighbourhood were boarded up and the rats weren’t able to break in. Some of the bigger houses had sophisticated security systems and the homeowners didn’t need to worry at all.
Owen was struggling to drive and avoid the rats scuttling across the road. The car could’ve gotten damaged if he hit them. In the distance flashing blue lights lit up the dark.
“Is this a nightmare?” Charlotte wondered. “Or a prank? I can’t believe this is really happening.”
“How could it be a prank?” Owen asked.
“The rats could be an experiment gone wrong and someone’s trying to get rid of them.”
“I doubt it.”
Crack! Owen found himself covered in tiny bits of glass. A rat had smashed its snout through his window. It hissed as it pushed its way further in. Other rats heard and began to circle the car.
“I can’t find anything to hit it with,” Charlotte gasped. She searched frantically in the glove compartment and back seat.
Owen jerked his body to the left as the rat swiped at him. Its claws ripped open his T-shirt and left four red lines across his chest.
“Unbuckle my belt,” Owen instructed.
Charlotte looked confused but did it anyway. Owen grabbed his belt and tied it around the rat’s neck. He pulled as hard as he could, keeping one hand on the steering wheel. The rat let out a deafening squeal and smacked its tail against the windshield. A few cracks formed on the glass. The rat kept whacking its tail. More and more cracks appeared. Owen kept pulling until the rat wasn’t squealing any more. It made a desperate gasp, then slid off the car.
It was now impossible to see out of the wind shield. Owen couldn’t stop the car because countless rats were still circling them.
Charlotte screamed as a shudder was sent through the car, causing Owen’s hands and feet to vibrate.
He pressed on the accelerator, but the car didn’t move. He got out quickly to see what had happened.
He had hit a lamp post – hard. Smoke was billowing out of the engine. Owen knew nothing about car mechanics, so he didn’t bother trying to fix it.
“We have to run,” he concluded.
“I can’t,” Charlotte said, tears streaming down her face. The rats were moving hungrily towards them.
“Yes you can,” Owen said. He opened her door and took her by the hand.
They ran to the edge of Rider Way. The main road was empty. They carried on running alongside it. Owen prayed a car would come by. The rats were so close he could feel their hot breath. He felt claws swiping at his ankle.
Out of the dark appeared a pair of headlights, almost blinding them. A van pulled up beside them. The driver pointed to the back doors and shouted, “Get in!”
Owen took Charlotte by the hand and hurried to the back of the van. A young woman helped them inside and closed the doors before the rats could get inside. “Looks like we rescued you just in time,” she said.
Owen nearly got straight back out of the van. In big steel cages were rats, just as big as those they’d just escaped from. “Don’t worry,” the woman said with a reassuring smile. “The cages are very secure. These rats are all male, and they’ve been genetically mutated to make sure all their offspring are male. Specialist pest control teams will deal with the ones invading your homes for now. We’re here to ensure an outbreak doesn’t happen again. Eventually the rat population in the area will die out.”
“Both of us have been bitten,” Charlotte informed her. “Will we be okay?”
The woman placed a gloved hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry about a thing, sweetheart. “We’ll take you somewhere safe and get you sorted out.”
Owen sat back and took a deep breath. He felt relief like that of seeing daylight after a long, dark night.
Most of the rats were eliminated in the weeks following the rescue. Eventually life returned to normal for the residents of Rider Way. Time would tell if the plan to eradicate the population completely worked or not.
Owen and Charlotte found a flat in an area far away from Rider Way. With hard work and mutual support, they managed to support themselves. When choosing a flat they made certain there wasn’t a history of rodent problems. Their injuries healed in time, though the encounter resulted in many a nightmare and obsessive locking of doors and windows.
Article from The Twenty First Century entitled ‘Giant Rats Invade Homes All Over the Country’:
Over the past few weeks, reports of larger than normal, misshapen rats – similar to those which caused havoc in the small community of Rider Way in Layton – have been increasing all over England.
In London, ten people have been admitted to hospital with rat bites, suffering fevers, severe headaches, fatigue, fragile skin and susceptibility to infection from injuries. In some cases, the bites are leading to death.
In Edinburgh, the night life is now almost non-existent after videos and photos of the enormous rodents swarming the cobblestone streets at night circulated online. In Nottingham, a group of friends were sat on a bench enjoying lunch from KFC when a rat the size of a doormat appeared and scurried towards them. They ran in fright, though stopped when they realised the rat wasn’t chasing them. It was munching on the food they’d dropped on the grass. A ban has been put in place all over the city, warning residents not to eat outdoors and place all litter in waste bins. The ban may have come too late.
About the Author
Luke has been writing stories since around the age of seven, and has always been attracted in particular to the horror genre. He currently has fourteen short stories and one poem self-published on Amazon Kindle. Luke enjoys drawing and hopes to illustrate his stories some day. He’s been attending adult creative writing courses for the past year and a half. Luke also enjoys walking and attending comic conventions dressed as Superman. Luke is active on Twitter, where he promotes his stories and interacts with fellow horror writers.