Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Wednesday, June 11 – On the trail

Last night I’d made a kind of Chinese egg fried rice, using the belly pork I cooked on Sunday. I still had Chinese five-spice in the larder, which added a lot of flavour. And while we ate, we all speculated about the chain and the tracks.
Stephen must have been reliving the kind of horror movies I’d never see, as he delighted in saying maybe it was the march of the zombies. But then I had to stop him because he was scaring Jane, who has seen the same films and been terrified. I won’t have him making up stupid stories when life is already difficult enough as it is. Martin joined in at first, saying maybe it was an escaped convict, who’d been chained up in Reading gaol. So he got a fierce look and then I cuffed the back of his head to shut him up too. But that didn’t stop Jane and Anna looking fearful and worried, so I then reassured them and said I was sure that there was a rational explanation.
But I’m not sure there is one. Martin and I looked at the tracks again today. Maybe they were made by a bike, but it’s odd how the turf is gouged and torn. The chain is extremely heavy and must be at least three metres long. We’ve left it coiled up like a giant python by the garage, but I look at it every time I go out to check on the hens and wonder how it got there. I collected three eggs today and found that there are no more fresh eggs under the broody. She is so bad-tempered I think the other hens daren’t approach her nest. But I still push her out for food and water and she rushes outside the house clucking, her feathers puffed up, quickly gulps her corn then races back again, to sit in a maternal daze.

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