Harold, his nose in a book, came out of the stockroom into the expansive cellars of the shop. It used to be the cellars for the whole row of Georgian townhouses, but a few payments, legal contracts and stonemasonry had garnered him the use of the whole expansive space.
He jumped as something shrieked and looked up to see a hundred pairs of eyes staring at him. Cats of every conceivable breed (but mostly black ones) held his gaze with unblinking green eyes. A rustling alerted him to dozens of owls nesting amongst the ceiling beams and row upon row of rat cages and frog tanks.
He closed his book and made his way upstairs into the shop. “Jasfoup,” he said when he got to the kitchen. “There are hundreds of animal in the cellar. They could have killed me.”
The demon laughed. “I doubt it Harold,” he said. “I’ve only just put them there..”
Harold sat down and reached for a glass of water. “Why?” he asked. “What possessed you to buy so many cats? They’ll cost us a fortune to keep and that’s not considering the rats, toads and owls.”
“And the goats in the yard.”
Harold merely shook his head. “You still haven’t told me why.”
“I like cats.” The demon grinned. “Actually, since we get a lot of magic practitioners in here I thought it would be a good idea to stock pats associated with them.”
“In the cellar?”
Jasfoup shrugged. “Why not? It’s familiar ground.”
© Rachel Green 2007