Outside, a flash of lightning made the birds fly and a roar of thunder shook all the houses.Inside,Ozzy stumbled through the abandoned fish and chip shop,desperately looking for somewhere to hide.Broken tables were flipped at crazy angles,rusted knives and forks were scattered across the floor and cobwebs were in every corner .To his disbelief,he could not find a way out.he was trapped!


Behind him, stood an odd man lit up in the doorway,a knife -bigger than a forearm-sparkled.Ozzy gasped…


..but at that moment,something growled deeper than thunder.Out of the darkness,not one but two bright yellow eyes (brighter than the stars)appeared,a flash of black and the sharpest of teeth.What ever it was,burst past Ozzy and stood in between him and the man


It was huge.huge and black.Ozzy realised that he was standing beside a massive pamtha.It threw back its shaggy head and growled .In that moment the man had fled.Ozzy stood rooted to the spot paralysed by fear.


The panther turned and laid down in front of Ozzy,resting her head on on the ground.He could see that she was injured.A long stripe of blood ran across her side.He had never been so close to such a large creature before.He could smell an earthy,musty sent and watched as her pelt of black fur rippled across her back.


Ozzy,who was speechless,stare into the panthers eyes he felt as if she was sizing him up,seeing deeper and deeper into his very being.But,his fear began to fade and he held out his hand.She leaned her head forwards and sniffed.Then she licked his skin with her rough,pink tongue.Her eyes sparkled as if they were stars.He could see kindness but also a well of sadness.


It was then that she spoke.A low,gravelly voice that seemed to spring up from the ground its self.It was a voice of rock and wind and mud.”I need your help now”. She said in hope” We must find the gateway”.


Ozzy stared back,his head nodding as if he understood.He knew at that moment that he would do anything to protect this huge beautiful creature.Anything.”They will be back,” said the panther ,”so I must hide.”


Twenty minutes later,Ozzy and the panther had slunk through  the the streets down to the old fish and chip shop by mumford canal.No one ever dared to venture there,rumour has it that the ghosts of navvies haunted the building but that last summer Ozzy had made an entry.He would often sat inside watching kingfishers flash across the waters edge catch fish.The panther curled up in a corner and slept. Ozzy kept watch. 



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