Sudden Death

Sudden Death by

My husband rushes into the bedroom, tears pouring down his face.

“I’ve just found Angela,” he cries, “she’s dead”.

Our basement lodger dead? Inconceivable. It’s a disaster.

I know right away that it’s my fault: I cooked the meal last night. Angela was always super fit; it must have been my seafood lasagne that killed her.

Questions flood in. Do you have to call 911 when someone dies? Should I ring her doctor? How can I possibly face telling her parents?

“What happened?”

He’s ashen-faced. “The raccoons got her.”


“They ripped open the coop and scattered the flock. All the chickens are ok, apart from Angela. She didn’t make it.”

My pathetic husband collapses and weeps.

I sigh and grimace. It’s the other Angela. She was destined for next week’s coq au vin anyway.

My husband gets a furious stare.

I grab the cups and fill the kettle for tea.



Hugh Cartwright lives in the Pacific Northwest, where writing provides relief from his hopeless goal of growing Canadian oranges.

How to straighten a zebra – Cracking the code by Hugh Cartwright – published by Nature journal – read it here…


“Raccoon” by Eliya is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0



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