So, I wrote a thing for a thing. The thing, was a short story on the theme of home for an anthology to raise funds for Shelter.  I’ve done a lot of work in housing, social housing in particular, and the cause means a lot to me. It was, and always will be, my first ever attempt at short story writing. And it is, and always will be, my first ever published work.  You can read my short story below.

The Little Squatters

‘I heard a slam, and now it’s all gone quiet, I’m going for it.’

‘Hold up. You need to give it another five minutes. You know sometimes he forgets something and comes back … there it is, he’s back … and SLAM, gone again. Now let’s wait five minutes.’

‘You wait if you like. I’m off. You snooze you lose.’

Oh joy, they had toast for breakfast, and peanut butter. I need to shimmy up to that worktop quick smart. What a marvellous feast and it’s all mine. Oh hang on, what else can I smell? Cereal … Could it be cornflakes? Ah no, it’s that healthy stuff with bits of fruit in. I’m not surprised she leaves most of it and of course I’ll eat it but give me soggy leftover cornflakes any day.

Ah flip, here comes the family, no not the house family, the mouse family, the rest of my clan who I live with under the floors and in the walls and in the garden when it’s not sub-zero outside. I’d introduce you to them all but honestly they breed so much we can only do the family tree in pencil. Let’s just say we’re a large family so it’s a case of first up best dressed and I’m young enough, daft enough, and hungry enough to take my chances at getting first dibs on the human leftovers.

Yes, it’s true that we’ll eat anything and we certainly don’t have a sophisticated palate but we do have preferences. Give me lemon drizzle crumbs over a scouring pad, for example, but you know if lemon drizzle isn’t on the menu I’ll take it on the chin and munch my way through a scouring pad, or a wire, or bit of carpet – basically if it’s in my way I’ll eat a path through it. And this is how we end in trouble and have to keep moving on.

We’ve been in the current abode for a couple of weeks now which is not bad going for us. The humans don’t have any cats so we’ve got away with it thus far. Just to clarify, we aren’t thick and do try and suss these things out before we take up residence but sometimes cats have more than one home – the greedy evil murdering fur balls – so we can get caught out. When that happens, which is traumatic each and every time let me tell you, we have to cut our losses, take the rubber to the family tree and move on. Which is the easy bit really. We travel light – family tree, pencil, rubber and any snacks we can carry for the journey – bit of used tissue? That’ll do me for elevenses, thank you very much.

We can often move just next door – those older houses that are all in a row make this very easy. You see as much as we know that humans don’t like us they rarely tell their neighbours if they do spot us so we can move not that far away without people getting a warning. And humans think we are the thick ones? We literally go underground, and just pop up the other side of a wall, or up the walls and into the loft which are always ace for holes as no one ever uses them.

Once we had a stay in the most amazing house which had a train set in the loft. A train set is the perfect toy for us and we probably enjoy it far more than the humans ever did. We get to go faster than our already speedy but rather little legs can normally go, and we get to do even more high-pitched ‘wheeeee’ noises than usual as we ride around the tracks. You should see the review we left on TripAdvisor for that gaff!

About the author:

Deborah Wroe has been an aspiring writer for years. A tweet alerted her to Stories for Homes (on deadline day) and she put pen to paper for her first piece of fiction. Her day job is marketing and comms and she’s worked extensively in housing so is delighted to be making a small contribution to highlight the important work of Shelter and raise funds to support those experiencing housing problems.



Take a look at the other pieces at Stories For Homes and buy the book via Amazon – Stories For Homes Vol 2.  It’s a cracking read, and you won’t find any mistakes in it – I know as I was part of the volunteer editing team.


I intend to write more things for things and I’ll post them here too.