Campbell House Rat x Portico Pigeon

Lauren Kleiff

It’s been a long winter. I’ve struggled to hide in the basement and to stay hidden from dangerous human eyes. I’ve struggled even more though, to stay away from her. Ever since we fought over that stale, moulding pizza crust in Gordon Square I knew she was the one, my one, my alpha. 

I don’t want my mate to be Pebbles. It must be a cruel mistake, it would never work between us. She’s so mean and tough, the biggest pigeon in Portico. Last week she attacked a human student and meningitis has rapidly spread through the campus. They are lucky, so so lucky. I would give anything to be filled with her diseases. 

But alas, I’m no pigeon. I am resigned to the freezing ground. Campbell House East might not be the worst dwelling, it’s relatively luxurious with its four walls and one ceiling. Yet, I’m not on the level of the Ramsay rats, spoiled with scraps from the food hall and the heavenly manna of TCR trash. No. I’m a fraction of a rat. I’m so petite, I worry everyday that I’ll fall into a storm drain. Inter-species, inter-accommodation, it will never work. 

Still, I need to see Pebbles just one last time. I need to know if she feels this connection too. 

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The journey to Portico was tough, too tough to mention (I had a Dr Marten boot thrown in my direction, I’ve blacked out the rest). But it didn’t matter, I could see her.

“Rattina?” 

“Yes, Pebbles, my co-rat-zón. I have something I need to tell you”   

In that moment, talking was too much. I stared into her golden, laterally set orbs. She stared back. She always stares back, she always sees me. Not that she has much choice in the matter, with her 340 degree range of vision. But still, it melts my heart all the same.

The minutes drag like hours, until I wrestle control of my tongue again.

“Pebbles, you are perfection, the light of my life. Your swift wings and swifter contagion rate have me enamoured. I love you. I always have. It would be an honour to be yours, to wake each morning and drink from puddles of indiscriminate liquid. To conquer Gordon Square. To gorge on the lidl bakery and meal deal remnants. I love you, my Columbidae concubine.”

Pebbles had no expression. She rarely does, her beak making it hard to see her smile. All at once, she rushed towards me and jammed her beak into my mouth. Our tongues battled, I didn’t need words to understand this.

“Rattina. I feel the same way. You snuck into my heart even faster than you snuck into room B15. I love you too, my little pi-rat-e. Come, let us go”.

Pebbles crouched, letting me clamber on to her strong, iridescent back. And off into the night we flew. Circling the main quad and all of Bloomsbury; spreading disease, dysentery and our mixed defecations. Together <3