When I read about the competition, I immediately thought of Richmond, one of my favourite parts of London. I wanted to write a horror story, and I remembered that Richmond Park has thousands of rabbits. This made me think of folklore where witches could turn themselves into animals, and folklore where people are turned into animals as a punishment. The story evolved from that. I thought that by telling it as a tabloid news story, I could keep it short, and compel a reader to fill in the gaps from her own imagination, which is always scarier.
Paul Chown is 52, and lives with his wife in South London. His flash fiction story Black Talbot was published in the anthology Another 100 Little Horrors.
This story is read by Mariah Gale and is one of nine selected from entries to a competition run by the Museum of Walking and included in an anthology called Flash #MyLandmarks published in November 2019 by Sampson Low Publishers and available from them or from the Museum of Walking.