Sometimes righting brakes all the rools.


It Really Was Quite Something

There it was, hidden away amongst the other free adverts under ‘miscellaneous’.

Dog Sitter wanted five days live in. I saved the mobile into my contacts and Whatsapped my availability. A quick phone call led to FaceTime and a swift check of my references – then the gig was mine.

I met my new charge and felt an instant bond. It was a water dog, panting out the rhythm of his heart as he wagged his tail and licked my hand.

I was invited into the house, nestled in the heart of the countryside near the river, and was shown to the guest room.

Already by day two I had my routine of walking to the weir and paddling to the other side of the river.

On day three I took an odd piece of pottery along to photograph in that setting. I sat it carefully on a smoothed boulder an arm’s length from the edge and took a few shots. As I leant over to get it, the dog lunged energetically into the air, hurling the objet d’art and all it held into the river. I charged in after it. Luck was on my side – kind of – apart from losing the contents. Anyhow, I scrambled back up the bank with unchipped jug and lid.

Once back ‘home’ I chatted with the neighbours – desperate to find out what the back story to the ceramic was all about.

Naturally, I did what any courteous person would do and held a barbecue for them all. It was great, lots to eat and drink and the next day I didn’t even have a hangover.

That left me with just one more day before the owner came back and I set to, cleaning up the home and leaving everything as I’d found it.

The owner, Angela, came back and made such a fuss of the dog and hugged me so tight that it felt I belonged. She knew my profession and asked to see the photos. I obliged with a select few. Then I tried to leave but she would not hear of it.

She invited me to the river with her friends for a special ceremony and would explain no more. I scrutinised her skin for tattoos or anything else which could prepare me for whatever it was she had in mind. She had two earrings in her left ear and one in her right, but apart from that I was clueless.

Pipers piped and dancers danced as we made our way to the weir. Once there she unpackaged something very familiar, incanted a few poems or charms, gave others their moment to speak and walked half way across the weir, stopping near the very boulder I had used.

Placing the objet d’art upon it she spoke some more. I made a great show of photographing it and the congregation. Then she lifted the lid and poured BBQ ashes from my party into the swirling mass below. It really was quite something.

Image courtesy of

500 words by Tracy Thomson. from the writing club session 15th Feb 2024

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