Campfire Stories


I just want a Lie in!

I was riding a goldfish, searching for an elusive treasure, sure I would find it on the next dive when my dream began to melt away.   Back in bed wide awake, I knew that it was sleep that I would have to find now.  The goldfish swam away and would have to search alone. I had been rudely dismounted by the noise of a chainsaw.

I gave up, so was up early once more, on a Saturday morning.  My neighbour’s attempts the day before to squeeze a 30 ft palm into a  6 ft skip had failed and he was back this morning with grit, 300 teeth and a can of petrol.  I got up, made a coffee, put some washing on and took the rubbish out, and found in the process, a plastic dial I had discovered abandoned on the floor of my daughters’ car.  The spindle had broken, I had brought it in to fix it some weeks ago.  Coffee made, paper down, super glue out, I would make use of the Saturday void, nobody else wanted to start the day just yet.

I unscrewed the top of the glue,  and used the lid to break the seal of the tube, a familiar smell warned my subconscious.   I had repaired things like this a million times and was confident.  I checked the paper again and carefully applied the tiniest dots to the plastic, squeezed the broken pieces together, counted to 10 and put the dial down.  I could not let go.  I shook the dial, the tiniest dots of that lethal liquid, had pooled in a recess. As I shook my hand now in a panic, glue flew, landing in my hair, tip of my nose, and anywhere that had not been covered in paper.  I grabbed a roll of kitchen towel and,  as ridiculous as it seems now, I  began to mop up the glue.  I ended up, tarred and feathered with the paper towel.


Next thought, water, it did nothing but highlight the mess. I pulled at the dial and the pain was intense.  10 minutes later I had got the dial off but was wearing a plaster to cover the place where my skin had been and was manically chewing my self like a mangy dog, to separate my finger nail from my thumb.  Later in the bathroom, with the sound of a lumberjack in the background, I tried to scrape off the paper from my nose and hair.  I tipped more nail polish remover into the cotton wool, looked into the mirror and said Good morning to my weekend.

I had cleaned up as best I could as life began to stir in other parts of the house. I knocked gently on my daughter’s door it was now past 11 o’clock.

“Yep mum I ‘m awake”.

I offered the dial.  “I think I have fixed it, had a bit of a panic…. stuck myself to it.” I smiled, checking there was no skin left on the plastic.

“Thanks mum.” she laughed and turned back to the screen.  I went to fetch the washing and heard my husband plodding down the hall.

“Coffee love?” he called down the stairs.

“Yes”, I confirmed hoping he would not notice he shiny blobs of hardened acrylic splattered over the kettle.

I was hanging the washing out in the garden. “Has anyone seen the dog?” I asked.  No one had.  I called him.  We all called him.  The neighbor who had eventually got the palm in the skip said he had not seen the dog all morning.  I raced round the side of the house and the temporary fence had not been closed.  I felt sick.  My neighbor felt guilty, it was his stupid temporary fence.

“Sorry” he tried through the wire.

The family scrambled.  Half an hour of driving around the neighborhood looking for any signs of black and white, yielded nothing but the feeling that my dog had been hit by a car and was lying injured or dead somewhere.  The pound had not called so he had not been picked up.  My husband got back to the house before me and was sitting picking at some kitchen towel  stuck on the bench, laptop open, looking at a lost dog page.  My daughter was posting on her Facebook page calling for help.  A voice from the bottom of the stairs.

“Is this your dog?” it asked.

“Thank god” I answered, and took the stairs two at a time.  My neighbour was breathlessly holding a collie.  It was not my dog.

That’s not my dog!

“It ran, past,” he said, we both looked at the collie, who waged it’s tail.  A distraught blond woman ran down the drive.

“You have my dog, that’s my dog, he does not like the lead.” she tried in broken English.  My neighbour and I tried to explain but she just grabbed the dog and ran.

“What’s Blues number?’ my husband called down to me.  My neighbour and I were released from the awkward situation.

“I’ll keep looking.” He turned and walked back next door

“yes.” I said and ran upstairs.

We got the microchip number from an old brown envelope and filled out a missing dog report, then my husband called the number on the bottom of the page for the second time. They picked up, the pound had him, they had tried to call but my contact information had not been updated and they had been calling the wrong number since 1:05 am.

We collected a smelly, muddy totally non-remorseful dog, paid the fine, and drove home thanking our lucky stars.  Back home, all was calm, the neighbour and his dad had started putting up a new fence.

“It will be finished by Sunday,” he called over and continued hammering.

I nodded a grumpy, thanks, better late than never kind of nod.

“OK, I’m late and have to go.” my daughter announced.

“The boys are coming over.” my son announced.

I will be there soon to drop some keys off a text announced.

The dog sat stinking in his kennel, refusing to look at me. He knew it had been wrong to leave his pack, but the wild had called to him.

Fancy a drive and a spot of lunch my husband asked.  I agreed, what could go wrong, I checked that fence three times and climbed into the passenger seat.




Is anybody out there listening to me??

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