Endings and Beginnings.

Endings and Beginnings.

I’ve looked after other people all my life, so when Mother became too frail to cope alone I brought her to live with me. Tonight she died, and for the first time in decades nobody needs anything from me.

My siblings have all turned up, and feeling redundant I have left them with Mother and taken my dogs to the beach. I enjoy driving, especially at night, and the numbness, the calm I feel, is a welcome respite.

Somebody has put a gift wrapped in newspaper on the passenger seat. It makes me uneasy, a piece of sentimental tatt probably for which I will later, insincerely, thank the donor. I ignore it and concentrate on the road.

At the dark, empty beach, I pick up the gift and walk with the dogs at the edge of the retreating tide. I throw stones in the water, consider throwing the gift, pretending I haven’t seen it, but in the end I retreat to the dunes and sit with it in my hands.

Eventually I unwrap first one layer of paper, and then another, until I am left with a bulky envelope. Finally I open it and remove the contents.

Now my eyes unexpectedly water, as in the moonlight, waves hissing on the shoreline, I look at Mother’s personal notebook, her silver pen and a pebble upon which is painted one word; “LOVE”.


Are you human?

Joining an online forum of like minded people is as good a way of socialising as any. Finding one which matched my criteria wasn’t easy, but eventually I managed; registration was the same as it always is.

Email: check.

Username: check.
Password: check.
A little captcha to prove I am not a robot: check.
Finally a small box asking if I am human. Feeling frivolous, I type in, ‘allegedly’ and press ‘Enter’.

I get a message telling me that there is an error, I have not filled in the, ‘Are you human?’ box correctly. I sigh, erase the word ‘allegedly’ type in ‘Yes” and press ‘Enter’ again.

The same error message comes up.

I erase ‘Yes’ and replace it with ‘yes’. Same error message. I try several variations on the word ‘Yes’, but the forum steadfastly refuses me entry.

I go to the mirror, look into it. I look human; two eyes, a nose, a mouth, all of the correct type and where they should be. I have the required amount of limbs, digits, hair; all the usual bits and pieces.

Shrugging I sit back down at the desk, carefully moving my tail so that I don’t sit on it, and smooth down the overlapping scaly plates on my spine. Type in. ‘No” and a box appears on the screen.

‘Congratulations. Your registration is complete’.