It had been that sort of day when winds hushed themselves so as not to disturb the peace. Indeed Night, which had got into the habit of falling felt the urge to seep, so much so that Dusk, unaware of Night’s approach did well to avoided squealing when Night slipped in beside it and suggested it might like to pop off for a coffee.
On such a night, dreams sat and strummed guitars on beaches and let sleep have a night off. Waves lapped with the care and thoughtfulness of woke kittens afraid of disturbing those who might be the easily perturbed by the noise of them imbibing their bedtime milk. And clouds scudded behind the moon so as not to discombobulate anyone with a shadow phobia.
And at the deepest darkest hour, which isn’t in fact just before dawn but at about twenty minutes to, a bucket found itself setting down on some shiny pebbles.
‘What are you up to? Who are you anyway?’
‘Look, it’s pitch black, I’m a sodding stone without any oracular functionality and you expect ‘me’ to be a sufficient explanation of your identity.’
‘Is that all you do? Apologise?’
The pebble sighed and slipped further down the beach to be replaced by a pretty nearly exact replica. ‘Who. Are. You?’
‘No I’m not.’
‘Yes you are. You sound sort of wetter.’
‘Hang on.’ The new pebble squirmed a bit and the excess moisture evaporated with the same sense of embarrassment as a ghost that’s farted in a lift full of perfumiers. ‘Is that better?’
‘Near enough. You wanted to know…’
‘Oh bugger. Incoming… Laters.’
The next wave turned the pebble sideways and sent the bucket further up the beach. It lay on some sand which being granulated preferred silence to the grind of existence that is the lot of shingle.
Without any conversation the bucket considered its lot. The bucket knew it had a purpose. After all buckets don’t just appear out of nowhere, unlike teenage spots and single socks. Especially buckets that are delivered onto beaches on balmy nights when lovers coo pre-diabetic sweet nothings to each other.
And this bucket, confident that its reason for being would be revealed to it if only it remained patient sat and contemplated the mysteries of existence while the mysteries of existence sat and wondered whether they had spinach between their teeth because that had to be the only reason why so many things, like that stupid bucket over there, sat and contemplated them.
Slowly the Sun rose having been nudged awake by Dawn with a mug of builder’s and the newspaper and told to get a move on. The bucket tried to stretch and decided it really needed to get to the gym and waited for Fate to show it its Purpose.
At seven minutes past six a dog came, sniffed the bucket and peed on its handle. Twenty four minutes later a mother, frazzled to within a inch of her highlights chased her seven year old who kicked the bucket twice before running up the sand towards breakfast.
One hour later two joggers ran past it, apparently indifferent to its presence but actually one of them thought it reminded them of a bleary holiday in Thailand and wondered what had become of the girl with the prehensile toes and an interest in novelty tiepins.
By the time the Sun had finished climbing and felt it could really do with a bit of a sit down and another cuppa, the bucket had been filled with sand and tipped upside down fourteen times, used as a informal toilet by a toddler with a willy that would have reminded the bucket of a pig’s tail had he ever seen one and been swept out to sea again on the afternoon tide.
The bucket was content. It felt sure it had fulfilled its purpose for the day and looked forward to next time that time and tide sent it, tossing and tumbling to the beach. And this time, it thought to itself, maybe it could finish the conversation with those pebbles. Because, let’s face it, spending the day lying on sand can be effing boring.
This is a little piece that appeared on my pillow this morning as a response to this month’s #blogbattle prompt