All that remained was the keening call.


A gentle breeze began to blow as the sky in the East turned violet. Fingertips outstretched, she touched the dry bundle. It rolled with an ease that surprised.  Snatching  The Hide from its’  burial place and tucking it snugly under her arm, she blew out the lantern and ran for the shore.

The Hide

Buried in the depths of the dark deep hole, The Hide of Countless Hurts barely stirred. It lay amidst the dust and the debris that is the lot of long abandoned things.  She had not forgotten. A long time ago The Hide had become too heavy for her to carry, but she knew where it lay and how deep. She came with a lamp on a moonless night and began to dig.

Many times she had thought to come back here, once or twice she had started out, but had never returned to claim what was hers. The ground was soft and offered no resistance. With bare hands she delved deeper.  Long of tooth and sharp of nail, the demons scrambled up to meet her.  ”No,” she murmured, ”not this time.” Holding their malicious gaze she swept them up and out, flinging them to the inevitable oblivion of the wasteland of fears faced.  The hole grew deeper, the lamplight pooled around a circle of blackness into which she plunged, repeatedly shoveling out the earth with determination and purpose, depositing it in numerous mounds around the perimeter. Stars peered down from behind scudding clouds at her upturned, frenzied form. Time passed. Finally, her ragged fingernails scraped against the cold cap-stone.

The Beginning

The constant chatter of the bones of every idea that she had ever had, led her to consider using them as the framework for her vessel. She dragged them all together and arranged them in a circle around her. Glancing off each other, some of them sang, whilst others responded with a deeper resonance. There were those that issued that familiar, dull, reluctant sound but she chose to ignore their lack of enthusiasm and include them anyway.

“After all”  she said, ” it is high time that you made yourselves useful.”

The strongest sinew of all secret hurts, seemed the obvious choice with which to bind the bones securely, but then the silken threads of desire, the forgotten strings of unsung songs, the endless reels of self-doubt, the ragged ribbons of wanton abandon, the taut twine of guilt, the clueless cords of naivety, all cried out for urgent inclusion.

“Alright, alright”  she cried, ” but give me a while to weave you in.”

The Tool Box

It took quite sometime for her to locate the toolbox. Finally, in a dark corner, she spied the clasp and taking the old rusty key, that hung around her neck on the unraveling thread beneath today’s garment, she fitted it into the lock  and opened the box. The forgotten smell of unlimited possibilities welcomed her as she sifted through the contents:

1.The trusty bone needle with its yarn companion.

2.The knife.

3.The magnifying glass.

4.The mortar and pestle.

5. The glue.

6.The fishing net.

7.The pencils, brushes and paints.

The Vessel

She had crafted the vessel over many years. In the early stages of the construction, her intent was to build a special place, where she could steal snatched moments, safe and hidden. As  time passed, however, something deep and desperate  demanded a refuge of permanence.


She was missing something, there was a short somewhere,  the spark was absent. “Now when and where did that go?” she asked. She felt certain that this was a recent development but was unable to determine if she had mislaid it somewhere.

Cast off

One woman’s voyage to find out what she had lost, where she had left it and how to get it back again.