Anita was one of the country’s top dog judges. It was therefore doubly upsetting when she was driving along, her shoe came off, it got tangled somehow in the car brake pedal, and she ran over a dog.
“Oh my God!” wailed Anita, “I’ve run over a dog and it’s dead. If I’m not mistaken that was Pradaxa Bridge Over a Stormy Seas out of Pradaxa Muffy-Fluff and Concho Harry the Menace the Third. It was one of the few remaining breeding Norwegian Lundehunds in the country. Only last year it came first in the dog show for grooming and obedience. And to think, I have killed it. I’m so sorry. I shall visit Margaret the owner and ask if I can in any way make a contribution to alleviate the sorrow. Oh dear! Oh Pradaxa Bridge Over a Stormy Seas, I am so very sorry.”
“From memory,” muttered Anita trying to come to terms with the tragedy, “the Norwegian Lundehund has six toes on each foot, prick ears that it can control at will, and the ability to tip its head backward to touch the backbone. It was bred initially for puffin hunting. Oh woe!”
Anita visited Margaret the owner and gave her two thousand dollars as compensation. Perhaps she could put it towards getting another Norwegian Lundehund. Of course, a dog is irreplaceable. Pradaxa Bridge Over a Stormy Seas had a personality all its own. Every dog does. One doesn’t replace a dog; one simply gets another.
The funeral for the young boy taking the dog for a walk is next Tuesday.
There were quite a few things to sort through after Ivan died. The funeral was over a month ago, and Maureen knew that at some stage she would have to face the music and go through his things. They had never married, but had been together for twenty-two years. Everyone presumed they were married. Ivan had never popped the question. Children even called Maureen “Mrs Doubroff” although legally her name was “Winters”.
Maureen had hand-written replies to all the cards, flowers and condolence letters she had received. She had bought a box of thank you cards, and wrote in each, “Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and heartfelt wishes during my sad loss.” She would have liked to have written “Thank you for your kind and prayerful thoughts” but who knows these days who is atheistic and who is not?
Ivan had died in a bicycle accident on a Saturday afternoon. He always went for a long bicycle ride every Saturday afternoon, even if it was raining. Maureen had no interest whatsoever in riding a bike. Saturday afternoon was “her time”, “her space”. She had told him to wear a safety helmet, but, oh no! he wanted to feel the wind as his bicycle raced down the steep hill.
The worst bit of sorting through his things was to be his backpack. He always took a little haversack with him on his cycle rides. It probably contained a bite to eat mid-afternoon or maybe something to read on a break from cycling. Or even his camera. He had the haversack on his back when he crashed headfirst into a tree on the steep hill attempting to avoid a dog.
Maureen opened the pack. Indeed, there was an old anthology of short stories by Flannery O’Connor. And his camera. Maureen downloaded the last photographs he took onto her computer.
Oh dear. Oh goodness me. Maureen had no idea. She felt quite sick. Maureen pressed the delete button. It was a secret she carried to her grave.
Dale was demonstrating to his children how to best peel an orange using a knife when he accidentally cut off his finger. They phoned for an ambulance and it set out immediately only to crash into a cyclist at an intersection. The cyclist was killed. At the cyclist’s funeral, or more particularly at the cup of tea afterwards, old Mrs Clifton choked on a cucumber sandwich and was beyond revival by the time anyone performed the Heimlich manoeuvre. At Mrs Clifton’s funeral, Jack met Rachel and they fell in love and got married and Rachel was expecting but it was an ectopic pregnancy and they lost the baby, but later they had another baby who grew up to be a tyrannical man who beat up his wife and children, and one of the children was a malfunctioning individual and murdered three people, all of whom were destined to become great artists of one sort or another, but their careers were through before they had even started. The painting that one of them was destined to paint, and never did, would have been lost in an attic for decades only to be found by a destitute widow who was trying to feed her eleven children. She could’ve sold it for millions. One of her eleven children was the great-great grandchild of Dale, who was now home from hospital minus the missing finger, and was about to demonstrate to his children once again how to best peel an orange using a knife when his wife declared vehemently DON’T YOU DARE! DON’T YOU DARE!
For well-nigh forty years Jarden had harboured visions of murdering his wife. It’s not that he wanted to murder her. It’s just that he had flashes of pictures enter his imagination of his wife lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor. Or pictures of her drowning in a lake. Something like that. And he thought each time that he could commit such a murder, but he didn’t want to. He couldn’t understand why such thoughts and images entered his mind in the first place.
Forty years of marriage had however been tiresome. He longed for it to end one way or another. And now, after forty years, he was having his first affair. His nauseating wife was definitely in the way. His visions of her murder became suddenly more attractive.
He was saved the trouble! His wife accidently drove over a cliff, plunging into the river. She was pinned beneath the car and the little life left in her was drowned.
Jarden couldn’t believe it. It’s always a shock one way or another. “I can’t believe it,” said Jarden to this man called Harry. “How much did you say I owe you?”
James was driving along quite comfortably. His three year old daughter was strapped into a safety seat in the back.
James needed to make a turn into a side street. He had plenty of time to turn, even though there was an oncoming car travelling at speed towards him.
Just as he turned two young skateboarders began to cross the road right in front of him. No warning; nothing. They hadn’t even looked. James had to make an instant decision: does he screech to a halt in the middle of the turn and avoid the skateboarders, or does he plough into the skateboarders and prevent his daughter in the back from being struck by the approaching speeding car?
A parent’s instinct is stronger than anything else. The court case is next week.
Ramon was going for his daily run around the Blue Mountains Road when he got the side stitch. He stopped for a little rest and recovery.
The view from the Blue Mountains Road was wonderful. The road wound around sharp corners, with beauteous cliff faces and plummeting crevices. The view went for miles. It was a good road to use for a run because it was scenic, and there was very little traffic.
Suddenly, a van came around the corner. The driver had attempted to take the curve too fast. The van went over the edge of the road and began tumbling down the mountain. Its roll was stopped by a large knotted tree.
Without thinking, Ramon raced down the steep hill. He reached the van. Several passengers were seriously injured. He was able to call for help. The recue people arrived, and all nine passengers were taken to hospital. It was a wonder there was no fatality.
Ramon thanked his lucky stars. There was no doubt that getting the stitch in time saved nine.