By Frampton Jones
Beachcombers out scouring the shore after last night’s storm were greeted with a truly horrible sight this morning. It is a terrible irony that Craig had come to the beach to put up a warning sign about the hazards of mermaids, prompted by the ghastly recent death of his friend, Kit Cox.
Like all wise citizens, Craig had stuffed his ears and worn a very large hat, and was carefully not looking at the sea where three or four mermaids were floating about making obscene suggestions. He should have been fine. He would have been fine, had it not been for the enormous black dog who appeared from somewhere in the cliffs and hurtled towards him. It was, by all accounts, a vast and ominous beast with a slavering mouth, and just the sort to presage an approaching death.
Craig, being a sensible chap and wise in the ways of dogs, did not simply run away. Unlike many of the witnesses, by all accounts. Even so, the hellish hound was not distracted by fleeing forms and remained focused on its intended victim. I am told that it leapt for Craig, bounding around him, putting its massive paws on his shoulders, licking his face and herding him back towards the water. There was nowhere else to go.
The mermaids, being canny creatures, had seen their opportunity and took it. The incoming tide carried them towards the Kit Cox memorial sign, and for a while Craig clung to the warning he had erected for others, but to no avail. Between the dire chill of the water and the determination of the dog, he was easy prey for the mermaids.
Jed Grimes told me, “It makes a change to hear someone screaming and trying to escape from the mermaids. I think it’s more dignified than what usually happens.”
After Craig had been dragged to his doom, the monstrous dog apparently stayed on the beach, wagging its tail and chewing bits of driftwood. Whether it is a corporeal menace or a supernatural omen remains to be seen. On the whole, best to consider these philosophical issues from a considerable distance!