The morning after the cat's cremation, Flame and I had planned to frock up, put on fishnet stockings and fox stoles to make the pilgrimage to the Rocky Gully pub. We were intent on taking the back roads through the forest. Apparently the Rocky Gully pub is exactly the same floor plan as the Franklin pub, so naturally I was curious to see how they could get a pub so wrong ... twice.
The sudden downpour of rain put an end to the fireplace I'd just raked with a stick, to pick out Ebony's bones and teeth. I found as many as I could and put them into a little grass tree bowl. 'Wow,' said Flame as she held up a femur. 'This one held her up!' It kept raining as we dressed into our glad rags, readying for the epic trip. Flame made a mix of gin in a plastic soft drink bottle. She took a sip.
'That's so not fair you bastard,' I said, thinking about the drive ahead. 'That's what I love about you,' Flame smirked, taking another sip/swig. 'You don't even ask me what time it is.'
Flame continued to work her way through the mix as we hit the gravel tracks, the dogs in the back seat and rain sleeting around us. The track was sodden and it looked like it would rain inches that day. My car began slewing around in the mud and I slowed down.
As we crawled down the hill towards Fernhook Falls, my dog began to lean on Flame's shoulder. I knew exactly what she was doing but hell, we were frocked up and heading for the Rocky Gully pub. One jealous dog wasn't going to stop us. She lay her head on Flame's shoulder and looked over at Flame's kelpie, Darren.
See Darren? This is my human, my dog was communicating to Darren. Anyone who thinks dogs can't communicate non verbally are kidding themselves. Selkie's body language was a total raised middle finger to Darren the kelpie. See Darren? This is my human and so is that one, nodding to me. And this is my car too, Darren. Goddit punk?
Darren curled himself as far away from Selkie as he could. She leaned harder on his owner's shoulder. Flame leaned over to give Darren a placatory pat and maybe the gin made her heedless to the canine politics being played out because my dog was so consumed with possessiveness by then that she roared at Darren to keep his corner.
So, we continued for another few miles with dogs fighting in the back seat and lurching through the pouring rain on a track slippery with clay and mud and no idea of how far away this pub was, or if there was a fuel bowser there. The plan was falling apart. Flame was tipsy so she would have coped but another hour of this seemed like a special kind of hell to me. I pulled up at the T junction.
'Let's go to the herb farm for lunch,' I said and Flame cheered. We turned right instead of left and headed back to town.