Spicks and Specks

by Susan Giles

Your feet are wet. Really wet: the kind of really wet which will result in a cold, possible pneumonia and then death. Two layers of sodden bedsocks are clinging to your toes, squelching water with every step.

And it is, of course, all your sister’s fault. As if wading through a flooded stream was ever going to end well.

“Dad…” The high note of your whine cuts through the waterlogged air, and he turns, scowling.


“My feet are soaked!”

“Diddums,” is all the sympathy he offers, and carries on walking. You try and run to catch up with him, but even the thick treads on your wellies are no match for the slippery, mulching leaves covering the footpath: you are reduced to a half-jog, half-dance, which under any other circumstances would be thoroughly mocked.

As it is, a combination of the weather and your whinging has put him in an even worse mood than you and all he wants now is to get back to the car. The dog and your sister fade from his memory as he stomps onwards: but then they’ve probably run ahead anyway.

“Dad!” you shout again, and there’s no stopping this time – it is pure luck you hear the words shouted over his shoulder.

“See you at the car.”

Susan Giles is from Derbyshire and this is the first time she’s been published outside of her university magazine.

  1. #1 by James E.S. on August 22, 2009 - 11:25 am

    Thanks Susan, I enjoyed that very much! It reminds me of many enforced family walks in the countryside. I loved the subtly troubling implications of the flooded stream and the sister’s absence too – or perhaps I’m over-analysing!

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