Once I was on the beach. It was a fairly cool summers day and my daughter and I were searching for pebbles that looked like eggs.
One of the stones stood out and had the word ‘vagina’ written on it.
It was amusing and I picked it up. Holding it, I could kind of imagine who wrote it. It must have been a female; the handwriting is refined and creative, the act discreetly daring. The image of this person excited me.
Together with all the other stones we had collected, we carried them in our t-shirt to the car and then drove back to the campsite.
I laid all the stones out on one of the outdoor wooden tables. It rained and they became wet and shiny.
Staying in the campsite was a mother with her two teenage sons. She looked middle-aged and boring. Her two sons were lanky. They walked around barefoot and their big feet stank. They would whisper smutty teenage stuff to each other, snigger, and make remarks about random stuff, insult each other, make fun of things. Basically I found their humour refreshing and I enjoyed overhearing whatever was on their mind. I noticed that they looked at the pebbles and I could see that they whispered something to each other.
After cooking, I went back to the table and noticed that one of the stones was gone.
I called over one of the teenagers and asked them what he thought of the stones.
Lots of nice stones, he said.
Were there any stones that you found particularly interesting, I asked?
He looked at the stones. Um yeah, this one is quite interesting, he said, and pointed to a white and brown stone.
Any others that caught your attention?
Uh no not really.
Where’s the vagina stone, I asked.
Um, I dunno, I’ll ask the others, he said and then disappeared to the kitchen where I could see him confer quietly with his brother.
I was a bit annoyed that they had nicked the vagina stone but it was forgivable. But if they were going to pretend they didn’t know, then I’m going to taunt them a bit. I sat on the deck chair in the sun.
Later we got the fire going and the mother and the two teenagers were sitting on deck chairs warming themselves up. It became quiet.
Did you find that vagina stone? I asked.
Uh no, they said. They quickly changed the subject.
Just make sure you give it back, I said, before allowing them to change subject.
The next day it was evidently time for them to go, and they were packing their things to leave. The two sons and mum had packed everything up into a neat pile before loading the car. I decided to walk past.
Lads, I want that vagina stone back before you go, I said to them.
I could see mum ask them: What’s going on?
Nothing, they said.
I didn’t get the vagina stone back, which is a shame, but it brought me much amusement, which I couldn’t have had if they hadn’t have been rascals.