the port

a loud bark brought her to.

well, a bark, and a nuzzle and a wide, wet lick.


the woman brushed the wet sand from her dress. the pair walked on in silence tracing the shoreline south. the mist had lifted a little so it hovered heavily like a pelmet hiding the cliff-tops.

out to sea, the sky was an endless clear blue.

sometimes yaga would run ahead sending sand flying barking at herring-gulls and jagged rocks. then she would trot back peacefully to sniff the woman’s hand.

the woman wondered if yaga had found the biscuit, if she had seen about the hut, or if this moment right here on a beach on a warm spring afternoon was all the old dog knew.

they passed a shipwreck that someone must have dragged ashore brutal, barnacled, rising like a mad palace from an island of silt. up ahead they saw the port sheltered in a sandy bay between two tall cliffs the old stone harbour the slipway cracked in two. they saw the anchored wooden boats a constallation, not far out. on the breeze they heard voices loud and low.