A jellyfish in a bucket © Tanya Clarke 2014

A jellyfish in a bucket © Tanya Clarke 2014

Writing Prompt No. 7

Somebody told her that if you pee on a jellyfish sting it stops the pain.

She wasn’t about to try it. She needed a wee but this neither the time nor the place to try out some piece of local knowledge she’d picked up while listening in to someone else’s conversation.

Her mother was rubbing the front of her thigh as the sensation radiated out and over her skin. The sting had left a mark that was becoming redder. An uneven ragged edged patch ending with a thin line that trailed across just above her knee. It looked as if the jellyfish had left one of its tentacles behind in a final flourish.

“It was only protecting itself,” she thought. “Mum is terrible at swimming. She went out way too deep. I could see all the jellyfish in the shallows bobbing about. No one else was in the water. I told her not to go in but she insisted. She can’t see very well without her glasses. And now she’s hurt and I’m annoyed.”

“Look Mum. There’s a man coming over. Maybe he can help.” Mum tries to look as if her leg isn’t hurting at all despite the fact that it’s swelling up and looking peculiar in the bright midday sun.

“Can I help?” Asks the man.

“I bloody hope so.” Says Mum.

“Christ.” I mutter and roll my eyes.

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