Roger had enjoyed his exhilarating swim in the sea, but a breeze had sprung up and the others wanted to stroll through the gardens into town. They dodged other holiday makers, jumped over the rails onto the lawns and joined in a ball game with a group of teenagers. When they reached the square, someone suggested ice cream, but there was so much going on it was difficult to spot a kiosk. They weaved their way through shoppers and families, past a carousel, avoided a man singing out of tune and stared at a human statue, his gold skin glistening with sweat. They took in the exotic scents of the international food stalls, but as the sun reappeared from behind a cloud they still longed for ice cream.
It was at this moment that Roger saw her, blond hair, perfect figure, alluring expression, but as he edged closer, away from the others, he detected a cheap scent and wondered if the sun had affected his brain. Unlike the human statue who was real, she was lifelike, but lifeless, just a model. Then Roger had an idea, it would be a laugh, the others would certainly laugh. He would pretend to believe she was real. Close up, her unblinking soulful brown eyes gazed at him; he paused for a moment then commenced the game. His lips touched her soft neck and for a moment he could believe she was real.
Everything seemed to happen at once; Lucy watched her boyfriend and brother approaching, laden with ice creams, her little sister waved from the carousel, she heard a man shouting, a child crying. It was at this moment she realised that if she wasn’t holding Roger’s lead, who was?
Geoffrey’s morning with the ‘Sponsor a Guide Dog’ stall had been more rewarding than anticipated. The cuddly life sized Labrador attracted more attention than a real dog. He had forgiven his mother for landing him with the task when he realised how many attractive young women, in skimpy holiday outfits, stopped to stroke ‘Cindy the Wonder Dog.’ It was while he was chatting to one of these young ladies that the commotion broke out; an enormous shaggy dog had seized the helpless Cindy by the throat and was shaking her with what could only be described as blood lust. Children were crying, stuffing was flying. This situation had not been covered by the guidelines for volunteers.
‘Roger, Roger, here boy… Daddy’s got you an ice cream…’
A young woman was shrieking at the dog, but he took no notice.
A curious crowd had circled round the now demolished stand, but parted like The Red Sea when the wild dog dashed for freedom, with the eviscerated, no longer cuddly Cindy in his jaws.
A young man made a grab for the trailing lead, but fell headlong in a splatter of ice cream. Suddenly the dog halted, dropped its prey, sniffed the air and returned, tail wagging, to lap up the ice cream.
Roger wagged his tail furiously, his friends had enjoyed the joke so much they had given him all their ice cream.