• Lauren Kucera

Standing By

Her car could not have picked a more perfect spot to break down.


Formed thousands of years ago by eroding glaciers, Harriet found inspiration in the majestical mountain peaks floating effortlessly on the horizon. Their shades of steel grey and antique bronze were enhanced by the moody cloud formations drifting low in the sky. She watched light from the sun reflect on the surface of the lake, creating a shimmering blue silver effect, as a cool breeze slithered across the water like a snake. It swept up and gently brushed against her cheek, leaving a salty residue kiss on her dry lips. A rosy tinge formed on her porcelain skin, whilst her body remained warm under her protective emerald coat.


Harriet was grateful that the engine light of her hatchback illuminated when it did.


Despite her expectations of an easy drive to Hopetown where she had arranged to meet her best friend Jack, days like these presented Harriet with the perfect excuse to connect with nature on a spiritual level. With her morning taking an unexpected turn, what could have been perceived as a nuisance, Harriet instead found herself appreciating small details.


Her phone had no reception, but with the benefit of a well-placed red phone box, Harriet rummaged through the compartments in her car, collecting enough loose change to make one call. Jack was quick to answer asking where she was.


On hearing her misfortune and with no hesitation, he said, “Stay where you are, I’ll be twenty-minutes.”


It was just enough time for Harriet to walk the harbour wall which branched out into the lake. She stood at the halfway point and admired the beauty of the landscape. It reminded her of her explorations of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Iceland, Scotland and England, where she discovered the best of planet Earth. Noticing the breeze was stinging her exposed skin like wild nettle, she retreated to her car and opened her marble covered journal. Harriet rested it on the steering wheel and looked out the windshield. She disconnected her conscious mind and allowed her subconscious to control the pen as it captured profound thoughts.


*I love the sound of gravel as it crunches under the soles of my favourite pair of boots and when it all falls silent, I find myself standing on the edge of an ancient land. I feel the calm of the water flow through my body. The fresh air cleanses my senses. My mind explores the history of the area and my heart embraces the natural world.*


Engrossed in a moment of creativity, her whole body jumped when someone knocked on the driver’s side window. Harriet hadn’t noticed the time and diverted her eyes from the page full of her handwriting, to see Jack with a big grin on his face holding up a reusable cup.


Winking, he said, “Excuse me, but were you the one who called for a freshly brewed coffee and a knight in shining armour?”