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Hagstone 

Gemma Elliott

She arrives in the village by the sea to a set of rules tacked to the front door. “These are to keep people like you safe,” the note says. The guide goes as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

The only issue is that she isn’t a sea witch. She’s an artist who has taken a last-minute long-term holiday let after a cancellation came up and a relationship ended. The person who should have taken the cottage had gotten ill - her Dubai-based landlord wrote in a brief introductory email. The keys are inside the fake rock at the door.

 

But, diligent as always, she collects the stones on her daily trips to paint the sea and stacks them up outside her door. Nobody else in the village seems to be doing this on the beach the only other combers are children collecting shells, driftwood and smoothed glass with their grandparents.

 

Eventually, a new neighbour invites her round for a barbecue with other months-long holidaymakers. She takes her best stone as a gift, one with the centre hollowed out, space for a finger to be poked through. Unable to find a break in conversation to give this present to her host and feeling weighed down with it in her pocket, she hands it to a passing toddler to play with.

 

She demonstrates the potential of the hole by shutting one eye and peering through. The child promptly throws the stone into the lit barbecue, sending sparks and part-cooked burgers flying amongst the new friends, and causing widespread panic. She enjoys this more than one should.

Post it note
  • Collect little rocks and pile them up at the base of your door. This will allow others of your kind to easily identify you.

 

  • Unknowing tourists (of which we welcome many in the warmer months) may steal one or two of your prettier stones. Only act if these are thrown through your window.

 

  • When visiting a fellow sea witch, it is customary to take a gift of your best stone, stored in your pocket. We are inspired by otters in many ways.

 

  • The stones with the holes at their weakest points are special. Use them to protect yourself and discover your true meaning.

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