The Old Stone

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This post by Frank Larnerd

     The rains uprooted the stone, near the stairs to the house. Flat and rectangle shaped, it seems to be crawling up from the earth, struggling through the grass and dirt of the hillside. The stone is the color of cheap hotel pillows, marbled with white seams of chert. It lays flat on its belly, creating a small cave, or opening underneath its weight. The one exposed side is smooth, though chipped and warn on the corners. It looks to be about two feet long, a foot wide, and nearly seven inches thick.

      I stop and kneel at it. Already the street lights are on and the sky is closing its curtains of indigo and purple. The air is full of the sound of passing cars, zipping off to anywhere else but here. I put a hand on the stone. It’s warm, even in the lateness of the day.

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      Hunkering further down, I try to peer into the opening under the stone.

     Darkness.

     I reach out and then instantly draw my hand back. Thoughts of spiders and poisoned fangs.

     I feel eyes on me. I turn and glance around to the parking lot.

     Empty.

     I take a deep breath and reach into the darkness.

     When no spiders attack, I turn my hand over and touch the underside of the stone. It’s cold and gritty with harsh lines on its face, jagged and pronounced. My fingertips explore them, like a gypsy reading a palm.

     After a while, I stand up, knees complaining. The sun has slipped behind the mountain, taking the daylight with it, leaving its last faded streamers of blue to die alone among the night.

     Ignoring my knees, I go to the stairs, wondering if I should tell them about the tombstone.

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11 Responses to The Old Stone

  1. Frank, all I can say is wow! This is so well-written Frank. I feel honored that you chose to share it with us. Your descriptions evoke feelings of anticipation and the end is fantastic. We want more!

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  2. Doris says:

    Frank, nicely done with that great ending twist. Thank you. Doris

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  3. katewyland says:

    Great descriptions. Love the ending.

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  4. This is interesting. It reminded me of the geology classes I took in high school and college.

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  5. Frank, I loved this. To me, this is a perfect example of good writing that allows the reader to see, feel, hear and touch what you see, but gave imagination to the reader to see, feel, hear and touch from their own thoughts. Memories of picking up rocks, afraid to find what I’d see underneath, curled up in the darkness. Goosebumps running up and down my arms, anticipating what might be there. Good writing! Excellent. Enjoyed.

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  6. sstamm625 says:

    Excellent, Frank! And nice twist at the end. Thanks for sharing this here.

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  7. Wranglers says:

    Loved it. Wasn’t expecting the end, but now I want to know if this is the beginning of a story! If so, I want to read it. Drew me in with the familiarity of the activity, then surprised me with the conclusion.

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  8. Wonderful sensory post, Frank! Drew me in immediately and the ending — WOW AND POW! Great job!! Thanks for an excellent example of captivating sensory writing!!

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  9. Nancy Jardine says:

    I think the rains have a lot to answer for sometimes, Frank. 😉 Living in an environment which is littered with ancient carved stones this piece of writing really speaks to me. Did the stone want to be uprooted? Why now has it surfaced? Lovely imagery and lots of unanswered questions…and pretty spooky as well – thank you.

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  10. Wranglers says:

    Frank, I’ve explored many a rock and we had a sandstone step. Many tombstones were made from sandstone, but it doesn’t hold up well under the weather. I agree, this is a great post. Thanks. Cher’ley

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