This story is a stone

James Lloyd Davis

This story is a stone that cannot be read, but held in the hand only.

This story is a stone picked up on a beach, a multi-colored piece of rock half buried in sand.  Flat and long and diamond shaped, sharp at the tip, tri colored, grey, rust, and auburn.  Pastel pale, the colors melded one into the other with dark, thin lines like the grain of a cut piece of wood, it is worn smooth on one side, chipped and worried on the other.  A young boy walked on a beach, noticed its shape, imagined that it could have once been an arrowhead, so he picked it up, brushed it off and put it in his pocket.

This story is a stone that traveled with the boy for so many years, pocket to pocket, once or twice washed, once lost and then found, which he sometimes retrieved and fingered while he dreamed inevitable dreams of time and place beyond the mundane.

This story is a stone that went with the boy through joy and despair, love and loss, wonder and disappointment, discernments and confusion as the boy grew taller, as the boy grew into a man, though the stone changed not at all.

This story is a stone that was picked from the pocket of the man who died near a field of tall, tall grass and half the world away from the beach where he’d found it.  The man who pulled it from his pocket, turned it between his blood stained fingers, stared into the dead, open eyes of the man he’d killed and puzzled at the reason why any man would carry a stone in his pocket.  If he carried it for a talisman, it truly failed.

This story is a stone that was tossed aside and rested at the edge of a field of tall, tall grass that no one ever cuts, where no one ever goes, a stone that rests in the mud and the grass and signifies nothing.

This story is a stone that cannot be read, but held in the hand only.

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James Lloyd Davis who works incessantly, obsessively on novels, has published much short fiction and a few poems in numerous journals and anthologies in the USCanadaAustralia and the UK.

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