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And there dwelt in the garden a dry stone.  The stone had lived a long arid wait, without moisture or sensation, simply accepting all that passed it by.  One day there came a change in the garden.  The skies grew dark in the daytime as though a curtain had been pulled across the heavens.  A great precipitation of rain and hail, mixed without pattern or apparent reason, fell upon the surface of the stone until it was no longer dull and dusty from neglect.

After the storm was over, the sun returned.  In its warmth the stone shone out.  Its own patterns became clear.  Traces of palest mica and bright copper ore appeared, lines that had threaded it through all along, hidden within throughout the dry days.  But some other change had come with the sting of the hail and the kiss of the rain.  For the stone was no longer insensate, it had become aware of its own being.

With this new knowledge and the returning heat of the sun came some sadness.  For the stone suffered the full realisation that there might be a future in which its surface would once again grow dry and its lustre cloud over.  So, for a time, the stone could not bask in the abundance of sunlight in the garden, enjoying growth and rejuventation, for fear of the diminishing brightness of its curved body, a commensurate dulling of intellect, and a return to the state of unknowing from whence it had so suddenly emerged.

For how could the stone know that, regardless of forecasts, there will always be rain?  And there will always be another day on which it will fall.

Pauline Masurel
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Recent catches:   Landmarks — National Flash-Fiction Day Anthology 2015 includes Toy Soldier
Stroud Short Stories — Anthology 2011-15 includes The Kingfisher Bride

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