Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Stones without Sticks

by Trent Walters

The Rolling Stone was his own man, so to speak, and traveled past lands unseen. The stone, being a stone, was stoned with the inordinate pride of having gathered no moss–his being’s essence unsullied by another being’s essence, which his most restless and rocky friends had firmly warned him against.

To scale new heights in his rollings, he started at the foot of a mountain that poked holes in passing clouds. For millennia (a figure rounded by reckoning since stones don’t count), he forded streams and outstripped boulders attempting the same ascent. Occasionally, a biped wandered by, and Stone leaped into the crack of its foot’s second skin. This saved him hundreds of years of bounding up the path. The free rides never lasted long, however; for in short order, the bipeds removed their skins (they obviously gathered another kind of moss).

Along the way, he heckled those stones who had given up the struggle–not only gathering moss but water, earth, grass, and trees, even! What odd, stiff, wooden creatures they were to stand heartlessly on his fellow stones. It served the trees right to die in a few hundred years.

The higher he climbed, the stranger the substances that his fellows had drowned in: water solid as stone! He chatted up a few, but they all seemed frozen in fear.

Finally, Stone reached the summit. He leaned over a steep precipice and roared his triumph at achieving his dream. That’s when he heard the triumphant yahoo of a biped which swallowed his pipsqueak roar. Before he could turn, the biped’s second skin kicked him over the ledge.

Stone cursed the biped–though the beasts’ lives were already abysmally ephemeral–until he realized this was another journey (if considerably faster) to tell his grandchildren about. Stone bounced and sparked other stones who, excited about Stone’s journey, joined him in the Great Fall. Despite the descent, it pinnacled Stone’s achievements: His fall was his meteoric rise: so many other stones leaping to join in Stone’s headlong, boisterously joyful fray–a veritable pride of the unmossed, so quintessentially, so unreservedly stoned in their stony abandon.

Panting and laughing, they landed at the foot of the mountain with a flurry of dust. What a rush! They spoke of the great race for eons to their children’s children. Eventually, Stone gathered moss, but it was nice not to be bald anymore.

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One Response to “Stones without Sticks”

  1. Alex D M Says:

    July 5th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    That was great fun! There’s something about stories in which the mc is an inanimate object that really appeals to me.