The Stone: Part Four.

by | Sep 27, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

“I’m afraid it’s not Breaking Bad but I’m sure you’ll enjoy Anne with an E.

He arrived home and put the kettle on, taking his favourite, fig rolls, from the cupboard. He placed the stone on the bench and began to address it

Since she’d left he’d started talking to himself. Conversing with the stone made a welcome change and he didn’t have to answer back. There seemed to be a new presence in the flat. It didn’t fill the near vacuum she’d left. Nevertheless he no longer felt alone. His home life was no longer the monologue it had been.

“I’m going to tell you everything, my friend,” he said to the smooth grey orb that lay next to the kettle. He made the tea and opened the packet of biscuits. There was a feeling that the anonymous object he’d invited into his home had changed the dynamics in the tiny apartment somehow.

He described every action in his daily routine and, as promised, he placed his new friend on the coffee table in the lounge. He took a sip of tea and nibbled on the fig roll. Picking up the remote he turned on the TV.

“I’m afraid it’s not Breaking Bad but I’m sure you’ll enjoy Anne with an E.” Not waiting for a response, he continued, “it’s based on the novel Anne of Green Gables by the Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery.”

There was no response from his inanimate companion. It didn’t bother him, he was happy with the company at least there was no more guilt or anxiety about living with the stone rather than Muslim woman half his age.

***

There was definitely a change in the surroundings. Gone was the repetitiveness of the tide and the presence of others like it. In addition, another sensation occurred. Could it be a feeling?

One by one the senses returned to the stone, beginning with sound. It sensed human voices, many voices, but one in particular. This voice was clear and close it seemed to be addressing the stone. Other voices were further away and intermittent as were other sounds some familiar some not

Next came sight, or at least the perception of light and dark There seemed to be a brightness followed by its absence; it was as rudimentary as that

The sensation that followed didn’t come from inside. It was external something touched the inpenetrable shell that had surrounded consciousness. There was a feeling of motion, smooth and light, unlike the brute force of the ocean. Something soft and warm enveloped it.

***

He cried easily these days. This was one such occasion.

“It’s only TV,” he said, pulling a tissue from the box. He wiped the tears away and picked up the stone.

“You’re lucky. Sometimes I wish I had no feelings.” Holding the pebble to his chest he allowed the tears to fall again.

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