The Name of the Stone
by Raine Weaver
My father is a tyrant.
If I remember nothing else, I shall always remember that.
Once again he keeps me before the hearth, reciting tedious verse. As if I hadn’t said the words every day. As if anyone still cared about them after all this time. I ached for a few moments outside, to feel the last of this day’s sun before the clouds sour to gray and bend to bruise the earth.
“Recite it again!”
“The rock roared, disemboweling itself upon the belly of its birth. The land spewed venom as the sky shed black tears for the multitudes lost. Even the clouds flamed, feverish for the lost light.”
He had never been young, had never been anything but this old man in worn, sooty clothing. “The west is wasteland. But we must never forget that cities, libraries, and history are preserved beneath the ash.”
His eyes were desperate. Determined. “Tell me the name of the stone.”
I stubbornly held my tongue. In two years I could wed and erase these lessons from my mind, never inflict them on my children as he had.
His hand cut across my face. “The name of the stone. The sprawling beauty that became the beast. The name of the stone, that those to come may know where the volcano slumbered and be prepared!”
Shadows seeped across the floor and cooled my burning cheek. “Yellow. The rock was called Yellowstone.”
“Well enough,” he grunted. “Tomorrow we begin again.”