Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Entry #36

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.

“Again.”

“Poppa—”

“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.”

“And?”

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.”

30 comments:

Sarah Hina said...

Truly terrifying stuff, Raine. You've created a believable monster here. Some of your lines were remarkable, and really helped heighten the tense atmosphere: particularly the one about the "clouds bending to bruise the earth."

Really admired your story. Great job!

Bernita said...

Blogger hates me and makes my comments disappear.
I hope this comment will register.
I REALLY like this: the description, the oral tradition, the generational conflict and desperation, the acute selection of detail.

Beth said...

I don't like this, I love it! Beautiful lines, great story, fabulous read. Just a tight story with an authentic voice.

Abhinav said...

To think of the variety this contest musters! Another gem... But I hope your character forgives his dad in the long run...

SzélsőFa said...

It's like an old tradition told from mouth to mouth...Was it THAT hard on our ancestors, too?

Jaye Wells said...

Man the competition is getting fierce. This was excellent, Raine.

Church Lady said...

My favorite line: He had never been young, had never been anything but this old man in worn, sooty clothing.

Very nice.

raine said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments.
This was my first experience here, and it's certainly been a pleasant one.

I'm OVERWHELMED by the talent displayed in these stories. You're all so good!

Hoodie said...

Tremendously well written. I love it.

Amie Stuart said...

You are, as always, a writing goddess!

raine said...

Thanks, Hoodie and Amie (I wish!).

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

The name of the stone, the sprawling beauty that became the beast -- love this. Say it with beat.

raine said...

Thank you, Victor. :)

tea and cake said...

I love this, raine! It is my favourite amongst some stella talent. Well done.

raine said...

Thanks, Tea and Cake!

SzélsőFa said...

Congratulations, Raine! A well deserved first prize!!

Shameless said...

Well done on your win ... wonderful stuff! :-)

Vesper said...

Very good, Raine. Congratulations on your award. Well deserved!

raine said...

Thanks so much, Szelsofa, Shameless, and Vesper!

The quality of writing in these entries was amazing.
Everyone should be very proud!

Sarah Hina said...

Beautifully written, and justly rewarded. Congratulations, Raine!

You got one of my votes. :)

The Quoibler said...

Intense and raw! Loved it! Congratulations on your win!

Church Lady said...

Congratulations!! Beautiful story and well-deserved first place!!

raine said...

Thank you Sarah, Quoibler, Church Lady.
I'm honored. :)

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

On behalf of the citizens of Paramarimbo, congratulations.

raine said...

Victor, I am honored. :)

Lynn said...

That is truly capitvating stuff, Raine! I am bowing at your feet in awe of your prose.

Lynn

desiderata said...

raine:

In awe I raise a goblet of tehtarik to thee, deserving winner.:)

raine said...

Okay, I'm officially embarrassed now, lol.
Thank you, Lynn.
Desiderata...let me know when you become a millionaire. ;-)

jason evans said...

A mega-volcano under Yellowstone. Very cool! A great idea expertly written. "Sooty" was a perfect touch.

Highest honors, a perfect score.

Congratulations on winning 1st Place!!

raine said...

Many thanks for doing this, Jason!