30 Dec Stonehenge
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Estimated reading time — 4 minutes
Stonehenge is one of the great mysteries of our world. Erected almost six-thousand years ago, these ten-ton slabs of stone make up one of the seven wonders of ancient times. But how did it get there, and why?
Nan’uk stepped cautiously on the grass, his footsteps carefully muffled. The lone hunter had been stalking his prey for hours, the animal still unaware of his presence. It gazed around the plains before returning to graze in the tall grass, its shiny coat shivering slightly as it did. Nan’uk crept ever closer, the grass making a soft shushing sound, masking his presence in the wind. The blazing golden-yellow of the grass seemed to shine under the harsh sun. He looked around before noticing a small bead of water running down his forehead. Sweat. He knew he had to get out of the plains and into the shade before heat exhaustion and dehydration wore him down, but it seemed such a shame to waste all that time tracking an animal just to give up. Just a little while longer; he had to get some food for his tribe. Coming home empty-handed meant that he wouldn’t eat tonight, making the hunt tomorrow even tougher. He grunted, venting out hot air from his nose. He would succeed today, even if it meant risking death to do so.
The animal had run to a large plain just over the hill. Nan’uk stalked it slowly, making sure to stay below the grass so as not to be spotted and ruin his chance of making the kill. The animal, only about a hundred meters off, would be spooked if he got too close. Simply going across this hill was probably be enough to scare it off, but he needed a clear shot. He drew his bow off his shoulder, and took out one of the few arrows he had. Coming to the breast of the hill, he nocked the arrow, and drew his bow. He breathed out, a long stream air blowing from his lungs, before letting the arrow fly. It made a whistling sound as it streaked through the air, and hit its target straight in the side. The beast fell over, a burst of blood discolouring the grass below. Nan’uk grinned, the adrenaline from a shot on target bursting through him. He threw caution to the wind, and sprinted down the hill towards his target. It would be easy to make a coup de grace this time, the animal was already beginning to die. He drew his spear, the bullreed strap sliding off him smoothly. His kill lowered its head as he arrived, and he decided that the final blow would be unnecessary. He grabbed its leg, and began to drag it off before he noticed something.
In the distance, about four or five-hundred meters away, there was a structure of some kind.
Ignoring everything else, he started off towards the monument, dragging his kill cumbersomely along behind him. The animal weighed more than it ever seemed to when it was alive, making the relatively short walk seem like a monumental hike, but hell if he were going to miss this. His footsteps making a soft shuk-shuk sound as he walked, he carried on to the monument. The grass swayed in the wind, though as he came closer, he noticed that the grass seemed to gradually flatten down, as if bowing down to a mighty being. He smiled, before setting down his prey and turning around; up close, the monumental structure seemed even more unbelievable than it had in the distance. He gazed upward at it, shielding his eyes from the blazing sun with his large, hairy hand. His jagged fingernails created a strange shadow over his face, as he held his ever wavering hand up to the light. The rock pillars of the structure glared dully down on him, as if to say ‘go away’. This palace, Nan’uk realized, was meant for something bigger. Ignoring this, and all other instincts telling him to run, in a haze of morbid curiosity, he stepped into the ring.
Inside, Nan’uk could see everything about this place. It was a large circle, its edges defined by stone slabs standing upright like dominos, holding up other slabs on top of them. The dark grey pillars cast glaring shadows down into the middle of the circle, making the shape of a crescent moon. He walked up to a single pillar, his eyes darting around the place, as if to watch for something that wasn’t there. The way the grass bent down towards the center of the circle before wholly disappearing, the way the sun seemed to brighten nearer to the middle of the circle, everything about it offset him… just a little bit. Still, he had to know more about this place, more about the way it worked, enough to explain away everything strange about it. He wanted, no, needed to know more. He came up to a stone pillar. The smooth stone seemed to glow in the mid afternoon sun, the heat almost radiated off of the stone. He looked at it, before cautiously reaching his hand out.
Then, he touched it.
Every bone in his body screamed out with pain, creating a single, wavering howl. He drew his hand away, and staggered backwards, the pain still wracking his body. Waves of it washed over him like seas washing over rock; the frothing agony viciously attacked him, making him fall heavily onto his stomach before losing consciousness. He closed his eyes for the final time before all the life drained away from him.
A mortal had desecrated their meeting place. They could no longer go where they had gone so many times to discuss great matters that a mind like that human’s could never understand. They had worked tirelessly for years upon years to put this planet in perfect balance, to try to help its pitiful creatures reach the pinnacle of art, philosophy and science, but that was all gone now. It was a shame to lose so much from a simple man, running his hand along a stone pillar. Ah, well. They still had many more tries to get this right. Time and nature would wear away this place now that it was no longer protected. It would be interesting to see where the creatures of this planet went without help, but that would be a matter for later. For now, they simply had to find a new place to go.
Stonehenge. A meeting place of the gods. The great stone slabs decorating the land weren’t put there by mortal man, but rather by god. So why, you ask, do they no longer answer our prayers? That’s simple. They’ve moved on. We are but one in a line of many, and they have long forgotten us since.
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