The Smooth, Black Stone

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πŸ“… Published on January 18, 2010

"The Smooth, Black Stone"

Written by

Estimated reading time β€” < 1 minute

At the edge of the Pacific ocean, on some abandoned beach in the tropics, there is a large, smooth rock that sits just beyond the reach of the highest tides. It is not cracked or marked in any way, and the smooth black stone reflects even the faintest of light. It’s curved and formed in just such a way that if you are very careful, you can climb on top of it from the side, and stand on a flat area at the top.

If you stand on the rock when the moon is full and shining, and the water is at its highest point, you can see something in the sea below you. A faint shimmer of light, a flash of something you can’t quite identify. It gets brighter, easier to see as you kneel down and lean closer, over the edge of the rock.

Once you are leaning out further than would probably be safe, your left leg will slip on the slippery stone, and you will fall forward into the light. There is no splash, no sound; you simply disappear into the ocean.

No one knows what happens after you disappear. But there are some who claim to have fallen off the same rock, what seems like a lifetime ago. According to the earthly calendar, they were gone for one day, then washed up on another beach, sometimes half a world away. But their eyes are hardened, and they rarely speak anymore, only occasionally muttering of fiery paths and gibbering demons.

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