Stone On Sand

Now, everyone that I’ve shown it to tells me that it’s amazing. It’s just a picture of a beach, really, but there’s that feature. That thing right there. It’s a rock, but so smooth and so round that it looks like something that fell from the sky. It’s a rock though. I was there, I went over and touched it, and it was just a rock. What did you expect?

But let me tell you about Candice for a moment. Candice and I travelled together for a while, and it was Candice that introduced me to the beach. Pretty girl, too. Clever – very funny, that’s all the difference when you’re travelling. God knows, you want to be able to laugh if you’ve had nothing to eat for twenty ours, and you’re on a bus for another four. The laughing makes it a bit more bearable.

Just a bit though.

The beach though, we were talking about the beach. It’s one of those strange things. At low tide it mirrored, reflecting the sky in uncanny coloured waves. It’s the sea, it’s what it does. This was different. Those strange half sphere rocks were all over the beach, and they became full circles as the sun dipped. Candice and I tried to jump from one to the other, down the beach. Well, she did. I wasn’t quite as agile as she was.

I looked up at her against the drooping sun, and she looked as though she was standing on a world of her own – a tiny private planet. Looking down the beach past her, all the other rocks lined up like a string of worlds, like a chain of infinite possibility. She raised her hands up in the air and laughed out loud.

But that’s not why I show people the picture. Everyone loves that rock. It’s something about the way it looks like it fell from the sky. Like it was put there on purpose. No-one ever looks at the thing half buried in the sand. That thing right there.

I left the beach in the morning, and the next day was already making new friends.

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Douglas Noble was born in Scotland and grew up all wrong. Don't blame his parents though, they tried their best.

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