Stone Secrets

Stone smiles looked back at her, every one broken and jagged. A few still had their eyes, but most were worn away. Slowly she clambered over the stone figures, careful not to topple them. Only the grating sound of loose gravel hinted at her presence. In the distance she could still hear that haunting song. She couldn’t make out the words, but the sound was heartbreaking, and frightening.

Who would live in such a place? Shallow pools chilled her feet as she made her way over the last figure. Looking back, she half expected them to turn and glare at their trespasser. But they remained, stone and still, as they always had been, waiting for the tide to come and wear away a little more of their smooth features.

Up ahead, an archway waited, still freshly cut. The water could not reach this high. The song rose and fell, urging her, but forward or back, she could not tell. Tentatively, she stepped forward. The song rose to a shriek. She clamped her hands over her ears, but nothing could keep it out.

Then it was gone, a gentle hum in its place, soothing her frantic heart. Emboldened, she took another step. The soft beat continued, unchanging, ignoring her slow approach, even as she stepped over the lip.

Beyond she found a round chamber, a great sphere, its surface pitted, and at the base, another pool, shining with reflected light. Slowly she made her way to the center, leaning over the pool, using her own reflection to peer into its depths. Echoes circled, their whispers growing louder as she continued to ignore them.

How deep was it? Where did it go? Part of her yearned to know, to follow, but as the sun crept into view, she heard another sound, a distant voice, crisp and real, calling her name. It was time to go. She spared one last look at her pool, savoring its whisper song. “Another time,” she said, letting her words join the others.

“Where were you?” Her mother asked as she stepped up.

“Over there,” she waived her arm vaguely.

“Well come on. It’s time to go.”

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