Fallen from the Sky
Based on a dream
The pillar feels rough and pitted under Callie’s fingers. She knows it as rock, although she cannot see anything in the blackness. She also knows the feel of this particular standing stone; it is akin to a friend, a haven, a beacon in the dark. There are no night noises, not even the resident frog to confirm where she is. She always listens for him when she comes here in summer.
She has been here before. She is not lost.
Biting the inside of her cheek to contain hysterical sounds, Callie puts her fingers to work. They are her eyes now and she can trust them. They reach up, sensing, exploring, and, yes, there it is. The small voice of doubt is stilled.
She has been here before.
She is home.
Callie slots her fingers into the depression and uses it as leverage to drag herself upright. Her bones ache and she is cold, shivering in the cool air, but she feels better, more confident, and ignores the discomfort. The cold is more than physical; it is inside her. Perhaps she instinctively came here to find warmth. She leans against the monolith to take in deep breaths.
Old friend, you have rescued me once more. I have missed you. I have ignored you recently to keep others happy.
Callie always thought, and still believes, that the stones will protect her, particularly this one, the tallest in the ring. It does not matter what people say, Aw, Callie, they’re just stones (her uncle Ed when she was seven), Girl, those things are putting ideas into your head (her mother when she was twelve), How can silly rocks save you? (her older sister Cassie at least twice a year), and worst of all, the denouncement, What was is no longer, Callie, accept it (her father, recently, the one who believed with her for so long).
Her father gave up, she knows, because her mother insisted, and yet it hurts. She stayed away to keep her mother happy.
Her father brought her to the ring first as a little girl and leaned against this very rock to tell her the tale. How she loved the expression of happiness on his face then.
Listen carefully sweet pea, listen well now. A long time ago there was nothing here, not even a blade of grass or a bird to sweeten the atmosphere with music.
Her father, the bird-watcher.