Microfiction #writephoto: Stones

This is for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt.


In the spring, the river was a torrent, unfordable and violent. Sometimes it reached the parapet of the bridge. Once the parapet had been washed away. The bridge squatted astride the water, waiting patiently for the next onslaught.

The bridge was old, older than anyone could remember, older than their grandfathers and great-grandfathers could remember. But the stones were older still. The stones had been born in the first struggles of the cooling earth and had lain for millennia deep beneath the new crust, holding it up to the sun so green things would grow.

The stones were the bones of the earth, the massive tracery between the tender skin and the fiery bowels. Men dug them from their resting place, wrenching the structure of the earth apart to build their own paltry, ephemeral tracery on the skin, cutting and burning the growing things and scattering their chains over the destruction.

The stones of the bridge groaned in each spring flood and every century or so, a few of them would break free and tumble into the rushing water. The bridge squatted astride the water, waiting patiently for the next onslaught.

Beneath the bridge, men had built a tunnel to maintain the stonework and the drainage. The men had forgotten what lay at the end of the tunnel where is dipped and delved and dived out of sight. Not even their grandfathers or their great-grandfathers would have remembered even the stories of its source. The stones remembered and the stones knew that soon the anger that had been slowly boiling through the millennia would break its bounds, rising up through all the secret, forgotten tunnels spider-webbed across the earth.

The bridge squatted astride the water, waiting patiently for the final onslaught.



Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

27 thoughts on “Microfiction #writephoto: Stones”

  1. I’m loving your work today … the rhythm of this piece, the judiciously use of repetition and that sinking feeling that the stones, the stones that are the bones of the earth (loved that) know what is coming at us …..

    1. Glad you do! The more I think about it, and I think about this kind of thing a lot, it seems that if we are going to be held to account it’s by something primeval like the fabric of the earth.

      1. Same here. When I hear religious people blethering on about sunsets and birdsong proving the existence of God I honestly run up against a brick wall of incomprehension. To me, all of that beauty of nature stuff proves the inexistence of God. It’s all the stuff that religion doesn’t have any time/room for. You can’t order nature to behave in a certain way, you can’t make the sun do something different, or the winter disappear. Nature is, no matter what the Muftis and Popes and Imams and Rabbis would like.

      2. Halle bluddy lujah and pass the tambourine … a sane voice in the madness that prevails. I cannot understand how intelligent reasonable people can honestly believe all the God claptrap that was invented way back as a control mechanism. Nature now. Nature is a force to be reckoned with.

      3. If a priest has to get away from his flock, retreat to a mountain top to watch sunsets in silence to commune with his God, it strikes me he’s barking up the wrong tree. It ain’t God he’s communing with but Mother Nature. Pass us the euphonium, will ya?

  2. This is great..the bones of the earth. I am particularly fond of very old stonework, because it does have the character of the builders and the centuries it is in use…very cool

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