It is a little known fact that certain rocks of the intertidal zone can be something of a dandy. The moment the tide begins to withdraw finds them whipping out their combs – often the backbone of some unlucky minnow – and combing flat their wigs of algae.
I’ve heard them brag they got the idea from adolescent mermaids and preening ducks. Others say they have to do it or their wigs are plagued with sand fleas. Since I’ve asked all I see are flea-ridden, preening stones who wish to look like little girls. I’m not sure of the appeal, but then again I am not a lady rock.
She stepped forward with care, studying the stairs. If she recited the words and stepped the right way, she could be whisked away on a wonderful adventure. She had no doubt this was the nature of magical stone stairways. If she did it wrong, not much would change at all, but what fun would that be?
There she slept for far too long, turned to stone: an ancient relic of a fossil record that had forgotten her. No true love’s kiss for her to wake, no thawing of flesh from ice, she was stone and it was stones that built the earth, that housed the moss, and cupped the pathways carved by water. So long as she was stone she was safe, and she was stone forever.
He looked down, pretending their words hadn’t hurt him. The moss growing upon him for the past century or so knew better. It couldn’t think of anything to say, so it hugged him a little tighter and let him know he wasn’t all alone.