Written in response to #MidWeekFlash challenge 295
‘What do you see?’
He stared up at the rocks stabbed into the ground. The sun was setting between them, making his eyes hurt. ‘Stones.’ He rubbed at his eyes. ‘And white spots now.’ He hadn’t looked directly at the sun, but it was so bright, burning in the background.
‘You’re all soul you are.’ She shook her head and wandered closer.
‘It’s just like Stonehenge, just colder.’ The temperature was dropping quickly now the sun was beginning to dip. But there wasn’t much chance of getting her to leave any time soon, he’d learned that long ago. Places like this just kept her occupied for hours, staring and thinking. ‘Fine, what do you see then?’
She stopped and turned. With the sun behind her, and her sunglasses and hat in place, he could barely make out her features. She’d been prepared; her coat had appeared when they got half-way up the hill, she’d realised it would get cold but he hadn’t. Other people would be up here taking Instagram worthy holiday snaps, posing with the sun behind them, their hair wistfully drifting in the breeze, clothes selected for style over function. But not her. She was purely practical in every way. She wasn’t here for the mementoes she could make or gather, she was here for the moment, to see what new things she could see. He’d asked her in annoyance but now he found himself hanging on, waiting for her answer.
‘Possibilities.’ She nodded to herself and carried on.
Frowning, he hurried along behind. ‘What do you mean?’ He fell in step beside her but she stopped suddenly, turning to face the circle.
‘What is it?
‘A stone circle.’
‘Yes, but what is it for?’
‘And who made it? How? Why here?’
‘Those are questions not possibilities.’ He shook his head. They were still just lumps of rock.
‘That’s because, when you have a question you don’t know the answer to, you stop.’ She smiled and took her sunglasses off so she could see the real colours. ‘But what if you theorise a little. Maybe it is just a place to gather, maybe it held religious significance.’
‘Those are still just questions just worded different.’
‘Maybe the aliens put them here?’
‘But what if this is just the top, the part of a long-ago forgotten structure that became buried. From a long-lost civilisation that had advanced knowledge. What if deep under ground there is a cavern, a repository, a gateway? What if we find a way down and find beings unlike those ever seen before?’
‘You don’t like small spaces.’
‘Well maybe in this imaginary world I don’t mind, maybe I’m a brave adventurer. Maybe I go down there and find treasure. Or a person, asleep, having been there for thousands of years and they wake up? Maybe they are magical, or maybe they give me their power and pass on the mission of their people. Then I come back up here only to find the villains felt the power shift and found me, and I have to fight them off with my newfound superpowers.’
‘Or maybe,’ he said. ‘They are just stones.’
The smile fell from her face. ‘Maybe. But on Monday we’ll be home, going to work, to sit in an office. I’ll hate small spaces and being brave again and you’ll hate having to do the same thing over and over again. But for these few moments, I can be anything I can imagine, the world can be as vibrant and exciting as I want.’
‘Sometimes I worry you’ll go into your imagination and never come out again.’
‘Chance would be a fine thing.’
‘Hey!’ He called but she had already scampered off giggling to herself. He looked back at the stones. It was impressive, he had to admit. Where had the stone even come from and how did they get it here. He tried to let his brain wander and just imagined them harnessed to dinosaurs. ‘I need more practise at this.’ Sighing, he went off to follow her, she’d disappeared behind one of the stones. But something caught his eye.
There in the centre of the stones, was there a flash? No, must have just been someone with a camera. But it was very blue… Great now his imagination was playing tricks on him.
He called after her, feeling the urge to leave. So, he never saw the second flash.
One thought on “Imagination – a midweek flash challenge short”
The stone circle, the henge, the place of infinite possibilities 🤔
For so long the literati have possited & mused over the whys and wherefores, but never has there been an answer.
Is it possible that they are not a place of worship, but a portal into another dimension? Or a doorway into a fantastical realm?
It doesn’t matter!
Because the allure of the stone circle, the henge, is the fact that it is the only place of infinite possibilities left in the modern world.
We can still dream & imagine when faced with these magnificent structures. We can still dream when the rest of the world is being sanitised & homogenised by the stripping away of our ability to dream & imagine….in fact, even our ability to think for ourselves.
Where are the dreamers and thinkers?
They are whitewashed, bullied, trolled & ignored out of existence by a virtual online world, which has little substance & even less to do with reality than a portal into another dimension!
I hope that at some point over the intervening years, since giving the internet to the “world” that Tim Berners Lee has had the good grace to be thoroughly ashamed when realised what behemoth of a mistake he’d made in allowing the true thinking of this planet to be so polluted by the unthinking masses!