Saturday, October 27, 2012

the sound of crying

The stone was small and brown, pockmarked and worn by rain.  When Kendra spotted it in the neighbor’s lush wet grass, she thought she heard someone weeping and picked it up.

When she entered the kitchen, her father raised his eyebrows above the edge of his newspaper.  “Watcha got there?”

“A rock.”

“Oh, you found one?  Tell me about it.”

Kendra began to fidget.  “Well, it’s brown.”

“Uh huh… where’d you find it?  By the back shed?”

“No.  It’s from next door.”

He pushed his cup of coffee aside, rubbed his fingers through his black hair, and put down his newspaper.  “Kendra,” he said, “That’s not acceptable.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t trust the neighbors.  I hear they’re just like the Catholics.”

“What’s wrong with Catholics?”

“They’re strange.  They’re not real believers like us.  We are the Christians and we know what we're talking about!  Catholics, on the other hand, have it all wrong.  They worship Mary.”

“How do you know they worship Mary?”

“Your grandfather said so.  And when I tell him about that stone, he’s going to be furious!  Put it back where you found it, get one from our own yard, and never go to the neighbors’ again!”

The next day Kendra kept it hidden in her pocket.

“Did you get rid of that stone?” her dad asked.

“No.  I want to keep it.”

Kendra’s grandfather barged through the front door with an air of superiority.  “What’s this I hear about a rock?!  Let me see it!”

She stepped back.

“Kendra, this is not up for negotiation.  I’m warning you!”

Kendra tried to escape out the open door, but he grabbed her roughly by the arm and pulled the rock from her pocket.  “This thing is going to be the death of you!”

He chucked it hard, trying to get it out the door and off the premises, but with a loud crack it lodged into the adjoining point between the two walls.

And to this very day it remains the Corner Stone.    


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