Never Ever Trust A Talking Rock...
Alberton, South Africa
November 20, 2020 7:37am CST
[A young woman is at the edge of insanity and finds the escape she knew was heading her way all along.] As she noticed the rock staring at her she was strangely unsurprised. “Hello,” she said, “my name is Alice.” It was an ordinary-looking rock, a little brown, a bit gray, roughly the size of a grown man’s head. It seemed rather talkative on a morning when most rocks do not. “Hello Alice,” it said, “who are you?” Alice sat down on the patch of grass next to the small dirt pathway. “I’m the girl that lives in the cottage just over there.” She pointed toward the clump of bushes crowding the path. One end of the path ran through the bushes and down to a nearby village. The other ran up a steep hill. “Or perhaps it’s over there, I’m not myself today.” “Do you know why the story about Alice in Lewis Carrol's book is a children’s book?” The rock asked. “I’m quite sure I don’t know what you mean,” said Alice. “That’s okay,” said the rock, unconcerned. Shrugging, she replied: “I’m quite sure I’m not your first crazy person.” A door slammed in the distance. It sounded like a foul-smelling unkempt beard, heavy work boots, empty beer bottles, course hands, and sour breath. “You do know, he’s never going to stop doing this to you,” said the rock. “What is a mixed-up girl from over there to do?" She asks. The rock replies: "Sooo...you know, there’s a giant butcher knife in the kitchen.” Alice remained silent, but a fat globule of a tear slipped from one eye and slowly rolled down her pale face. Sniffing audibly, she wiped her eyes with the white-apron Mom had made her, when she was little, just before she went off to heaven. Then she smiled. “I’ll run far, far away! I’ll run fast and be a pirate, or join the Foreign Legion, or be a hole-digger.” “Right, then it’s settled,” said the rock. “Before you leave, can you please take me to the top of the hill? I’ve always wanted to see the sea.” “Of course,” said Alice, “but only if you promise not to tell anyone where I went.” In the breeze, she heard sounds coming from the open windows of the cottage...sounds of heavy boot steps clip-clopping on the stairs. Alice picked up the rock. It was very heavy, but she felt very strong, just then. After all, didn’t she turn seventeen? two months from last Tuesday? She untied her apron and wrapped up the rock in it, tying it tight so the weight hung from her neck instead, as her feet staggered up the path. “Dam it, Holly! Where are you?” A deep, dark, ominous voice carried on the wind, possibly coming from the open window of her upstairs bedroom. It sounded like a door slamming on the place where she hid under the covers, surrounded by her story-books and crying herself happy. “I would suggest that you run away faster,” said the rock. Huffing and puffing her little red engine reached the end of the line and stopped short on the edge of a rather tall cliff overlooking the blue ocean below. “Holly! Where the hell are you, girl?” The voice thundered angrily, and it was accompanied by another slamming door...the front door this time. “I thought your name was Alice?” The rock’s voice was slightly muffled by the apron. “Look how beautiful and calm the water is today,” she said. “It’s just like the mirror on her dresser.” Jagged stones poked through the water far below her like a smile in an invisible face. Heavy footsteps now crunched on gravel close behind her. The rustling said that something large bearded and evil was swatting its way through the bushes, up the path to where she stood, trembling, uncontrollably. “Have you considered flying?” Asked the rock. “You mean like a fish?” She asked. Gathering herself, she put on a courageous face. “Well, it’s like my own daddy always used to say: "For us, there’s nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.” She took a final step forward. “I’ve always wanted to see the sea,” said her friend the rock as they fell to the safety of the sea, far below.
• Alberton, South Africa
Thank you, Piyush, Did you spot the red-herring? Which is a clue or piece of information which is or is intended to be misleading or distracting. I.E. "The story is fast-paced, exciting, and full of red herrings"