Relic of the Mountain

Antoine J. Hayes
Jan 23 · 2 min read
Photo by Matej Rieciciar on Unsplash

On her neck, a sliced bone, relic of an old god. A gift from her uncle before he marched into the mountains and down the gullet of the world. He had bent down to her level to pat her hair; his hand, the size of a wagon, encased her entire head. She felt six fingers bless her with tickles that made her giggle.

Then they were gone; lifted up to the sky, messing up her hair along the way. Her uncle looked at his sixth finger, one more than hers, which had grown overnight, as if it was a foreign object. Then he ripped off a piece of jagged rock from the mountain, used its sharpened edge to slice off his finger. There was no blood and the wound closed up instantly. The finger, the size of the girl’s arm, decayed grey and the skin melted off, leaving only the bone.

The god curved it into a half moon necklace and placed it around his niece’s neck. She giggled; this was her favorite trick of his, bending stone and bone like they were cotton. He told her to wait right there at the entrance to the cave; he’ll be back in a jiffy with the souls of her father and mother. And then he walked into the cave which led to the underworld, his back swallowed by darkness.

That was three centuries ago, and the god had yet to return. The girl still waits, a granite pillar with a curved bone around her neck.

Written by

Person. Storyteller. Work-in-progress. Writer of fiction & poetry. Maker of zines & journals. Facilitator of creative workshops. Kimbilio Fellow www.ajhayes.com

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