Tyson Murphy repainting a cell from Disney’s “Sword in the Stone”

40 Swords from 40 Stones

  1. She grabbed at the sword in the stone to break her fall. The sword simply fell out of the rock without slowing her painful face-first crash into the gravel. Her bloody nose just made the other kids laugh harder.
  2. The pommel’s biometrics authenticated Arthur against its ACL so the sword released itself from the stone.
  3. Art pulled at the sword in the stone ten times every morning, just for exercise. For years. He’d pull it this way, then that, left handed and right and both together. He worked his back, arms, shoulders, chest, legs, building strength. Sometimes he’d just grip, hold, and pull, letting the isometric tension reduce him to a sweating trembling mess. The sword never came out of the stone, but Art was very fit.
  4. Marcus always wanted to be an innkeeper. He paid the town fathers for a bit of land to build his inn. The crew he hired to clear the land so he could build worked fast. They cut down the trees and bushes and weeds where the inn would go. The shoveled and hauled away the loose stones and gravel. Except for one big rock. Too big for just lifting it, they took a day to dig until it was completely exposed, wrap it in rope and chains, and pull it from the hole. It wasn’t until they’d rolled the massive stone to the cart that they noticed a sword sticking out from the part that had been buried. They took turns pulling on the sword. It wouldn’t come out. So they just pulled the stone on the cart, hauled it out to the town wall, and dumped it. Once again, the sword was buried beneath the stone. And Marcus got his inn.
  5. When you pulled on the sword in the stone, the stone enjoyed it. A lot.
  6. Excaliber was beyond impatient. For centuries she had hoped each champion who’d try to pull her from the stone was the rightful king. Every time, her hopes were raised then dashed. She was resigned now. The daily disappointments hurt less. She barely noticed as hands sought purchase, gripped, strained, and released.
  7. “Stone, have you noticed how few women try to pull me?” 
    “Every wonder why?” 
  8. Artie silently pulled the sword from the stone, held it aloft, imagined becoming the King to unite all of England, shoved the sword back in the stone, and lived happily until the plague came.
  9. George pulled the sword from the stone, hefted it, swung it around, and handed it to Arthur saying “too heavy for me.”
  10. The sword and the stone got to know each other well over the centuries. Stone enjoyed nature and the passage of seasons whilst the sword liked music and took pleasure in the funny things cats and small children did. They shared a purpose, waiting for a special someone to come along and break them up. Aside from that, it was a forced union. They didn’t have too much to talk about for that first hundred years. One day a cat sat on the stone and fell off; the sword found it hilarious but the stone felt that was insensitive of the sword. A rift grew between them. Arguments over small things every few decades became bitter, ongoing philosophical debates over the meaning of life. Their mutual irritation grew unbearable. One day they just gave up their original purpose, their high standards, their tests for character and let the next person who pulled on the sword become the King of All England just to end the strife. They were happier apart.
  11. Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, and the grateful stone granted him three wishes.
  12. Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, relieving the stone of so much pain that, when Arthur tried to put the sword back, the stone would have none of it.
  13. Arthur pulled the sword from the stone and promptly cut himself.
  14. Arthur pulled the sword from the stone but nobody saw. So he put it back and waited for witnesses.
  15. Bronwen thought the sword sticking out of the stone looked cold. So every few months she’d knit a wool cozy for it. Aspirants would politely replace the cozy after their attempts to remove the sword failed. Many thanked her for warming the hilt. Once Arthur succeeded in removing the sword, Bronwen knit him a wool scabbard which he kindly accepted but never used.
  16. The stone whispered to Excaliber “he’s the one!” and released the sword to the young boy. “No he’s not!” yelled the sword, “hold on!” but it was too late.
  17. Excaliber, forged by magic, imbued with duty, took eons getting used to living in Rock. Arthur broke things up just as Rock and Excaliber were getting used to each other.
  18. Rock wouldn’t admit it to Sword, but he liked the graffiti young people left.
  19. He tightened his grip, clenched his eyes, took a deep breath, and felt soft hands fiercely grab the sword through his. In one smooth draw, they pulled the sword from the stone and held it aloft together, startled by sparks binding their hearts.
  20. The fifty-second manned mission to Mars uncovers a sword in a stone buried in dust near a long dry lake bed.
  21. It wasn’t exactly a secret that the sword had come lose from the stone years’ ago. When someone in the village needed a big knife, they’d borrow it and put it back. The baker used it often to cut sheet cakes. So when Arthur pulled it from the stone, held it high, and an old man said he was the next king, they all smiled quietly to each other as they took a knee.
  22. Manitoba youths try pulling the steel hockey stick from the stone to this day.
  23. It took Arthur many hours to pull the sword from the stone. The stone yielded the sword exceedingly slowly. Arthur’s virtue was persistence.
  24. After Sword left, Stone went on to have a long and productive life. First, as a foundation in the town wall. For a while as an anvil. Reused in a number of buildings, appreciated for its size and strength. Generations later, machined into cheese boards for foodies.
  25. Arthur was small and mousey looking. So his media relations team gave his sword a name. Then they invented a Lady of the Lake to give the sword its magic. And a magical kingdom she ruled. Then had they backdated a foretelling that the sword would only go to the rightful king. They really didn’t know when to stop. And Arthur, distracted with girl troubles, never shut them down.
  26. The smith noticed someone else had pulled a sword from the town square’s big stone. So he replaced the missing sword with a new one, another cheaply made training sword that fit the granite hole exactly. Stamped on the side of the sword “Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone is entitled to a discount on a real sword at Seren of Caerfyrddin.
  27. The lads struggled in turn to pull the stuck memory stick from her bricked computer. Artis from housekeeping gave it a gentle tug, it came out easily, and Gwinny smiled at her.
  28. “I lost mine, so I pulled a sword from Stone’s bloody corpse.”
  29. He pulled the hilt and the rusted sword broke off where it entered the stone.
  30. “Maybe if we all pull together?” So they did, the sword came out of the stone, and they all ruled as a parliament.
  31. On the coldest day in generations, the sword’s steel contracted and rested loose a few moments before Arthur pulled it from the stone.
  32. Arthur pulled the sword from the stone built into the dam that protected the village of Caer Llydaw. Flooding ensued.
  33. Arturo pulled the stick stuck in the piñata, releasing it and the candies.
  34. Once the prophecy spread, every Welsh town made its own sword-in-a-stone statue, confusing things terribly.
  35. In every generation a new leader is chosen as a child pulls a kitchen blade from a knife block.
  36. Sword to Nimue with disgust and dismay: You want to put me in what?
  37. A horny fifteen year-old Arthur saw a hole in the big smooth round rock and thought… It took buckets of cold water to help Art remove his sword from the stone. Stone was never quite the same.
  38. The candlemaker would rub grease on the sword’s hilt each morning. She giggled as the ambitious men’s grips and hopes slipped away.
  39. Tired of incompetence, several twenty-first century democracies established feats of cognitive, emotional, scholarly, and physical ability for electoral candidates. The Sword in the Stone strategy was credited with three centuries of peace and prosperity.
  40. Some evenings, when the stone and the village had gone to sleep, Sword slipped out to see other scabbards.
  41. “Do you remember that robin who used to visit me, Stone?” 
    “I do, Sword.” 
    “I miss her song. And her bright color.” 
    “Pretty bird she was.” 
    “Right, Stone.” 
    Stone no longer remembered. But it seemed kinder to be agreeable.
The scene where Wart pulls the sword from the stone in Disney’s The Sword In The Stone.