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A Pocket Full Of Stones
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TITLE (EDIT)
A Pocket Full Of Stones
DESCRIPTION
As he walked through the darkest part of his town, he allowed his thoughts to get the better of him. They stepped in time with his feet, and slowly covered his face with a gentle regret.
[929 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Relationships
AUTHOR
Paul Leighland MacLaine
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[November 2010]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
paul@boomaroo.com.au
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (15)
After She Left (Short Stories) When a relationship ends and partners go their separate ways, the memory of the lost love begins to fade. The half of the brain they once occupied is gradually reclaimed so a person returns to being a... [708 words] [Suspense]
Anything Has To Be Better Than This (Short Stories) Nixon lives a quiet life, he minds his own business, keeps to himself...it’s his neighbours who are warring. The paper-thin walls of this hotel reveal everything and one night, as the battle rages nex... [952 words] [Relationships]
Ash Bester - The Devil May Care (Novels) Here are the first two chapters of my crime novel. I am looking for feedback and motivation to get on with it. Ash Bester, war hero, boxer and Melbourne private detective in 1953, is about to fall vi... [5,188 words] [Crime]
Cancer Of The Circumstance (Short Stories) When a man meets a friend in the street, a long lost friend, he sees that he is dying of cancer. The signs are all there, he is thin, his eyes have dimmed from their once brilliant blue and his hands ... [1,424 words] [Mystery]
Close? Only When We Danced (Short Stories) Secrets and promises are often the hardest things to keep. They have a habit of slipping out in conversation. Phillip, a boy on the verge of manhood, tells all his secrets to a man he’s just met in th... [908 words] [Relationships]
Dropping The Red Doll (Short Stories) He hasn’t seen his ex-wife in three years but suddenly she is back in his head and back in his life. As he sits next to her, while she is dying from injuries sustained in a car wreck, he sees the red ... [822 words] [Mystery]
Especially Brilliance (Short Stories) A little bit of heaven has just come back to earth [2,340 words] [Spiritual]
Everything's Falling Into Place (Short Stories) As his girlfriend throws all his possessions from a balcony, the man realises the order in which they are discarded reflects their story relationship. [957 words] [Relationships]
Involution Melancholia (Short Stories) Mead wakes to find he has been sleeping on a bar. The room is filled with people and smoke..just another night on the tiles? Only this time things are happening that don’t make sense: the barman takes... [1,859 words] [Horror]
Remington, Underwood & Royal (Short Stories) Will Kingsway has just purchased the solution to his writer’s block – a black, Remington typewriter. The only problem comes when it asks him to guess its name in exchange for fame and literary success... [4,378 words] [Horror]
Renting (Short Stories) Sometimes letting go can be harder than holding on. [390 words] [Relationships]
Sweetchild (Short Stories) Sweetchild is the story of interracial love, a tragic story of a Romeo and Juliet. [2,387 words] [Romance]
The Legacy (Short Stories) Abandonment is a terrible way to end a relationship, especially when it is in favour of your best friend. But John, a hack, horror writer, has just found the solution to his woes in the pages of an ol... [3,561 words] [Horror]
The Man Who Turns The World With His Feet (Short Stories) An ancient pendant, a Gypsy curse and a small child all combine to release The Man Who Turns the World with his Feet. [1,884 words] [Fantasy]
The Spirit Tree (Short Stories) A small boy was living with his Aunt and Uncle on their farm discovers a magic tree, and a miracle of nature. [4,197 words] [Spiritual]
A Pocket Full Of Stones
Paul Leighland MacLaine

a pocket full of stones

a short story from the collection:
the tales of socrates dancing
by
paul leighland maclaine



As he walked through the darkest part of his town, he allowed his thoughts to get the better of him. They stepped in time with his feet, and slowly covered his face with a gentle regret.
  
He’d chosen to be wary of women holding mirrors; distrusting of women with vision; and in fear of the many who carried pockets full of stones. Those with mirrors, reflected light into the darkness of his heart to see what hid there and would leave him no place to hide. Those with vision needed no illumination to judge him. The ones with stones would hurl them with enviable accuracy, chipping and weakening the walls of his soul.
  
When he had met her he’d been afraid, and hid because hiding was the only freedom he knew. When they had been close she had smoothed her hand across his face, looking for something in his eyes.
Searching through their blue for her own longing.
She touched his hand and fingers, exploring for the strength to continue.
‘I hate this room. It frightens me. Sometimes I think I’m being watched and I turn to find nothing but my own reflection in that mirror,’ she whispered.
He stared at her, trying to understand her desire.
‘You could move the mirror somewhere else; then you wouldn’t notice,’ he replied.
  
She had cried her pain not long after they first met, and she asked that he should forgive her the things that she would do...but he had already done so. She smiled at him, and he tried to decide which was the better: to be with her and watch her unease, but have her close, or to have her go and feed his love on the pain that accompanies longing.
  
In the past he had been very hard on those that had shown him kindness. Perhaps he was punishing them because of his own inadequacies? The true reason for his actions lay deep in his past, and solid in his gut. Too far to recall, and much too close to admit.
  
The voice riding in his skull that day continued its decay and he stopped, hoping that the sudden braking would force it to spill from his head, and fall to the pavement where he could stamp it into black ash. He felt the rims of his eyes grow hot and itchy, burning dark circles into his features. Would he accept the options the voice offered, or question the intent?
And if he did submit would it all end, or was this just the beginning?
  
Tapping on the window next to him prematurely retired his next thought. A hand waved him into the flower shop.
‘Would you like some?’
The elderly woman held at her chest a fistful of flowers. He hesitated, not quite knowing how to tell her that he would only have to sit and watch them die.
‘Go on,’ she goaded. ‘You can have them for nothing.’
He saw a large bin piled high with browning green stalks, shriveled blue mixed with rotting yellow, red, and black, smiled, and held out his hand.
‘That’s my boy! ‘I’d have only tossed them in the garbage. Best you have them, and save them for a couple more days at least. You might have someone to give them to.’
 He observed the care with which she performed the ritual of wrapping them in paper. It was like he had spent a thousand dollars. She turned to him, preened the edges straight, and fitted them into his fist.
‘I know they might not last too long,’ she repeated, holding his hand as well as the flowers. ‘But it would be such a waste, wouldn’t it?’

He approached a rubbish bin and placed the heads of the flowers into the opening, but he couldn’t let go.
Somehow, it did seem such a waste.
Might have someone special you’d like to give them to.
He did.
  
The voice in his thoughts tracked him to her apartment block, rode him up the stairs to her door, and tightened his stomach so as he might not have the courage to knock.
He tapped gently.
‘Girl’s gone,’ said a voice behind him. ‘Moved out three days ago. Didn’t say where so don’t ask.’
Before he had the time to match the announcement with a suitable face, he heard the click of a safety chain and saw the winking of an eye at the peephole, then it was gone.
  
He sat on the apartment steps, flowers in his fist and the voice dancing and laughing inside his head.
What a fool you are. What an easily frightened fool.
  
Suddenly she was there and sat down next to him. She brushed the smooth skin of his cheek, spreading a dampness that made the skin glisten.
‘Are they for me?’
He wiped his face on a sleeve, and placed the flowers into her hand.
‘Thank you, they’re beautiful.’
She smiled to herself.
‘I’ve just moved to the forth floor, like to come inside while I put these in some water?’
He touched a petal on one of the roses and it fell into her lap.
‘Mightn’t last long,’ he said.
‘You can buy me some more and change them when I’m not looking. No one will be the wiser.’
  She trotted in front of him up the stairs. He followed her slowly, thinking how for his entire life he had kept the things he loved most, the farthest away.
‘Come on, what’s slowing you down,’ she called at him from the forth floor landing. ‘You got stones in your pockets?’
‘I’ll be there soon,’ he whispered.

 

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"Once again truely a story that you can feel like you have been there. or something that you know smeone close to you has felt. I felt it. sad but true a very sad but yet satidfying ending. makes you wonder really what happens next.?" -- rachel williams, west melbourne.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 1992 Paul Leighland MacLaine
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
February 2003
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1451
 

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