the valley
Her forgotten father created a name for her from a simple stone. When it grew into a boulder, man-high and void-wide, he pushed it down the hill; but there was no Sisyphus to meet it. It languished in the valley, a name with no irresistible force to disturb it.

She was quite content to leave her name there, to be shat upon by dry lizards and wet loons. The name itself was not so sanguine. Every boulder has a crater in its past, and the name wanted to purge its history--just as the daughter, with a daughter's anger, had put the father (and the name) out of mind and memory. But stones, once moved, have no such power.

There were other neglected names in that valley: a rotting peach, a thin trickle of water that had been a river, an ineffectual breeze stirring dead weeds. Families would sometimes picnic there in the valley, but they never came back. They could feel the desperate amnesia surrounding them.

When at last the daughter happened to wander through, she didn't recognize her name. It had no particular use for her, either. But centuries later, when the name had eroded, its components laid bare, symbols of the father and the daughter could be found among them, intertwined. Even stones can spite.

© 1997-2001 Narciso Jaramillo mechanisms | dyslexikon | nj's face