Strange rituals, defy all logic. There is always a battle that is part of the definition of who we are. Is it the ritual itself that must make sense or is it what we take away from the ritual that will define who we are? Only those who undertake the endeavor and push themselves to see something more will ever know the answer to such questions…
Stones and the Broken Man
He reached over the side of the pool. It took everything he had left in him to do even that. Just a hand over the side, broken and bloody, the fingers shook and the palm dripped but he still reached over the side.
Sara picked up the next stone in the line, a dwindling line with only a few stones left. She marveled that he had made it this far. She contemplated the weight of the stone, these last few were larger, heavier, most people couldn’t make it this far. She brought it down without a second look onto his hand. A crushing blow that landed with a large crunch.
He didn’t scream, his breathing remained steady. Miraculous she thought. She peeked over the edge and into the pool. Dark liquid swirled and eddied around the man who clung for his life, for his soul to the edge of the pool.
Even with this last blow with the stone he still clung to the side and the edge. As she watched him he took a deep breath and swung his body to face the side. His other hand came up and clung tight to the edge. He smiled up at her in defiance.
She shrugged and dropped to the side. As she picked up the next stone she made the mental count, only one remained after this one. But this one was a doozy. It would smack hard against his flesh, could even sever ligaments and joints in the sheer weight of the stone and its attack.
She brought the stone down, her weight and height pushing the stone down against the flesh of his hand, but the crack was different this time. Stone against stone sent a shockwave through her arms and she dropped her stone hammer.
He had moved his hand before she could crush it. What’s worse, that damn smile again. He thought he could win. She only had the one stone left, she had to make it count. This one was quite large, a weight beyond what she could wield properly.
There was no way she could use it to hammer against his body and force him to fall free. But she wouldn’t have to. A wicked smile crossed her lips, a mockery of the one he bared for her. She locked eyes with him as she approached the edge.
Without a second thought she leaned forward and fell into his arms, stone and all. Her weight and the weight of the stone were more than his broken body could bear. They tumbled and sank deep into the deep red pool. She clung to him and the stone as he fought futilely to break free and find the air of freedom above. But they never rose above the surface again.