• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 09
Image by


We looked for small stones first. Those that might make up toes and cartilage, the features that define a first impression, like the smell of someone's clothes lodged in your subconscious. Earlobes so small that they curve perfectly inwards from the ear's high bow. A freckle or two. Joints large and bulbous on a blunt hand. Pebbles were too smooth for this, we needed old dark stones, layered in silt. The stones close to the surface were weathered and moulded and compliant, but joints are not compliant. But when finally the joints grind to a halt, all other action is frozen with it.

We needed old stones that lay in their own dense gravitational force. Stones that crumbled to the touch and left an acrid mist.

We looked by the sea. We looked in cellars, in forests, under abandoned houses. Stones that are adrift and wild are not always easily won.