Tank Green/ April 27, 2024/ Writing Walking

Photo of some megalithic stones. On the floor in front of the centre stone is a stick with runes on it.

Photo of some megalithic stones. On the floor in front of the centre stone is a stick with runes on it.

Raymond sighed. He’s been here quite a long time, you know, so he’s earned a little sigh every now and then. He’s looking at the stick and wondering what you expect him to do with it? His magic-making days are long since over; it’s only him keeping the structure together – can’t you see that? If he bent down to pick up the offering, what do you think would happen next? A bang-squash-crack, that’s what. And then what would you people do then? No amount of iron fencing will make up for that mess.

It didn’t use to be just Raymond, you know. There used to be a lot more of them and, in those days, it wasn’t just Raymond doing all the hard work at Kit’s Coty House. In those days, uprightness was shared amongst a lot of the stones. Old Maisie to the left, well she’s long since checked out, all that remains is her frownsie old lady mouth. Chumchum and Topnut spend their days on psychedelics reliving the sacrifices of yore, so are of absolutely no use, either. Raymond said it would be helpful if you’d stop depositing mushrooms and cannabis in their holes, please.

Aah, Raymond: remember the days? The days when people cared and noticed and took part? The days when people would make sure that your kindred stones stayed put, and didn’t go wandering off at night. That’s what all those holes are for, you know: in the old days, the people would plug them with emeralds and rubies and diamonds in order to weigh the stones down. 

One day the humans forgot what the sparkles were for. A group of people went to live in a far away place where none of the stones had travelled. Three generations later, some of them made an ancestral pilgrimage back to Raymond, et. al., saw the sparkly stones, and quietly nicked them. Ever since then, Raymond’s kin have slowly been leaving for other places, going on their own slow pilgrimages to lay down on their backs, looking at the stars, smoking reefers.

It’s hard for Raymond, you know. I wanted to stay with him longer because he really is quite lonely and, I swear to god, he’s a really, really nice stone. One of the nicest I’ve ever met, if I’m honest. It doesn’t seem right to me that he’s the only one left holding up the world like that; I wanted to do more to help him. But who am I to help? I don’t even know the language of stones: I’m totally reliant on them speaking English, and only Raymond and Marvin remember how.

If you see a stone, lie on it. Put things in its holes. Blow on it. Perhaps, if it is a really nice one, place a little kiss on it. The reason being is that if they feel loved, they might make it back to Kit’s Coty House one day, to give Raymond a hand in holding up the sky. They might remember when we placed sparkles in their holes, ate dinners under their shelter, warmed them and ourselves with fire. They might ask again to be painted and groomed and needed. And just imagine the landscape then: one where we can gasp in awe and stand in reverence, as the great old sparkle-dressed stones slowly rearrange themselves before our very eyes.

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