The Moaning Stone

rock

© CEAyr

“We’ve hiked three days to get here, Jason. Are you sure it’s worth it?”

“According to the old library book it should be.”

Jason and Jill climbed down the heavily wooded gully. “Should be around…there. The moaning rock.”

“Just a big rock, Jason.”

Then they heard the moan.

“I don’t like this Jason. Let’s go back.”

“Wait.”

“Alone.” The voice from the rock sounded like the wind.

“Are you the spirit?” The book was written eighty years ago by a hiker who said the rock was haunted.

“Home.” Lights started shining from deep depressions.

“No, Jason. Not spirits. A spaceship.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long based on the photo above. My word count is exactly 100.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the picture of the rock is that it looked like it was somehow alive. I was torn between making it a horror story or science fiction. Jason and Jill almost had their souls eaten by spirits. Then I decided for a happier ending.

To read other stories inspired by the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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80 thoughts on “The Moaning Stone

  1. Reminds me a bit of the comic Elf Quest. There’s some elves living inside a mountain, and the humans thinks they’re spirits. I’d tell you more, but I don’t want to run around with spoilers 🙂

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  2. Aw, I feel for the poor lonely alien rock. Maybe they can find some way to help it — although if the alternative is being prodded and inspected by scientists with the military, maybe being stranded in the woods is its best bet. I also thought it looked alive, although I ended up going with “used to be.”

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    • I think the next step is for Jason and Jill to figure out a way to help it. Maybe whatever damage occurred when it crashed is repaired, but it has insufficient power. If the two hikers can clear away enough of the trees and debris, maybe it can get a charge from solar and jump start its engines. Here’s hoping, Joy.

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  3. I can envision a troop of boy scouts screaming and running all the way back to town. LOL! What a lark! Sounds like something my Girl Scout Troop would’ve done to the boys…. giggles.

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  4. You know, James, the oddest passage of the Tenach has been nagging at the back of my consciousness while reading all the comments you’ve received here, perhaps because of the alien connection. I will paraphrase it here, from Isaiah 14:12 —

    “How you have fallen from heaven,
    O stone of the moaning, son of the downcast!
    You have been cut down to the earth,
    You who have deceived [hikers from] the nations!

    It may be a bit more esoteric and literary than my previous “Wailing Wall” comment, but perhaps containing a better pun. [:)]

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  5. This is another flash where I’ve not only enjoyed the flash itself but the comments as well. Great reading on both fronts here. I recently found a letter in an old book about London published in 1956 and about to follow their footsteps on my blog. This sounds similar to your characters setting out to find this moaning rock mentioned in a library book. I have no expectations of finding anything untoward on my travels, but there’s always that hope you’ll come across a secret treasure map and make your fortune, or at least end up with a great story to tell.
    xx Rowena

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      • I regret to concede that a book published more than a half-century ago probably must be acknowledged as “old”, even though I too am older than that. Regrettable also is that I’m at that awkward stage — old enough to be no longer young, but not yet old enough to claim the honor of being “ancient” (though I do have an ambition to reach that state).

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  6. Oh, I like this. The idea of discovery of something really “out there” in terms of understanding. I always had a fascination for stories like this. Thanks, James!

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    • Who said this AI-piloted ship was ever aerodynamic? That sort of characteristic is only beneficial to ballistically-driven craft such as rockets, and only while they are in an atmosphere. In space, form is strictly a matter of function; and a craft that is capable of protecting itself by deflecting micrometeoroids in space, say with a force field, can similarly deflect atmospheric molecules while passing through it. So the real question is: What does this automated ship require to become sufficiently functional to be able to return home? And a secondary question is: Can these hikers do anything to provide materials and assistance that the craft might need in order to achieve that condition?

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  7. Great read!!! Love the hiking tale 🙂 I gave ya a follow. I have a few hiking tales myself you might enjoy, would appreciate the follow back. But otherwise thanks for the tips and story 🙂

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