The Fifth Stone

(This is just a little piece of folklore I wrote to go along with the book I’m hoping to publish late 2015-16. It’s short, and hopefully sad. Any questions, feel free to comment below. Hope you enjoy!) 

There once lived a small clan near the Southern Mountains. It was so small that even the children were needed to help with the chores, pulling water from the rivers, fetching and hunting, even the felling of trees and building of huts. The children of this clan were put to every possible use they could.

One day the smallest child in the clan was carrying stones from the riverside to help repairing a hut that had been destroyed by a falling tree. The sun was setting and the child was in a hurry to return to home because it was winter and the wolves were beginning to howl. As a result she filled his bucket too full and could not lift it. And so, the child emptied out five stones and laid them neatly in a line so she could find them later and hurried back to the village.

However it turned out that they were exactly five stones short of repairing the hut. When the child learnt this and told the others of the five stones she had removed from her bucket she was sent back into the woods to find them again. The sun was just beginning to set properly and at every step the child was afraid for her life, but she found the five stones, resting just as she put them, and managed to lift all but one. Once again she hurried home, sure she could feel the hot breath of a wolf on her neck the entire way.

However, once it came to light that the fifth stone was still lying somewhere out in the forest she was ordered back out into the woods to retrieve it, as all the workers were tired and wanted the hut finished before they went to bed.

By this time it was almost completely dark in the forest and the child stepped carefully through the twigs and leaves, for she could smell the wolves circling her and knew they could smell her in return.

At long last she reached the fifth stone. Sighing with relief, she rushed to pick it up but the thing would not budge. The stone was heavy and she was weak from a day of fetching and carrying. It was now that the wolves chose to attack.

Her body was found the next day, ripped to shreds by wolves and the other life of the forest. She was almost unrecognisable, were it not for her hands. Untouched and still gripping so hard to the fifth stone that they were never able to lift.

 

 

 

 

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