A Stone
By Oliver Sawalmeh, Year 8, Bottisham Village College

A young scrawny boy called Liam walked on a beach, across the golden smooth sand, the sun creeping lower and lower. He knelt by the water, barely letting it touch him. As his eyes scaled the surroundings, something caught his eye. A brown stone. Smooth to the touch. Liam had always had a passion for collecting rocks. He always wondered how long they had been there, how they were there, why they were there. So, he walked home holding the stone in his hands, and had dinner. His parents knew he had a bit of an obsession with stones and rocks, but they didn’t know how much of an obsession it was.

That night he dreamt of that stone, and its story. 

It was at an edge of a waterfall, overlooking a forest and its wildlife, the deer drinking the crystal-clear water that ran down so beautifully. One day the river broke its banks, sending a large rock over the waterfall, smashing it into pieces at the bottom of its steep drop, sending a small jagged chunk down the stream. Dragging it down the river. Dragging it across the riverbed. Smoothing its sharp dagger-like edges.

Eventually the river slowed, and narrowed to a stream, and there the rock finally had a rest. A man soon came walking down the stream with his girlfriend and his silver dog. He saw the stone and picked it up and brought it home after their walk, placed it on a workbench and sanded it down to a smooth oval shape, then polished it up. It had a beautiful shine; he gave it to his girlfriend later that year and proposed to her. The stone then stayed up on a shelf and watched the years go by. The man and his wife: eating together, being together, enjoying each other’s company — it’s when he was alone for the first time that something was wrong. It turned out that she was with another man, and they soon divorced. The stone was finally taken down from the dusty shelf.

The man walked down to a small beach with the stone in his hand, tears streaming from his eyes — maybe it served as a reminder of his wife — but he threw it into the ocean and, like that, the stone was back in the water, getting pulled along by the current. The polish was eventually worn away. A storm picked up and started churning the water, throwing the stone everywhere. Waves towered over the ocean and land. The ocean, such a pretty thing, giving life and happiness, had a hidden face. It could turn into an ugly monster, taking lives and giving misery. It was as if the sea and the sky were having a fight. This was Mother Nature’s dark side.

The storm passed, and the waves became ankle high once again. The stone washed up against the shore and waited, but what for? Later, a young scrawny boy came and picked it up, and put it in his pocket.