Sand and stone, part 2 Tuesday February 14, 2006, 0 comments

He regained consciousness as daylight heaved itself over the horizon. In the desert, the disc of the sun appeared large, but even more so as the boy lay leaning against the basalt tower. He looked up again, just in time to see the last star of the night shiver and wink out in deference to the sun.

The boy couldn’t remember how long he had been on this journey to the rock, and he wasn’t sure what he would find, but now that he was here, the months – centuries! – he had spent searching for this place receded, replaced with a deep dread of what he must do next.

He sighed and rose, dizzy for a moment from dehydration and fatigue, and set off to his left to circle the black column. Once, twice, three times he circled it before he spotted a crack just big enough for his withered and emaciated body to slip through. Heart pounding, he entered.

The crack grew tighter and darker as he pushed further into it. At one point, long after he had lost his sight to the darkness, he felt the rock squeeze him from front and back and he feared he’d be stuck forever, but panic, sweat and some earnest wiggling allowed him to slip past and into a space that felt very open.

It wasn’t as dark here as it was in the crack, and once his eyes adjusted to the dimness, he could see clearly enough to be left breathless. The floor was the same black glistening rock that made up the whole tower, and the roof was so far above his head that he couldn’t see it. The entire place thrummed with energy and majesty – a cathedral to some ineffable, arrogant godling.

On a raised platform at the center of the chamber was a simple marble table, white and out of place. Curled up at its base were three black dogs, slumbering peacefully. The table he could have understood, but the dogs were inexplicable, more out of place than the table itself.

He had journeyed so long, always aware of his goal, and now that he was here, staring at the dogs in the dark, he felt for the first time uncertainty. There was no way he could get to the table without waking them, and he wasn’t sure he wanted them to know he was there.

Kill them. Fool them. Befriend them. Leave them be and go back. He doubted he could fool them, and killing them seemed as unlikely. The boy stood still as the rock he was buried in, petrified by his uncertainty.


Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

Adrian is not currently available for freelance and contract work. Learn more.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
- Mark Twain


  • @mrmatthogg You certainly want to work with him. Tuesday May 12, 2020
  • @mrmatthogg Lately you sound like me 3 years ago, failing agains the profligate use of users bandwidth and computin… Monday May 11, 2020
  • Do you remember when you joined Twitter? I do! #MyTwitterAnniversary Well, I didn’t, but twitter reminded me. Wednesday April 1, 2020
  • Weeks of coding will save you hours of planning. Thursday February 6, 2020
  • Hey @nationalpost your website is unreadable on mobile thanks to your slow loading, crufty page and your display ad… Wednesday January 29, 2020
  • Putting Devs Before Users: How Frameworks Destroyed Web Performance by @GamingReinvent Thursday January 2, 2020
  • There’s an important difference between an inexperienced developer and a bad developer. Tuesday December 3, 2019
  • This is utterly unacceptable, GO Transit. Should we expect an apology for the inconvenience, coupled with a statem… Thursday November 21, 2019