The Girl and the Stone

A child lives in something like a waking dream, and so also there are nightmares. Part of the dream/life triptych.

The stone was green. It may have been moss that made it so. He didn’t know; he picked it up from the side of the road and threw it.

Ahead of him the girl fell when it hit her. She went down.

She lay with her eyes closed, mud on her cheek and in her hair, didn’t move when he nudged her foot with his boot. He pushed her onto her side with his black boot. The back of her head now showed. The red blood.

He picked up her pale hand, said, “Get up. Get up now.”

A wren alit on a branch overhead and sang. It swept its glinting gaze back and forth and sang, its breast pumping.

The girl did not stir. Dark clouds moved in; far away a dog barked. The wind lifted her plaid skirt.

She must be cold on the wet ground.

The red blood was bright, stayed bright in his mind’s eye as he ran for home, though it did fade for him as the years passed.

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Peg Alford Pursell

Peg Alford Pursell

Peg Alford Pursell (the dream/life triptych) received the South Carolina State Fiction Award and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her stories have appeared in Joyland Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, Emprise Review and others. She is a NEH Independent Study Fellow, a fiction editor for Prick of the Spindle, and curator of the Why There Are Words lit reading series. http://pegalfordpursell.com

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