Monday 28 June 2021

'Stone' by Shekina Rose

She stirs her coffee in the cold of the early morning. This is her peaceful time, when the rest of the world sleeps. As she stirs, she notices the tips of her fingers feel different. She holds them in front of her face. They are no longer squishy and pink, but tough and grey. 

She spends the day doing what she normally does. She drives her children to school. She works, tapping away on her laptop, so engrossed in deadlines that she doesn’t hear her hard fingers snapping against the keyboard. 

At home, she makes tea, burning her hand in the oven. She goes for a run. She puts her children to bed. As she reads to them, she remembers how the tips of her fingers are not the same anymore. She can’t feel the smooth pages of the book. She slides her fingertip along the paper edge. No blood.

That night, her husband waits for her in bed. He is naked, the duvet is down below his waist. She lies down beside him. He strokes her body. She closes her eyes and lets him trace his fingertips across her skin.

She falls asleep and dreams she is a child, standing in the doorway of her family home. She is calling for her parents, they do not answer. She shouts louder, with a noise starting in her stomach. Small cracks appear in the walls. She should leave, but her feet are stuck. Her legs are heavy. Bricks tumble around her. She is frightened. She keeps calling. No one comes. 

The next morning when her husband awakes, her body is grey. Solid and smooth. Her eyes do not open. There is no saliva around her lips. His wife has turned to stone. It was always going to happen.

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