I wake up with stones in my pockets, dragging me down, sprawling across the floor as I try stumble into the day that has been patiently creeping down the trees, under the eaves, over the sill all morning long. I lie sprawled across the tiles, a trellis of sunlight splashed across my stubbly chin, my neck, my bare shoulders and my pajama-clad legs. My eyes and my brain box still lurk in lingering shadow, questing through the last nocturnal marches for a rewind button. But it is day and I am fallen, fallen across the cool tiles now warming in a patchwork beam in which motes flick and flecks fly.
So, the stones: I draw them out.
A long, flat stone, like a rectangle with rounded edges, a river stone made of layers of grey sediment. A lump with hollow, dismal rock without, sparkling alien landscape of quartz within. A sand-coloured stone that has a little dimple that marks it as a fossil of some single-celled thing. A small, vivid piece of turquoise, like a fallen cat’s eye.
I know these stones, I’ve known these stones. Held them, rubbed them against the palm of my hand, felt their heft, lifted them up to the light and listened to their whispered secrets. I’ve lost them over the years, but they’re back now, the weight of time, memory and stone is back with me now, grounding me, rocking me out of my diurnal ticktock. Stoned, I remember a story I lived and wrote as/about a stone rider on his bike of stone, riding for long ages through a stone world to a stone destiny. Stoned I awake, stoned I stumble, fall, sprawl. The wash of daylight turns me into a piebald creature as I sit on the warming tiles sorting stones.
In a very quiet place very far away very close within a thing of monumental scale writhes gently in its dreaming, making the earth groan on its axis.
I’m laying the stones out, making the sign.
Wyrmbrother, lithic, silent, infinitely segmented calls to me, through me. I am a thing of stubble and skin, a pattern within a pattern, famed within a lucent crosshatch, laying out the stones, stones of memory, stones of my life, symbol of memory, symbol of transformation. Making a wish and opening a door.
The world begins to spin out of orbit as something stirs into wakefulness, some part of it still clinging to the last feathers left by dream birds now fled to their eternal eyries, some part of it already tunneling skillfully to the surface, becoming the surface. I lay myself down within the pattern of stones and light, cross my arms across my chest, feel the cool warmth of the tiles, feel my tissues expanding, petrifying, segmenting, stare at the motes, shimmering beads dancing on chains of light.
Golden morning libation. Light. I stretch.
© Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy has previously been published by Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Pratilipi, Lovecraft eZine and Phantasmagorium