Saturday Short: The Stone Archways

photograph of two ancient stone archwwaysI never believed the stone archways were haunted. That was talk to scare the children.

They had stood on the outskirts of my village since the time before records. No one knew who built the arches or why they were there. They weren’t like any of the other structures in our village. The rocks were all wrong. The rocks that jutted out of the hillsides that clustered around our village were sandstone yellow that glowed when the spring sun hit them just right.

The arches were made from dark and heavy stones. Stones that looked like they were frowning as they defied gravity remaining aloft in the archways even after a winter storm toppled many buildings. The stone arches remained.

No one knew where the stories of hauntings came from either, just that they always were. Everyone’s parents told them that they would leave them in the arches for the ghosts if they weren’t good or they hit their sibling or forgot to bring water to the sheep.

But I was no child and I didn’t believe in hauntings. I didn’t believe in many things. So I accepted the challenge to wait through the night in the archways to prove there were no ghosts. They were nothing more than old, mossy stones visited by the occasional bird that landed and squawked to tell me I was wasting my time.

I ignored the whispers that seemed to seep out of the cracks between the stones. Just nerves. Nothing to worry about, even when the sun goes down. I fingered the pendant around my neck. Nothing to worry about at all.