Herbert and Ethelred

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Herbert – he’s the one on the right with the red helmet – felt so honoured. A great-grandfather times 5 had been a local stone mason when the cathedral was begun.  He was connecting with his past in a way so many never got the opportunity.

Every stone chip, every filed pile of dust, Herbert brought home with him. He spent weekends at the archives and libraries. A shrine to Ethelred, his masonry ancestor, was constructed in the garage. Broken stone, worn out gargoyles, ornamental facades. Herbert’s wife made him move “that pile of disaster” as she called it to the back yard.

Herbert began to shape his own stones, and soon a mini-cathedral was rising in the backyard. Fearing obsession or possession, his wife had him committed. That was fine, as it turned out, Ethelred had helped build the insane asylum, so the two could continue to play together. (word count 152)

Precious Joy’s Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, Week of January 23, 2016; photo by Ellespeth’s Friend

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the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things . . .

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