White stripe

White stripe in rock, Canada 2015 © Tanya Clarke

White stripe in rock, Canada 2015 © Tanya Clarke


Oscar picked up the rock and turned it over and over in his hand.

His nose closed in on the magnifying glass between them. He removed his glasses and sat back in his chair rubbing his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. He dropped the rock back in the specimen tray in front of him. The door of his study opened and the smell of roasting chicken followed his young daughter into the room.

"Dad," she said. "Mum says to tell you food's ready."

Oscar leaned back further in his chair turning his head towards her.

"Sure," he said. "I'll be there in a minute." He smiled as the door closed and the sound of his daughter's footsteps faded up into the kitchen above him.

He leaned forward again and picked up the rock. He turned it over and peered at it again through the thick magnifying glass. He pushed his glasses back onto the bridge of his nose.

"This I don't know," he said under his breath. "This I don't know. Where have you come from? Not from here. Not from this world."

The white strip of unidentifiable material embedded in the rock began to shimmer and glow as light cracked through the rough surface. The smell of roasting chicken grew stronger. He could taste it. In the distance, there was the sound of his wife banging the floor above him with the broom handle. Supper was ready. He dropped the rock, his arm trembling. The flesh of his hand was burning and the smell of roast chicken was clear and strong.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.