Willie wiped his brow and looked out at the desert. There had been stories as far back as the dawn of time about the desert, the Moonboy Hills and those stones.
It had been said that when the stones started to move the end was coming. Willie always wondered what end these folks were talking about. He had been too long in the saddle to really care about such things now. There were names and places that he had started to forget and well, his end was probably coming sooner rather than later.
Willie guessed there must be a right time for everything.
He remembered when he was a boy and that first evening he’d ridden up into the Moonboys. He’d been arguing with his paw about some nonsense or other. Taking off with his old horse General had seemed the easiest way to resolve things. The first two nights had been lonely and cold, boy could it get cold up there.
On the third night he’d taken shelter in a cave and managed to light a fire. That was when he saw them - the weird carvings on the far wall.
When he’d asked around town about them, one of those clever college guys had talked about the pre-Clovis people being responsible but Will had no idea what he was going on about. The Professor had asked if Will could take him to the exact place where he’d seen the carvings but Will wasn’t too keen. He just said he’d forgotten. Anyhow Willie felt it went a lot deeper and darker than those Clovis folks, there was something strange about those signs and that was the truth.
Funny thing to tell, he’d never actually shown anyone other than his own family the location of the carvings. In his teenage years Willie had spent a lot of time up in the hills worrying and thinking about one thing or another.
Girls, money, work, you name it he always took his problems ‘to the cave’.
When he met Sarah he’d stopped going up there. Then, when the kids had come along, he’d take them up one by one on his horse to show them the pictures. But they had all grown up and moved away and no one apart from his youngest Brad had kept up any interest in the place.
Recently after Sarah’s death he’d found himself coming back to the place more and more, to think over his life. Things didn’t feel so lonely up there. The kids and their children very rarely came visiting anymore and he’d usually see the clan at some Christmas get-together, then nothing until the following year.
Willie didn’t mind saying it, he was as lonely as hell and wondering if it was time he should be moving on. Life was for the young and he would tell you, he hated getting old. It hurt in every sense of the word. He was tired and it was as plain and simple as that.
Then a couple of weeks ago the stories had started circulating around the place. Over at Jacob’s Rock and in Wall Fire Alley there had been folks talking about the stones, they were moving, sometimes as much as several feet in a night.
Over in Kent County a minister had called it the end of days. He’d seen the stones moving with his own eyes, may God strike him down if he was lying.
Some folks from the big city came and took photos of the stones and they were kind of thinking that the locals were up to no good, perhaps moving them in the middle of the night. But as the good folks of the Moonboys had seen, there were no footprints near the stones. No rope marks. No way, anyone or, anything could have been involved.
Sixty years before the stones started moving when Willie was still a teenager, he had taken a rubbing of the cave carvings. He was sure he still had them somewhere.
After a barrel load of searching one stormy afternoon, he’d found them in the attic, three clear images of the carvings.
The first image was of little rocks sitting on a plain. In the second, the rocks had changed position and they all seemed to have moved or been moved in the same direction. On the third there was a figure that someone in antiquity had attempted to erase from the carving by rubbing over the image with something rough.
It had never made any sense to Willie except there was something peaceful about the carvings and the cave. There was no doubt about it there was a connection between the story that these carvings were telling and the rocks moving.
Willie decided he’d go out to Lazy Boy Canyon and have a look for himself. He’d go at night when the desert was a lot cooler then he’d catch the stones as the sun came up.
He pitched his old tent by an overhang that helped him get some shelter from the frost. He tried as best he could to get some sleep but this wasn’t a night for it.
Just after two in the morning he could hear a scraping not too far from the tent, he guessed it was just another lonely animal out looking for company or food.
He rested a while but around four in the morning the sun rose over the top of the Moonboys and caused the tent to heat up real bad. Willie felt the only place to go was outside and anyway he was eager to see the stones.
Sure enough, there they were, streaks of sand behind them like they had been moving on their own.
Surely that couldn’t have been what he’d heard in the dark of night?
Willie walked over to the rock and all of a sudden he felt a peace come down on him like he’d never felt before.
He bent down and touched the rock and smiled.
A few days later they found the tent but nothing was ever found of Willie.
There was one strange thing that only the wild animals would have seen, the rock that Willie had touched had moved forwards a few feet.
bobby stevenson 2015