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Turning to Stone

Written by: Kaitlyn A.

“Hello? Can’t any of you hear me? Please!” I cried in anguish, desperately trying to get someone’s attention but everyone stood in the same position, as if nothing had happened. Gazing at all the frozen statues of familiar faces made me burst into bitter tears. Suddenly, I felt movement. I looked around, expecting to see the world come to life again, but I soon realized it wasn’t they who were moving. The ground vibrated immensely and was slowly pulling apart, swallowing all of the stone-cold statues. Instinctively, I tried to run and rescue them but my legs wouldn’t move. I shifted my gaze to see stone where my feet used to be. Stone that was quickly climbing, taking over my flesh. “No!” I uttered as the stone began covering my hands.

Just as I was about to become a statue like them, I awoke, gasping as beads of sweat ran down my face. ‘It was only a dream,’ I told myself. I calmed myself down and tried to go back to sleep, but every time I closed my eyes, I again saw my mother’s stone face. I pulled off my covers and cautiously pushed myself out of bed. I tiptoed down the hall, into my parents’ room, and looked at my mother’s contented face. I stooped over, brushed the hair away from her face and just as I was about to whisper the words I longed to utter, I froze. The lump in my throat kept the words from coming. I gingerly made my way back to my bedroom, climbed into bed, and drifted off into a worriless sleep.

I awoke the next morning, aware of the dreamlike atmosphere, and was filled with absolute certainty it was going to be a magnificent day. I scrambled out of bed and down the stairs, the smell of freshly made waffles filled my nostrils. I eagerly stacked 3 of them on my plate, drizzled syrup all over the top, and plopped myself at the table, ready to start feasting. Mom was working at the vet today and dad was working outside, and since today was Saturday, I had the whole day to myself.

As soon as I finished my meal, I bounded up the stairs and dressed myself in a t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. Hurriedly, I made my way downstairs and flung the door wide open, expecting to hear birds chirping, my father mowing the lawn, or something, but all I heard was complete and utter silence. No birds chirping. No lawn mower. No nothing. It was like the world had come to a complete halt. Frightened, I carefully walked over to my friend’s house. I rapped on the door. Nothing. I looked in the sky to see frozen birds that were once in flight. I listened intently, hoping to hear one call out. Not a single sound. I ran to the vet clinic, hoping my suspicions were incorrect. I burst through the door, hoping to hear her scolding tone telling me “It’s rude to rush in while people are working”, but again, I heard nothing. I saw my mother standing stiff as stone, the same as in my nightmare. I clung to her, saying I wanted her to come back, wishing that if I repeated it enough, the world would come back to life.

“It won’t work,” an eerie voice whispered. I looked around, hoping to see who was talking.

“Who are you? Where are you?”

“I’m Nobody. The one who gave you the vision. The one who caused this.”

“Why? Why would you cause this hurt and ache? Why would you destroy my life?”

“Because you need to learn to be strong. These weaklings were holding you back from your true potential.” I stood there, gazing at the strange creature, wondering what it meant. “You aren’t the same as them. You are different. They don’t care about you, they are just using you. Together we can rule over all! You’ll never have to hear another rebuking word. No more rules to follow. You can be who you are. What do you say,” the tracing voice called, “are you ready to finally be yourself?” The tempting words overtook me. The thought of such power, such contentedness… It was what I had always wanted.

“I,” I had started to say, then snatching one glimpse of my mother’s dear face made me sure of the answer. “I can’t. It wouldn’t be right. I wouldn’t be happy. do what you want, but I can’t accept.” I stated confidently.

“You’ll regret this.” the voice hissed. The creature left as suddenly as it came. I went back to my mother, waiting expectantly for her to be herself again, just like in the movies. “I got rid of him. You can wake up now.” I said, waiting. “Didn’t you hear me?! Wake up!” I shouted angrily. Hot tears dripped down my face as I realized she wasn’t waking up. I curled into a ball and cried. I cried for what seemed like hours on end, until I was able to cry no more. Feeling numb and dried up, I stood and hugged my mother, starting to turn into stone myself. I stared into her cold stone eyes that still melted you with love. “I, I love you. I was going to tell you, but I wouldn’t let myself admit it. I thought it would mean I was weak, but I see that I was wrong. Now, you’re gone,” I choked back tears, the lump in my throat swelling up, my arms now stone. “If you can hear me, I love you, and I’m sorry,” I whispered hoarsely. I puckered my lips and planted a kiss on her cold, rough cheek, and I turned into a statue.

I gasped for breath, realizing that my stone body was turning back to human flesh. I laughed in joy as the stone covering left my body. The earth began to vibrate, but this time it wasn’t to swallow up everything. I started to hear birds chirping, dad mowing the lawn, and everything else. The world was coming to life again. Suddenly remembering my mother, I turned around to find not a stiff statue, but the lovely lady that I always knew. I wrapped my arms tightly around her and whispered “I love you” in her ear. She squeezed me back and said, “I love you too sweetie,” and the world was back to normal.

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February 19th, 2021


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