Hag Stone


200hagstonecoverTitle: Hag Stone
Release Date: 3/7/2022
Contributors: Edmund de Wight
Genre: ,
Pages: 20

A short horror story.

Marie is a successful archaeologist. When the death of her father turns her world upside down she learns that there was more to him than she knew.

Her father's Hag Stone is her legacy and it opens a portal to a new, magical, world. The stone shows her a world where the Fae and wondrous creatures she never could have imagined live.

When another, larger, Hag Stone arrives at her museum she is faced with new visions of a perfect world. But things are not always as they seem.

A short story of horror where the thing you most desire may be your undoing.

 

 The rain sluiced over Marie. It drenched her hair and oozed through her clothing to her skin, chilling her to the bone. Why did it always rain at funerals?

Peter, her younger brother, offered his umbrella but she refused once again; if their father had to be taken from them, the least she could do was suffer stoically as the sky wept at his passing.

Peter had never understood her bond with their father. Peter lived in a world of computers and code while she had followed her father from dig to dig. Since she was old enough to walk he had taken her along as he discovered buried civilizations and musty, forgotten tombs.

It was cold comfort that he had lived to see her named Curator of Antiquities at the city museum. She would never get to join him on one of his adventures as his peer rather than his student, and that left a yawning void in her soul.

“Are you going to Gram’s after this?” Pete’s whisper shocked her out of her introspection.

“What?”

“Gram’s house? You know, the after-party.”

“Of course, I’ll be at the repast. Jesus Christ, Pete, he was her son; this isn’t a chance to party and get shit-faced. Gram will need comforting. I swear, you spend so much time with your machines that you’ve forgotten what it means to be human.”

“Like you know. You and Dad were always more interested in buried things than people.”

She looked at him aghast. Pete had always been the whiny younger brother but when had he turned into a callous ass? She moved away with a glare before they could cause a scene.

As the casket disappeared into the muddy soil, Marie turned away. Perhaps in a thousand years, some future archaeologist would dig up her father and wonder what kind of world he had lived in. The old man would have been tickled by the prospect.

Gram’s house always left her in awe. Of course, calling the Purefoy estate a house was sort of like calling Notre Dame a church. The family was very well off and every child and grandchild had received a generous bequest when Gramps died. She had received half a million dollars that she had used to further her education and goals. Peter wasted most of his on a jet-setter lifestyle and—she was pretty sure—an expensive coke habit. Luckily, Gram still held the keys to the kingdom. The estate covered fifty acres and the mansion held almost one hundred rooms. She had always felt as if she was wandering the most luxurious hotel on earth when she was a child and came to visit. Now that dad was gone, she assumed that the estate would be split between Uncle Roy and mom once Gram died.

The massive front door opened as she approached.

“Welcome home Miss Marie.”

Reggie was the estate’s majordomo. He was even older than Gram and had been with the Purefoys since Gramps had made his first million. Reggie was treated more like a friend than an employee by her grandparents and she always looked upon him fondly, as an uncle.

“Thanks, Reggie. I wish I was coming home for a more joyous occasion. Has Gram made it back from the cemetery yet?”

“Yes, ma’am. She is in the study and specifically asked that you be sent to her the moment you arrived.”

“Really?” She searched for a clue in the old man’s face but he was as inscrutable as a statue.

Reggie relieved her of her coat and she squeaked and sloshed her way to the study.

She slid open the double doors and spotted the old woman seated near the fire. She clutched an ornate box of rosewood and brass protectively in her lap.

“Come in child. Shut the door, this is for you alone.”

“Gram, I’m so sorry…” She crossed to the woman, stretching out a comforting hand.

“Tut, tut, child. Your father is with his father now. There’s no use fretting over those who passed. There are things I must discuss with you. Your father’s legacy after all.”

Marie had no idea what she was talking about. What legacy? The will wouldn’t be read until later in the week and she was pretty sure that everything was going to mom anyway.

“Sit, sit, don’t make me crane my neck.”

“But, I’m soaked.”

“Sit.”

There was no disobeying that voice; Marie sat opposite the old woman and awaited her pleasure.

“This was your father’s and now it’s yours.” She offered the box to Marie.

“It’s a beautiful box…”

“The box is shit. Open it. Your legacy lies within.”

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