Fiction: The Hag Stone

Matthew Donnellon

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“I don’t get why we’re out here.”

“To look for hag stones.”

Somehow I was conned into going to the beach, and now I was letting the cold Lake Huron water soak my shoes while bent over looking for rocks.

“What are they again?”

“They’re ones with holes in them. Like this!” she said triumphantly holding a golf ball sized rock. She held it just so and he could see the lake through it.

“So we can go home then?”

“Gosh no, I want to find a bunch of them.”

“What for?’

“Lot’s of reasons.”

“But like why did we have to come out to the beach when it’s 40 degrees?”

“Because I thought it would be a fun couples’ activity.”

“I thought girls usually liked apple picking and cider mills?”

“If I was a normal girl we wouldn’t have gotten married.”

“That’s very true.”

I walked the length of the small beach. According to her, it was the best place to find them since the water created the holes.

I also didn’t listen and eschewed bringing boots and kept twisting my ankle among the rocks. I worked my way along the shore looking through the pebbles in the water as well as picking up fist sized chunks of rock near the the grass, hoping to find a hole. I figured if we found a couple more we could go home.

It proved far more frustrating than I expected.

There were thousands of rocks with holes in them. But finding one that had one going all the way through was no easy task.

We took a break to have lunch. She proudly displayed her three new stones on the table.

“Why do we need so many?”

“Because they’re supposed to ward off evil spirits.”

‘Really?”

“Yeah, they’re like a good luck charm, they keep curses away.”

“And who would put a curse on you?”

“Witches.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. And word is if you look through the little hole you can sometimes see supernatural stuff.”

“No way.”

“You’re getting awfully interested in this.”

“I mean it’s not as silly as it sounded when you first mentioned it.”

I lifted the little rock to peer through the little hole.

“See anything?”

“Just a witch,” I said looking at her.

“That’s not funny.”

“It’s a little funny.”

“It was a little funny.”

She was playing with the stones, “You know they say that if they break it means the stone stopped a spirit from attacking you.”

“Get out.”

“No really. They also used to put them in chicken coops to keep the chickens laying eggs.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, if we had a chicken coop we could test it out.”

“Nice try. We are not getting a chicken coop.”

“They also used to put them in barns…”

“We are not getting a cow.”

“Fine,” she said, pouting.

“Are you ready to go back looking?” I asked.

“You mean you don’t want to stop?” she asked, smiling. It was the kind of smile that could get most men to do just about anything.

“We have some time before we need to get back.”

“Awesome,” she said, taking her bucket back to the beach.

I picked over some more rocks, more to look like I was enjoying myself, when I found a stone about the size of a kid’s football.

It looked promising, and I was far happier to find out that it had a hole in it.

“Honey, come quick!” I shouted.

As I looked through the sky thundered.

I dropped the rock.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing just freaked me out a little.”

“See I told you. They’re special.”

The thunder came from a storm gathering behind us so we decided it was time to go.

We put our treasure in a box in the back seat and hurried home to beat the rain.

While we drove we started hearing a cracking noise.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“I have no idea,” I said, hoping it wasn’t the truck.

“Ummmmm,” she said.

“What?”

“Stop the truck.”

I screeched to a halt and realized why she was looking so worried.

The hag stones were breaking apart one by one.

*This story is a work of fiction. It comes entirely from the author's imagination.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI
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