I was tidying in the kitchen. She had just stepped out through the back door to feed the birds, even though it was raining and it was pretty cold. I noticed a leaf on the kitchen floor. Yellow, narrow and pointed at both ends. Might have been a willow leaf, although we have no such tree in our garden. A bit like one of those blades you see in some museums, delicately fashioned from stone twenty thousand years ago. It might have been an arrowhead or an implement that a woman, probably a woman, had used every day of her short adult life to peel and scrape the flesh from a warm pelt. Then nothing. For millennia. I was going to put it in the bin, but I thought, this is organic. It can go outside and rot with all the other dead things. So I threw it out of the open door. The wind caught it, blew it back sharply and it stuck to the bottom of the french windows.
Three years later and it’s still there. I notice it regularly.
Robert Stone was born in Wolverhampton. Stories have appeared in 3:AM, Stand, Panurge, Eclectica, Confingo, Punt Volat, HCE, Wraparound South, Heirlock, Decadent Review, the Nightjar chapbook series and elsewhere. Micro-stories have appeared in 5x5, Palm-Sized Press, Star 82, Ocotillo Review, deathcap. A story is included in Salt’s Best British Stories 2020. He tweets @RobertJStone2