The Stones of Morreo

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It was decided that the city as great as Morreo needed a large place of gathering by the very sea. There market days could be held, and festivities celebrated, and performances enjoyed under the pavilions by the entire populace, rich and poor.

But all along the coastline of Morreo, the sand stretched for miles on end and the stone that there was, was as soft as butter. So the builders sought far and wide, and it was made known, that whoever could find a place for a spacious promenade would be rewarded by the Towers. Many people tried, and failed one after the other, until one night a humble stone mason had a dream, in which the sunken stones of Morreo spoke to him.

And they said, “Would you help us be erected and made into a place of beauty?”

To which he said, “I would, whatever it took.”

Then the stones said, “We cannot be lifted by force of muscles and bones alone. But go to the place where a single palm tree grows, and sacrifice to us what you find beneath.”

And the stone mason walked up and down the coast until he found a single palm tree, and beneath it was stranded a white seal. He caught it and went before the Tower lords, and explained what had been revealed to him. They then uprooted the palm tree, and the white seal’s neck was slit, and as the blood gushed down, the cranes brought up true stone, as hard as granite and as smooth as marble.

But however much the masons tried, they could not form the slabs or set them properly, for the stones slid and maimed them. Then the humble mason slept on the stones, and slept on them some more, until he had a dream again.

And in the dream the stones said, “Would you help us be formed and set? Would you see the work done right?”

And he said, “I would, whatever it took.”

Then the stones said, “Fists and arms may not command us. We have been taken from the deep, and we thirst greatly. Give us blood to drink, of whatever is seen first each morning to lie between us.”

And whatever they found from that day on, whether a mouse or a dog, a kid or a lizard, was cut and given to the stones to drink for breakfast. Then they allowed to be made into proper shapes and set into proper places. Yet, when the last stone was put in its place, the whole strand began to sink, and the little mason asked all his friends and colleagues to help him this time. They all came and slept with the stones, and in the morning upon awakening, they were all white in the face and scared.

But the humble mason found the only one still sleeping, and took his knife and slit the throat of the poor creature, and they buried her as the stones asked, “Lay her down among us, so we may rest in peace. Lay her so she may embrace us and lull us into sleep.”

And from that day on the stones were silent, and none have heard them again, sleeping or awake. And the Stone Strand stood in its place. But the people said that, if you listened hard enough, sometimes you may hear the mason’s daughter singing her lullaby to the stones, so they may stay asleep and thirst for blood no longer.

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