You pick up a rock from the ground, pale white with veins of gray, and thrust it towards the sky.
The fragile silence of the surrounding landscape is suffocating, but you tell yourself that you’re only shaking because you didn’t eat this morning before running out into the wet grass without even closing the door behind you.
Against a hazy waterfall of clouds, the rock’s subtle colors are revealed—a dozen different shades of white, specks of soft blue scattered between lines of silver. For a moment, the silver catches the light and glimmers, and an ordinary stone seems like something precious.
It’s beautiful. You throw it hard, twisting your arm way back before letting go, watching the rock flip over and over in the air before disappearing somewhere beyond the edge of the hill.
There you are, God, you think, your clenched fingers falling empty against your side.
It’s a trade?
A rock in exchange for an answer?
You sit in the grass, holding your breath, and listen to the sound of broken stems snapping between your fingers.