Sample Narrative: Breathing into Stone


An Angel falls


   Anoria had repeatedly visited the workshop in secret for many years, since childhood, always while her father slept in the darkest hours before the dawn. She would light a candle from the dying embers in the kitchen hearth to light her way behind their home to the shop. Her shoes never came with her; Anoria wanted the feel of the dust and chips on her naked feet as she walked where her father stood each day. She would pause at each statue in turn, but spend the longest time with the figures that were unfinished; studying what had been done to each, guessing at the form that was emerging from the blocks.

   Nights with a lovely moon, like this night, filled her with the most pleasure, there was less chance that she would need her candle and she could take longer with the figures her father was creating. Those figures would seem alive to her, in the moonlight there would be fewer shadows, and they could seem real as people, merely to be standing, waiting for her to arrive. It was a forbidden delight, but it fed her soul.

   Only here could she find finished figures made by her father, Antonio Lisi of Resceto, a master sculptor. Her entire life, he had only carved fine figures for commissions, or charity; he would complete them, and they would be taken away. He worked on almost nothing for himself now, and he only kept a few very precious, small pieces in the house; a crucifix, a small angel at the side of their doorway, which sometimes comically wore his garden hat, and a rounded, polished, and indistinct form of a woman, as a gravestone. That precious marble rested in a shaded dell on the hillside, beyond the brook outside their kitchen doorway, between two lovely chestnut trees. A single apple tree, bent and worn with age, shaded it. The apple had existed from the time before Antonio was a boy. Years before that use, as a place to visit their Angelina, someone had placed four beautifully wrought stepping-stones of dark marble to lie across the brook and make a path to the apple tree. To walk or sit at that beautiful, serene place, Anoria adored the time she could spend there.

   They had no other finished marble works from her father’s hands, save the ones he touched in his workshop.
   Anoria ached to touch them as he did.