by Dave Gregory
On the beach one windless summer night, I skipped a stone across the serene lake but it sank after only two hops, so I selected a more perfect specimen – flatter, smoother, rounder. After whispering the name my wife chose for our brand-new baby daughter, that rock skimmed three, four, five times off the water’s surface and kept going – sixteen, thirty, seventy-five times – creating cascading rings that expanded and overlapped. As the stone’s furtive watery caresses continued, the moon rose over a liquid horizon, like a seedling emerging from the soil in time-lapse. I held my breath and watched the wave-polished granite spring across an ever-brightening surface. While its airtime grew shorter, its leaps less dramatic, the spinning rock charged toward a fist-sized yellow moon, threatening to collide. Still bouncing, its momentum almost spent, the stone made a final leap and hit the pale, lunar disc with a soft metallic “ping,” causing the earth’s satellite to plunge beneath the lake’s surface, quick as a pinball drop target.
Dave Gregory is a Canadian writer, a retired sailor, and editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles-based literary journal Five South. His work has most recently appeared in Orange Blossom Review, Firewords & Bright Flash Literary Review. Please follow him on Twitter @CourtlandAvenue.