Today’s writing prompt is a photo of some super cool rocks in Valle de la Luna, Chile:
“Have you ever seen anything like it?” Lucille enthused, pressing her hands against the warm rock. It was impossibly smooth and spherical, like a ball of gray dough rolled between the palms of a giant.
“If there was just one of these things, I’d say it was a freak occurrence,” Bobby said. His words were punctuated by the clicking of his camera shutter as he captured the field of stone balls from all possible angles. “But with this many … I mean, they have to be man-made, right? Some ancient tribe carved these to worship their fat little god, or something.”
“Except there are no markings that would indicate the use of tools.”
“Well, how did they get here, then?”
“Water erosion, probably. Tumbling around in a current for millions of years smooths away the rough edges.”
“But we’re nowhere near the ocean. Or even a river.”
Lucille tilted her head east. “There’s a dried up lake only half a kilometer thataway. We passed it on the hike in, remember? Water levels change. This whole place could have been flooded a few hundred thousand years ago.”
“I guess. But what about–”
Lucille and Bobby abandoned their conversation and stared up into the sky as something whistled toward them. At first the sound was faint, but then it grew louder and louder as a black dot appeared on the horizon.
“What is that?” Bobby demanded, as the dot grew larger.
“I don’t know,” Lucille said. “But it’s headed our way. Run!”
They sprinted between the stone balls, racing away from the impact site. Once they were out of range, they crouched behind a rocky outcropping at the top of a small hill and watched as the black dot — now revealed to be a stone ball — zoomed toward the ground.
The ball hit the cracked earth hard, but rather than exploding on impact, it bounced. Back up into the air, almost twenty meters high, and then back down to bounce again. It bounced three more times, then rolled along the ground for a few meters before coming to a stop, just at the edge of the dried up lake.
“How …?” Bobby gasped.
Lucille gaped at the now-stationary, entirely intact rock sphere. “That’s not possible. It should have shattered.”
“We need to tell someone about this!”
“Who?” Lucille countered. “No one would ever believe us.”
Bobby glanced down at the camera around his neck, and uttered an expletive. “I didn’t even get a picture of the damned thing bouncing. Stupid!” He took a deep breath. “So … what? We just pretend it didn’t happen?”
“Unless you can think of an explanation that makes sense?”
Bobby shook his head.
“Then it’s settled,” Lucille said. “We’re obviously delirious from sunstroke and dehydration. This never happened.”
“Works for me.”
Four kilometers away, atop a craggy mountain peak, an ancient stone giant roared in frustration. “I was so close!” he bellowed, gripping his giant golf club so tightly that the metal warped under his mighty fingers. “A few more meters and I would have finally gotten a hole in one! Noooooooooo!”