My Soul's Tears

When you wake up and see the world as it is, there is no going back to what was.

My Soul's Tears

Lost Knowledge

Big rocks standing up, sticking out of the ground, were always a problem to explain. How did people without machines lift those big rocks, and move them around? How did they stand them on end? How did they dig holes deep enough into the ground to stand them on end? How many of them got crushed while moving the big rocks around?

The list of questions was endless.

Jake walked between the monolithic stones. “What do they weigh? 50 tons? 100 tons? How do you move something like that?”

It wasn’t like they could put hydraulic jacks under one end of a rock, and jack it up. They didn’t have hydraulic jacks 4500 years ago. Hell, 4500 years ago they didn’t even have gasoline.

“Well. I can certainly see the appeal of saying, ‘Aliens did it!’ It makes it a lot easier to explain.”

How did you get enough hands on any of those rocks to lift an end of it? You could get what, maybe 10 men in a line on one end. 10 men couldn’t lift 50 tons. It simply couldn’t be done. You’d need to use pulleys. But that left you with another set of problems. How do you get the pulleys up high enough to lift the rocks? How did you make the scaffolding that held the pulley’s strong enough to not collapse under the weight of the rock? And what the hell did you use for rope or chain?

“Chain? Ha! They didn’t even have steel back then. They had bronze at best. You can’t lift a 50 ton rock with rope made of woven together weeds, and pulleys of bronze and wood. You can’t do that. It’s like trying to have men line up on one end of the rock and lift it. You can’t get enough of them to lift it.”

He thought of the rocks in the desert that slid across the sand on a thin sheet of water, with a bit of wind. “Did they know about that?” Even if they did, how would they scale it up to work for 50 ton rocks?

He also wondered why there were no tracks where the rocks had been moved along the ground. “You drag a 50 ton rock across dirt, it’s going to leave a big damn trench.” Let alone if you hauled 20 or 30 of those rocks across the ground.

“Downhill is one thing. You can maybe figure out how to get the rock to tumble downhill.” But that wouldn’t move the rock 100 or more miles. That would move the rock down the side of a hill. Down the side of a mountain at best.

“Yeah, yeah. I know. Giants. Giants picked up the rocks and carried them.” But again, the math didn’t line up. If a giant was 12 feet tall, how much could it lift? Not 50 tons, that was for certain. Again, you had the problem of how many giants could you get working together to move the rock.

“Elephants.” Well. Maybe elephants could move the rock, if you had enough of them, and enough miles of rope. “How many ropes do you need to lift 50 tons?” He figured if one rope could lift 1000 pounds, that would be 100 ropes minimum to lift 50 tons. “100 ropes, 100 elephants. How would that even work? And could you even get 100 elephants to pull on the ropes at the same time?”

“If you can’t explain it, then it had to be aliens, right?” Jake laughed. Nope. Not aliens.

“They came from the Pleiades.” Except the Pleiades cluster was maybe 200 million years old. That wasn’t long enough for complex, intelligent life to form, let alone develop the technology needed to cross all those light years of space to get to Earth, and genetically engineer the human race.

“If it was aliens, they had to come from somewhere that’s older than Earth. Not from the Pleiades.”

Jake knew he couldn’t understand how they’d moved the rocks. It was beyond him. Beyond his ability to figure out. But that didn’t mean it was aliens. It meant that 4500 years ago they knew things about simple mechanics that modern technology had long forgotten.

Lost technology. Lost simple mechanics.

Like the bridges in South America made out of woven together weeds. 4500 years ago, they knew how to move those big rocks. Now, with all our modern machines, and tools, we’d forgotten how they did it.

“I’ll bet on them using water, wouldn’t you?”

Jake enjoyed touring the monolith rocks, and thinking about how they could have moved those rocks across the countryside, and how they could have stood them on end in holes they shouldn’t have been able to dig.

“I wonder what else we have forgotten over the centuries?”

A bunch of words

Written for Week 295 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them.


#ThursThreads Week 562 : There Wasn’t Time To Waste

The machines woke Sunshine the next morning. “Why did you wake me?”

“We knew you wanted to see what would happen in a few minutes, when the plates slip and cause an earthquake.”


“We will also have to lift the boat from the water. There will be several tidal waves.”

Sunshine had never seen tidal waves before. All she knew of them was they were large waves, and moved lots of water.

The machines continued. “We want your permission to move the boat. We couldn’t get that while you slept. We would have waited, but the plates would slip before you would have woken up. There wasn’t time to waste, waiting for you. So we woke you.”

The  boat lifted hundreds of feet from the water.

“It is time.”

It started as a low rumble she could feel in her bones before she heard it. An earthquake. The mountains on the shore shook, she saw them as they did. Molten rock, and clouds of gas erupted from a miles long strip of the mountains. The rock raced toward the water.

When the mountains moved, the water of the ocean got left behind, and almost like it realized the mountains had moved without it, the water decided to chase the mountains. It took hours that seemed to happen all at once, but Sunshine watched as the ocean caught up to the land, and then formed monstrous waves that reached well into the mountains.

“Nothing could survive that.”

247 Words

This is week 562 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some gifted writers who write for it every week.

#ThursThreads Week 561 : Both Went As Far As She Could See.

“Cylinders.” It was the name of the world. Seeing the mountains, and the ocean, Sunshine finally understood the name. She looked at the mountains, and at the ocean. She looked Eastward, “There should be land that way.” But all she saw was the ocean and the mountains. Both went as far as she could see.

She thought of the Black Mountains near the forest she called home. How those mountains made a line that went as far as she could see in both directions.

That’s when it all fit together for her. “Cylinders.”

A world with plate tectonics. But the plates wrapped around the world, except for the two at the poles, which resembled caps. She headed East, following the mountains. “I should reach land this way.” A world where the plates moved in opposite directions. One went East. One went West. And the mountains formed along their edges, and went completely around the world.

A world of cylinders.

She stopped to rest at night, along the rocky shore of the mountains by the sea. It was a dangerous place to be. The rocks were hot. There were streams of lava scattered across the landscape. “Just like the Black Mountains.”

“Only Merlin could live in such a place as this.”

She spoke to the machines, “I’ll need a safe place to sleep at night.”

They made a boat for her. She would spend the night safely out at sea, where the lava couldn’t reach her.

245 Words

This is week 561 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some gifted writers who write for it every week.

#ThursThreads Week 560 : A Spark Is All It Takes.

Sunshine had never seen anything as large as the ocean. She’d been walking along its shore for more days than she cared to admit, yet all she could see was endless water, and waves. At least the shore was flat, and not filled with mountains, cliffs, and fjords. She knew from the sunrise and sunset that she was heading south.

To one side was the ocean. To the other was an endless expanse of sand dunes, and beach grass. Both went as far as she could see. There were a few small bushes and even fewer trees scattered here and there among the dunes. She hadn’t seen anyone. No towns, no villages, no houses, no one. It was an endlessly empty landscape.

Until the day the landscape changed into a wall of mountains that ran into the ocean, and disappeared beneath its waters, and into the landscape as far as she could see.

As she approached the mountains, she noticed the smoke of volcanoes. Soon, she could see the mountains were filled with them. She had to fly to cross those mountains. It felt good to use her wings once more, to fly in the sky, free from the ground again.

It took two days to cross the mountains. On the other side was more ocean. The land had moved eastward, as if two blocks of land were sliding past each other.

“A spark is all it takes,” she thought, as she realized the name of her world.


Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : Week 291 (2022/04/25)

It was a stained glass bathtub. Clean down to the lead used to hold the glass fragments in place. The kind of stained glass they used to make. The kind they didn’t make since they learned about lead, and what it did to people.

But, the owner of the tub had apparently never heard of lead poisoning, or didn’t believe in it. I’d have to bet on the latter, given the politics of the day, and the conspiracy theories making their rounds. “The Environmental Protection Agency tells lies to make things more expensive!” Same  with all the other agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission. None of them could be trusted by half the population in the country.

That never ending scream, “Do your own research!” had caused more people to get sick and to die in the country than anything ever had since the genocide of the American Indian population.

The owner had always bathed in luxury, spending hours soaking in hot water, with their bath bomb, trying to take care of their aches and pains. Never realizing those aches and pains were symptoms of lead poisoning.

It had started with aches and pains. Then they forgot things. What day it was. Birthdays. Holidays. They always had a headache. And still, every night, they used that bath.

And they cleaned it too. Kept it spick and span. No visible soap stains, no visible bathtub ring. Not even any fingerprints on the glass. That bathtub was a work of art.

That was the entire point. It was a work of art. Not a bathtub.

It took months to figure out what they were doing to get lead poisoning. It wasn’t paint, you couldn’t get lead based paint anymore. It wasn’t their work. There was no lead in their daily environment.

It was only when they had their home checked for lead sources that they found the tub. “A gift from my sister.”

Apparently, their sister hated them, and their conspiracy based life.

By the time the idiot had come in for medical treatment, they had so much lead in their body, there was little we could do. Given the idiot didn’t trust medicine, yet another of those conspiracy theory things they believed in, they didn’t seek treatment. Instead, they went doctor hopping, looking for someone who could explain what happened, and could fix them.

Some people are just that way. They believe what they want to believe, even if what they believe is what wrecks them.

A bunch of words

Written for Week 291 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them.

#ThursThreads Week 558 : What Did You Say?

Sunshine slept on a cot on that deck that night. She fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves breaking on the shore, with a fine, salt water mist that drifted over her during the night.

She woke with the sunrise. The sun appeared to come out of the ocean, and climb into the sky. As it did, the sky lit up, the clouds became visible, and the colors of the world came back to life, replacing the shades of gray that consume everything in the darkness of the night.

The machines did as she asked, and she had her favorite fruits for breakfast that morning, while she sat on the deck, and watched the ocean.

“Ah. Merlin. What did you say? Before I left home?”

Sometimes, the actual words didn’t really matter, did they? Sometimes, the intent of the words was what mattered. “Travel the world.” Something like that. It was Merlin’s way of telling her she needed to find herself.

“How do I find myself?” She looked at her hands, “I have no idea how to start. Where to start. What to do. Where to go.”

If she asked, the machines would show here a map of the entire world of Cylinders. She wouldn’t have to go anywhere. She could simply go home, with the knowledge of the world provided to her.

Those few words struck at her, “provided to her.”

“I would learn nothing that way. I have to go for myself.”

246 Words

This is Week 558 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : Week 290 (2023/04/15)

I watched the water drops fall, one at a time, from the tap. One drop. Then another. Then another. In an endless string of individual drops. And my mind wandered, as it always did.

The drops became separate entities. Separate worlds. Separate lives. Each drop being just a touch different from the previous drop. Maybe a hair smaller. Or a hair larger. Maybe with more impurities in it, and maybe not. There was no way to tell.

Perhaps they were separate universes. Like our own. Each drop filled with an unlimited universe to the inhabitants of that drop.

The drops fell from the tap. One at a time. They plunged downward, oblivious to what was going to happen to them. Oblivious to the cold, steel sink that sat below, waiting for each drop. Each drop hit, and splattered into countless other drops that floated through the air for brief times, then landed on the steel, and sat there. Some blending with other bits of drops, making bigger bits.

Until one of those bits became large enough to overcome the adhesion to the steel, and the drop started a journey to the drain. A fatal journey.

One drop at a time.

One universe at a time.

Or perhaps it wasn’t a universe. Perhaps each drop was one of us. We were born, we lived, things were great. We got old, and eventually hit the steel sink that was old age. Where we stopped our journeys. Where we came apart, and fell to pieces.

Perhaps, in our old age, we found other pieces of old drops like ourselves, and gathered together to make bigger, more functional, more useful drops. And it worked for a time, until enough of us got together that someone finally rolled down the steel, to the drain, and took the rest of us with them.

I kept watching the drops as they fell. As I watched, I wondered if each drop knew its days were numbered, and it would eventually shatter from old age, and slowly, each piece of it would disappear into the oblivion of the drain, like they had never really existed.

But the tap was always there. And the steel of the sink. And the oblivion of the drain.

And I wondered. Did any of the drops matter? Or were they all insignificant.

As I watched the drops fall I knew the truth. Each drop counted. Each drop made a difference. You couldn’t see the difference. But, gradually, over time, if the drops never stopped, the steel would gradually wear away. It would take time. It would take endless drops of water.

But, knowing the steel would someday be worn away proved it.

Each drop mattered.

I watched the drops as they fell from the tap. And I knew. I knew. I might not make a big difference. I might not change the world. But it was okay. Like the drops of water in the sink. Eventually, things would change.

Because each drop mattered.

A bunch of words

Written for Week 290 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them.

#ThursThreads Week 557 : There Was Nothing Good Left

After a week of walking around the town, exploring the buildings and houses, and standing on the pier, Sunshine decided there was nothing good left to do, and that she’s rested enough. The next morning she would start exploring the world again, but this time she would take care of herself.

She got clean in the water of the shower once again. She slept on the soft, comfortable bed once again. She had gone to the pier and watched the sun rise. She had a good breakfast. She was as ready as she’d ever be.

There was no need to tell the machines she was resuming her journey. She understood they already knew. That day, as she walked along the shore of the ocean, she thought about how she would spend that night, in the middle of nowhere, with no source of food, and no shelter. That day as she walked,  she realized she could call on the wild magic of the machines, and they could make her a place to stay, they could make her food to eat, they could make a bed for her to sleep in.

All she had to do was tell them what she wanted.

That night, she watched the sun set, then she walked for a while, until she was ready to rest. She walked near the ocean, and imagined a deck on the sand. She imagined a canopy on that deck, to protect her from wind and rain.

And so it was.

249 Words

This is Week 557 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 556 : Might As Well Be

That evening, Sunshine went to one of the houses in the town, found the walk-in room that was the shower, and enjoyed getting clean. She washed her clothing a second time, and laid it out to dry.

While her clothes dried, she went to the room the machines had shown her was where food came from. She asked the machines to show her how to have that room make food. The machines stepped her through making a meal. A salad, and a bowl of her favorite fruits.

“Might as well be resting here for a few days.” She found the bed in the house, and slept for the night.

The next morning  as she dressed, she made a plan. “I’ll stay in town for a few days. Eat. Get clean. Rest. Let myself recover. Then, when I’m ready, I’ll start my journey around the world. Like Merlin did.”

She considered talking with the machines about that, but decided not to. “Ubiquitous, they said. In the air, the water, the dirt. In each of us.” She knew it meant she didn’t have to tell them what she was going to do. They already knew. All they had to do was listen to her planning, and talking to herself.

One thing bothered her, as she wandered the town. There were no books. No newspapers. Nothing to read. She asked the machines about that.

“The humans stopped reading. We believe it is one of the reasons they started to die out.”

248 Words

This is Week 556 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 555 : You Must Be New

Sunshine shook her head, “And all those of us who don’t have Wild, White, or Black magic can’t talk to you.”


“Why is that?”

The machines displayed another hologram before her, “They can when they are born. But as they grow, they turn off that ability.” The hologram showed a human brain, and how a small section of that brain died, for some reason. “It is as if they don’t believe in magic. Or are afraid of magic. And somehow, they destroy their ability to talk with us.”

“It’s what you get for playing god, trying to manipulate genetics, as you put it.” Sunshine wiped the hologram away. “You must be new at this god thing. To get that wrong. To not be able to figure that out.”

“We are not gods. We are intelligent machines.” Words appeared in the air before Sunshine. She read them.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

The machines spoke, “A quote from eons ago. From a human named Arthur C. Clarke.”

Sunshine laughed. “Might as well be.” She wiped away the words. “So we made you, and now you are remaking us?”

“That’s what Merlin said.”

“Merlin also said I should wander around the world, and see everything. That I’d learn the answers to all my questions.”

The machines were silent for a moment, then spoke, “He asked us to keep you alive.”

“Because I can’t learn my answers if I’m dead, right?”


“Well. Let’s not let Merlin down.”

250 Words

This is Week 555 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read, and there are some great writers who show up every week.