‘You don’t belong here,’ mumbled one.
Cold rain spattered against them as they sat. Nothing was said for a while. Nothing much ever was.
‘Not sure you’re suited to this kind of climate,’ muttered another.
She remained impassive, as usual. The moon peeked out from between scudding rainclouds and revealed an epitaph on her flank – ‘Sussex, 2018’.
‘Oooh!’ intoned the rest of them. At least, they might have; it may have been the wind whistling.
‘Bit of a change from the English Riviera up here, love…’
Silence fell once more, only occasionally punctured by a dog barking to be let out.
‘Do you mind…’ sneered one. ‘Do you mind me asking what your background is?’
There was a pause as they waited for a response. They didn’t mind; if there was one thing they were good at it was waiting. She considered the question. It seemed innocuous enough.
A burst of grainy laughter from the group in the rockery.
‘Told you Pauline, didn’t I?’
‘Igneous country this, hen…’
‘First shower of acid rain and she’ll be melting into the topsoil…’
The wind and rustling heathers hid mutterings from the native rocks. The weather was getting worse. Shrubs leaned sideways and rivulets of water weaved their way towards already-bubbling drains.
‘You planning on bringing any more of your kind with you?’ This time there was no asking if she minded the question.
‘Once one turns up, it’s like an avalanche. Unstoppable…’
‘I daresay she’s the first in a fancy dry-stone wall…’
‘Native stone not good enough for them, suddenly…’
‘We built this place, unless they forgot…’
‘The bedrock of this garden…’
‘…demand the respect we’ve earned, that’s all…’
‘Quiet Phil, it’s the pre-bed routine!’
Light from the conservatory flooded the garden. A door was opened, and a shadow padded out onto the lawn. Everyone stood stock still as the dog approached. A moist muzzle was nosing in all the places it usually nosed. A leg was cocked and a jet of warm liquid gushed over Phil. A few desultory squirts later and the dog was done.
Phil drew himself up to his full height and stared at the sedimentary rock, stony-faced and still steaming.
***Thanks for reading, folks. As always, any likes and comments greatly received!***