The Rock Cutter

Friday Fictioneers for March 7.

The challenge: Write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt.

Play along by writing your own, reading others and/or commenting on the flashes we fictioneers create.

My piece weighs in this week at 109 words.

Copyright Danny Bowman

Copyright Danny Bowman

The Rock Cutter sculpted his creations miles away from the quarry.

His first masterpiece was Medusa. He carefully crafted each feature of her horrifyingly beautiful face, fashioned each dreadful serpent in her lustrous locks. Next came the Banshee, so lifelike that those who viewed the sculpture could hear her blood-curdling wail.

The Rock Cutter’s collection grew. From hard stone, he coaxed likenesses of Queen Medb, Lilith, Lorelie and Hera. Smaller rocks became harpies and sirens.

When the Rock Cutter died, his work was put on display in the village square. Looking at the sculptures, the quarry owner’s son asked, “Dad, why do all these creatures have my mother’s face?”

37 thoughts on “The Rock Cutter

  1. Dear Marie Gail,

    Tears from laughing at your last line make it hard to type. Oops! At least the rock cutter has passed before the quarry man’s son points out the obvious.
    All those sculptures and the rock cutter couldn’t cut nine lousy words? I’ll bet if you looked hard enough you could cut 9. (But I’m anal. I’ve only gone over the word count once and that was for a specific reason 😉 )
    Seriously, I really did enjoy this piece.



    • storydivamg says:

      I could have cut those nine lousy words, but you would have lost the pleasure of the tears of joy that the story brought in its current form. 🙂

      Seriously, thanks so much! This was fun to create. I created quite a hubbub over on Facebook coming up with the female characters for the Rock Cutter to sculpt.

      Marie Gail

  2. atrm61 says:

    Ack!Lol!Poor quarry man’s wife-left to answer to her family ;-)A fun read:-)

  3. Hilarious! And it must have “clicked” when the dad looked at his son and saw the resemblanve to the rock cutter’s face 🙂

  4. Brilliant ending, thanks for making me laugh 🙂

    • storydivamg says:

      I’m getting some giggles at the number of people who laughed at this. Oddly, I hadn’t found it particularly funny. (Does that mean I’ve identified a little too much with our poor, jilted hero?)


  5. Horus says:

    Somehow… I felt pain ! Nicely worded !!

  6. Kwadwo says:

    Curious… very curious. Why, indeed, did all those sculptures have the quarry owner’s wife’s face?
    I’d really like to see those sculptures, though.

  7. Marie Gail, that rock cutter must have had a very turbulent relationship with the boy’s mother to see her as both Hera and Medusa, and all the rest. I loved your story and I laughed too. I think from the complete surprise of the last line, but also from delight because it so succinctly opened up the deeper meaning of the story.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, Karen. I’m glad the ending came as a surprise. I certainly had fun crafting the story and the character of the Rock Cutter. I might have to reintroduce him later on.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  8. K.Z. says:

    didn’t see that one coming at all haha wow, this was so intriguing. the sculptures makes me curious about what she was like, what their relationship was like… she sounds like a powerful (though unfaithful) and tormented woman to be seen as Hera and Lilith and Medusa. loved this.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks so much, K.Z. I’m not sure she really was all the things the Rock Cutter thinks she is, but she has certainly left him with a broken heart. 🙂

      All my best,

  9. HaHa! This story amused me very much but I also have an image in my mind of a furious but very talented rock cutter silently knocking out his pain.

  10. ps. I love the idea of words being “weighed in” 🙂

  11. Mousume Roy says:

    Oh wow…what a take on the prompt

    • storydivamg says:

      Thank you! It was fun. I actually involved my Facebook minion in coming up with all those female villains from mythology. The list was about twice as long as the list that made it into the story here. I may need to write a second story to incorporate the others.


  12. I’m torn between sorrow and laughter, Marie. Your story allows for both, or either, and that’s a good thing, too.


    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks so much, Janet. My emotions have been equally split that way this week, so I suppose it was natural for my flash fiction to follow suit.


  13. Hala J. says:

    I was sitting, waiting for the serious metaphor or life lesson to come through and you hit with that last line. Touché, my friend, touché!

  14. Ah.. just like Janet.. one part want to laugh.. but there’s a lot of pain in this too…. anyway it was very well told.

  15. Sarah Ann says:

    So Medusa chose the quarry owner over the sculptor. (Your descriptions of his work show he’s more than a rock cutter.) I wonder how she’d have been immortalised if she’d chosen differently.

  16. DCTdesigns says:

    Very clever ending. It brought a complexity and depth to the story. i really enjoyed this one,

  17. This story was well written and actually a combination of sad and humorous. The quarry owner’s wife was left with a lot to explain.

  18. That is absolutely brilliant. I loved the build up to the punch line.

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