Photo: Steve Bruce on Unsplash


“It was the devil made those,” Aunt Beulah’s eyebrows almost met above the bridge of her nose.

“They’re just a form of volcanic rock, cooled down in a specific way …” Jedidiah tried.

“By which you mean, the devil.”

Jedidiah sighed. There was no way to reason with his relative once her mind was set. Science would find its way to be in service of her beliefs, and any fact would somehow be turned into further proof of her conviction.

In some ways, he knew, he was no different, only that his spiritual experiences had more to do with being one with the rock, fingers holding on to crags, feet clinging to the surface, defying gravity, confronting his mortality.

“You go climb the devil’s work,” Aunt Beulah muttered. She’d raised him and saw herself in his stubbornness. “And I’ll be in the church praying for Jesus to keep you from dying.”



For What Pegman Saw: Tasmania, Australia



26 thoughts on “Devilish

  1. Vividly portrayed. Arthur C. Clarke once wrote that “any technology, sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from magic.” Those who reject scientific evidence need no such technology. As we descend back into superstition, magic answers become the standard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      Yes, I find many technologies to be akin to magic – for example, the one that lets me type on a keyboard, and have letters appear on a screen and then in a tap on another button, appear someplace in an indistinct space where everyone, all over the world (well, wherever the internet isn’t restricted…) can see it on THEIR screens if they so choose! I’m never getting over it! πŸ˜‰


  2. Great portrayal of the interpersonal dynamic; I really get the sense of how they’ve been having this same type of argument forever.

    What an interesting rock formation! I can see why a rock climber would be drawn to it, and I can also see why his relatives would want to invoke divine assistance to keep him safe in the process!

    Liked by 1 person

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