“What is that?” L stopped and pointed. They had just passed through a swampy area and were on dry land once more, though it was obvious that they were approaching the sea.
“Nobody is quite sure,” J said. “It was put there many thousands of years ago by an ancient civilization. All of the landscape around here was formed and shaped by their hand.”
“It doesn’t seem possible that a primitive civilization would be able to move such a heavy stone. And carving the land seems beyond their basic skills.”
“No, no, this civilization was very advanced.”
L studied the huge standing stone that towered over the path. “We are the pinnacle of civilization. It couldn’t have been done.”
J shook his head sadly. “You are so stuck in your silly superiority. They say that these people were so far ahead of us in most ways.”
“Ha! That is the old psychological trick that you think everything was better in the past. You see only the good in your childhood, so it was a much better time, and your parents told you that in their day it was even better and so on. Soon you have silly stories about the ‘heroes’ who are 15 foot tall and are unstoppable living in their own little paradise. No. The past wasn’t better. Perhaps we have some set backs, but we continue to advance and life continues to get better. It’s called ‘progress’, my dear friend J.”
“But this is different. These people were advanced in so many ways. In some ways, though, they weren’t. They were disconnected from their world. They became greedy. Divisions grew between them. They were selfish and couldn’t see beyond their own noses. Does this sound like your tales of 15 foot tall heroes? No, because these people were real.”
“Right. More fairy tales. Say, there are inscriptions at the base of this thing. They’re worn to almost nothing, but I can make them out. See? Are there any meanings behind them?”
“If so nobody has been able to figure them out. The current guess is that they were supposed to call on some type of magic. Who knows?”
“Huh, OK. Anyway, this is interesting, but you were leading me to the village by the water….”
“Oh yes, this way. You’ll see that the entire area is a great natural harbor and houses many of these villages. Let’s go.”
J led L past the stone and down the path towards the sea side. If either of them had been able to read it, the worn inscription carved into the granite corner stone was:
Written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge.