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Projects > Story-of-the-Day > ring-of-fire

January 8th, 2017

Ring of Fire
I was out in the forest holding a hose spraying some rocks. I knew this would happen one day, but it feels weird being out here.

When my grandfather was dying, I spent hours at his side talking to him. I should have been at school, but I've just never really cared. My grandfather would have dragged me to class if he knew. He had been a teacher and most of his stories described the lives he had touched over the years. Unfortunately, dementia had reared its head in the past few years. In one of our talks, he confessed to me about his secret life. He told me that the is a ring of rocks in the forest behind our house. Every summer equinox it "turns on" for 15 minutes at midnight and becomes a portal to a world of fire pixies. My grandfather said he takes out the hose and sprays it with water so they can't get through. He made me promise I would do this when the times comes, in his place.

Dementia or not, here I am next year. It's 11:50pm on a school night, but Ill just call in sick. I turn on the hose and walk out to the ring of rocks. As I spray them, I wonder what this must look like: a 15 year old teen hosing down a pile of rocks in the dark. I think back to how my grandfather must have been standing just where I am now, doing the same meaningless task. But to him, the fire pixies were real. I feel a tingling sensation as I come to find value in this meaningless task. Maybe I should actually show up at school, and try. My grandfather would find value in that. And even though memorizing the names of all the bones in our body is meaningless, maybe I can find value in that. As these ideas wash over me, I decide that I'll give school a chance. I won't go overboard or anything, but I'll at least try.

By the time I look at my watch, it's already half past midnight. I look at the ring of rocks one last time, and then walk back to the house. Everybody's asleep, so I grab a glass of water, set my alarm for 6AM and go to bed so I can get some rest before class tomorrow. Thanks grandpa.


It turns out my watch was an hour off. At midnight, the ring of rocks began to glow a faint blue color allowing five fire pixies to enter our world. By 6AM, my school was just a pile of ash.