Contradictions

fossil

Contradictions

I walked again on the beach at dawn, skirts clutched around me, bible in gloved hand.  Seagulls wheeled in the clear air, but my mind was far from clear. No stone creatures today, but I knew they were waiting, their silent scrolled forms trapped in rock.

After church I dared to talk with Mr Giles, the new curate.

Maybe they are God’s joke Miss Austen, a metaphor.

But why? What do they signify?

Or maybe God himself is a metaphor.

Dancing blue eyes met mine and I blushed despite myself; it was not at all the answer I had anticipated.

(Genre: Historical romance; Setting: Lyme Regis, Dorset)

M J Lewis ©2015

Drowning in end-of-year reports and wrote this late this week when I should have been working. Think I’m dreaming of seaside holidays and fossil hunting in Lyme Regis, mixing up my references to Jane Austen and famous fossil girl, Mary Anning. Then coincidentally I found this story on BBC News of the fossil find in Alberta. Fossils really do say different things to different people.

Thanks to Douglas M Macilroy for the stimulating photo and to our incredible host at Friday Fiction, Rochelle. More secrets from the deep here at this link.

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17 thoughts on “Contradictions

    • I think we mostly take fossils and what they show us for granted nowadays, even though they are fascinating. I wanted to go back in time to when they might pose more of an intellectual dilemma for my heroine. And then this maverick curate popped up too! Glad you appreciated this little tale!

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  1. I expect you’ve read “Remarkable Creatures” by Tracy Chevalier, all about Mary Anning. If you haven’t, take this as a book recommendation! I was convinced you were describing Mary Anning in your story, so it was rather fun to think of Miss Austen walking on the same beaches, giving the curate a hard time. Curates and vicars often get a hard time from me, with all those challenging questions I enjoy posing. Many have turned tail and run, preferring to talk to other less questioning members of their flock.

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  2. I was in Lyme Regis last year but didn’t get around to reading Tracy Chevalier’s book – I must get it sometime. In the museum Mary Anning was presented as quite a controversial figure – not all agree about her role in the famous fossil finds.
    Glad you liked my story! I liked the idea of the curate being a bit unexpected shall we say in his views! Or maybe he’s just teasing Miss Austen? Who knows.
    Did you read the BBC link – it’s interesting. The palaeontologist and the creationist.

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  3. Lovely dialogue and a charming story, I think you got the tone of the time just right. I always find it fascinating to look back at past discoveries and how people perceived them. I have a suspicion that future generations will find us a bit ignorant, too. Science always seems to cause major paradim shifts. A good thing if you have a daring and charming curator to discuss revolutionary ideas with… It would be fun to read more about these two.

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  4. Well there’s always dancing in Jane Austen – even if just the eyes. It’ll probably only take a few hundred pages for these two to realise what we all get in 100 words – that the fossils are a side-show. Thanks for stopping by

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  5. Thank you for your lovely comments.
    I was there last year on holiday in a flat overlooking the sea and the cob. And years ago my son had his first experience of digging in the sand on the same beach. Last year I overheard a mother telling her daughter part of the plot of Persuasion as we walked along the cob. I think Jane would recognise the familiar spirit of the place if she visited tomorrow.

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