‘They can’t be grave markers.’ Dr Stephanie Grayling crouched by the nearest stone.
‘Nonsense,’ said Professor Hill. ‘How many burial sites have you excavated in Ethiopia with the same style of carving, the same themes of weaponry and plant life?’
Grayling ran a finger over the grainy stone, felt the grooves mesh with the whorls in her skin. Always so cold, even on the hottest days …
Hill must have heard the rumours circulating the dig team, but she’d worked with him often enough to know he never listened to chatter, only ever focusing on the facts as they presented themselves.
She stood beside him. ‘There are just too many, Craig.’ Thousands of markers sticking from the scrubby grass, accusing fingers of stone in every direction. She tried to fight off the panic, the feeling some had subtly shifted position since the day before.
‘We should never have come here.’
Written for What Pegman Saw, the writing prompt that uses Google Street View as a jumping off point. This week we visit a fascinating archaeological site in Ethiopia. See here to join in, share, read and comment.
This week’s photo prompt is provided by Iain Kelly. Thank you Iain for our prompt photo!
‘See it?’ said Dad.
The surface was dimpled like sand but set hard as concrete. Ripples were caught in the rock, fingerprints left by long evaporated waves. But there were other marks too, deeper, with a formal pattern.
‘I think so.’ Claire sunk her fingers into one dip, then the next, touching soft moss at the bottom, the sides of each chasm lined with lichen.
Dad smiled. ‘Footprints,’ he said. ‘Well, hoofprints – left by Mesohippus – late Eocene. Three toes on each foot – hoof.’ He pointed towards an imprint with the stem of his pipe. ‘Imagine a pony two feet tall. Unknown outside the Americas until this trace fossil.’ He smiled, eyes twinkling. ‘A creature out of place and time.’
Claire took in his sock suspenders, the green waxed jacket, the pheasant feather poking from the crown of his stained leather fedora. She squeezed his hand.
Mesohippus wasn’t the only creature out of place and time.