New Zealand, a land of mystery and magic, fosters many talented writers. Wily Writers is proud to present this story by Grant Stone in honor of New Zealand Speculative Fiction Week, 2009!
‘Haere Mai,’ he said, ‘Welcome all. I trust you had a good trip. I’m Paul and I’ll be your guide today. You’re nearly at the line – just a gentle walk and we’ll be there. But we don’t need to head off just yet. You need a few minutes to shake the dust off.’ The elderly woman hadn’t waited – while Paul had been talking she’d pulled a tiny table and folding chairs from somewhere. The maths teacher was pouring her a mug of tea from a tartan thermos. ‘Also, if you’ve got any questions, now’s a good time to ask them.’
A hand emerged from the back of the crowd.
‘Will it be possible to take pictures?’
Paul smiled. ‘No problem at all. The funny thing is though, once people get up there they tend to forget to take them. I should warn you. You’ve all seen pictures, seen it on television. It’s a little more intimidating when you see it up close. There’s plenty of seating up there if you feel faint. If you have any difficulties whatsoever, let me know. And don’t feel bad if you want to turn back before we reach it. It’s perfectly natural.’
“The Salt Line” by Grant Stone first appeared in Unfurled – new writers from Manukau and Papakura, September 2008