Druid Engineering

by Merkin

"It's one great bloody rock, alright." Egfrid, the Head Builder, gloomily surveyed the lack of progress on Number Four. He turned to his assistant. "Let me see the drawings again."

Thrydwulf pulled the hide scroll from under his right armpit and unrolled it with a snap and flourish. "Regard The Plan," he intoned. Both he and Egfrid choked back snorts and chuckles.

"Damn those Druids," muttered the Head Builder. "They seem to think that moving huge rocks about is child's play. And look at these instructions: 'Doth cast the fourth block twenty-seven paces from the corner of the third, and precisely toward the sunset of the day the lilies first bloom.' Give us a break! We've been here half a year already, waiting for these signs and alignments for each damned stone, and who knows whose pace is the right length?"

It was a familiar rant, and Thrydwulf automatically made agreeable soothing sounds as he tuned the tirade out. After a moment he realized that the sound of Egfrid's voice had ceased, and he turned in time to hear Egfrid mutter "Unh oh."

They both saw it happen as though in slow motion. The crew of riggers, clad in little more than dirt, sweat, and mud, struggled to hold the thick lashings as the huge rock tottered and leaned. First one great cable, thick as a warrior's wrist, gave way, then another. The men bellowed and scattered in all directions and the giant monolith crashed to the ground in a huge cloud of dust. It lay half in, half out of the foundation pit that had been prepared for it.

"Oh, fook!" the two men uttered involuntarily.

"OK, that does it," said Egfrid, throwing the diagram to the ground. "Screw this Stonehenge project. Someone's gonna get killed. I've always said we don't need this complicated a roundabout here anyway. Let's just branch the A344 off A303 past the damned stones, and we'll bring A360 up a couple of miles to the west instead."

Thrydwulf was wide-eyed. "Are you saying..."

"Shut the damned thing down."

"You're the boss."

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