"Blessing Stone" first appeared in NFG Magazine in June of 2003, and also won 3rd place in the 1999 Science Fiction Writers of Earth short story contest. Reviewers had this to say:
"'Blessing Stone' is a beautifully written fantasy about a village ritual similar to baptism involving the selection of a blessing stone for a child. The story revolves around Thanen, a stone-seeker, and Dary, the child. I won't divulge any more plot, but I admit is my favorite . . . and I typically shy away from fantasy-style stories." Matt Hayes, Spicy Green Iguana
"Lofthouse's story is strong in setting, characters, and dialogue. It is a great read, and I thought it's feel (a mix of fantasy and sci-fi is how I viewed it) gave it a touch of mysticism that really helped set the tone. My second favorite of the issue." Dennis Kriesel, Kansas City Infozine
Enjoy "Blessing Stone." Just click on the title for a .pdf version of the story. Leave a comment here and let me know what you think.