Buckling, burning, failing, so quickly, three, maybe a fourth step and he lurches forward and the stone stops in the exact place it lands. He arches back amazed by the relief and in so much pain, everything screaming.
A few minutes to breath and build the will back up. Then right the stone, to its point, rest, breath like a horse, rest, keep the toppling at bay, wrap hands, point toes, press chest and cheek, look to the sky, lift, walk forward, lurch, toss, and scream in agony.
This is not manageable. A half-mile would take a day! If he could even repeat this for hours. Maybe right the thing onto a ledge, step below it and carry it on his back? Risky, yes, but he might walk a dozen yards or more that way. There. There is a short wall. With some struggle he can slide the stone onto the top slab. It is not becoming easier. Grit, grimace, spit, strain, under the edge, push again, back, thighs, calves, toes, and will, the stone reluctantly slides on top of the wall. “Christ!” And he paces back and forth breathing out like a horse again, even shaking his head back and forth and screaming out a little to keep from feeling sick. Right it onto its edge. The same. Breath and curse. Needn’t bring it to its point, thank God, fit it to his back instead, cupping hands under the edge, belt below the edge as well, head tilted forward for the bulges in the stone. Let it topple slowly. Slowly! Cry and carry! Carry! Carry! Stumbling steps. Carry! Carry! Shuffling, jerking feet. Carry! Throw the thing off, oh God! God! Hell!
That was further. That was not a good plan. Boy is sitting by a tree staring at the stone. This stone is heavy. This stone is so much to bear. He feels sick. He feels terrible. This is the right stone.