It is surprising how much three tiny candles can illuminate an entire temple.

When I walked in through the main hall to follow the giant flickerings the painted themselves against the soar vaults of the holy place, I could sense the enormity surrounding me. But I could also catch brief sites of the buildings columns, painted windows, and ancient stones stacked centuries ago one atop the other by an as yet unknown process.

I proceeded down the long aisle where many large processionals had many years gone by had passed on their way to making some offering or another to the god honored by the temple in the days before the fall. Now of course, it stood as silent as it had for a hundred years.

Yet three soft points of light brought some life to the place outside of my own, and I moved ever closer to them.

The were placed upon the dust covered altar, and it was here that I expected to find the stray worshipper. But looking around I did not.

Sword drawn, I checked the seats, the sacrficial slab, the curtains into where the priests has once remained. Nobody.

And then, a whimpering noise. Sword at the ready and lept back to the altar, and called out,

"Who is there?"

The whimpering got louder, and I knew it was coming from behind the altar. Slowly stepping around behind it, I saw a slumped figure, wearing rags, heaving from sobs.

"This is my temple," says he. "Behold, the wretched state of a forgotten god."


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kmh289 over 9 years ago

I'm super impressed you got this out in 6 minutes (I can only get through about 1 paragraph so far with the timer). Do you just go all out? You really painted a full, cinematic picture for me, kind of Indiana Jones-y. And that ending was clutch.

Galen over 9 years ago

Gorgeous. I read something recently that said, "An empty, silent church is to God as the soft indentation in a mattress is to a departed sleeper." Dunno, your story reminds me of that.

TyUnglebower over 9 years ago

Thank you both for your comments. I have been unable to sign onto the site for the last week, so I am only just now getting around to replying.

Kmh289- I wuld be an arrogant liar if I didn't give some credit to luck. Sometimes the story just hits you, and exactly what you want comes flying into your mind. That was the case here, though I will point out that this is more often the case with image prompts. This one in particular, because I enjoy the image of candlelight so much. So perhaps there were all sorts of positives merging together when I started the timer on this one!

Galen- That's an intriguing quotation, and one with which I am not familiar. Quite thought provoking, and I do see how this story would remind one of it.

TyUnglebower over 9 years ago

Thank you for making this a featured story today.

TyUnglebower (joined over 9 years ago)
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I'm a freelance writer, and I'm just experimenting with this.

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fantasy speculative religious


history religious descriptive


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