Microfiction: Guardian

For the Daily Post prompt: prophecy.

I’ve used the photo from this week’s microfiction challenge, but I’ve written myself out of it with 500 words.

Photo ©Jimmy Fell


The invaders set light to the sculpture, screaming ‘blasphemy’ or some such word. They took the blind man who tended the source and lightened the long winter evenings with stories, and they threw him into the inferno, screaming even louder about demons and devils. We could do nothing for him, fled to our hiding places on the mountain and in the forest. He had warned us that they would come, and they would be merciless. But he would speak to them and warn them to leave us well alone. Alas, they hadn’t listened. The invaders seem to know a lot about the demons and wicked things that live in their imaginations, but little about peace and friendship. They pay much attention to what these demons say and want, and it has made them cruel and heartless.

The sculpture burned angrily all night, the flames raging at the senseless murder and mourning with us the loss of the voice the blind bard had given to the waves, the wind and the birds. As the hours of darkness wore on, we saw the expression on the invaders’ smooth faces turn from hatred, to worry, then to fear. From our hiding places, we heard them murmuring that the fire was as cursed as the sculpture, that is was fuelled by evil and devils’ black magic. We didn’t understand their obsession with demons, nor their fear of the fire. Could they not feel the guardian’s anger, that the flames were their work and the murder of the bard was their evil? Why did the invaders see wickedness and devilry in the offerings of flowers and songs that we had prepared for the guardian?

By the grey dawn, the invaders were silent, and anxiety was etched into their features. They did not look at the sky. They did not see the moon set and the morning star shine out bravely. They did not even see the sun rise. All they saw was the fire, still burning, though the sculpture was consumed. The flames took on the form of the guardian and that seemed to terrify them.

The sun has risen now over the rim of the ocean and pours fiery rays to join the flames that swell higher and wider. As the guardian spreads her fiery wings, the invaders cringe and back away. We hear their voices rise in a terrified plea to the ‘Avenging Angel’ and we look at one another in surprise. Have they at last understood?

The guardian’s wings spread and spread, hovering about their ship, dropping veils of flame to envelope the sails and the rigging. The invaders see the danger, but too late. With their ship, their easy escape, an inferno, they look what they are, pale, maggoty cowards crawled out of a rotting fruit somewhere beyond the ocean’s rim. The guardian has found her voice in the crackling of dry canvas and rope, and she calls to us. Sadly, but with determination, we nock arrows to our bows and step out of our hiding places. The holy ground will soon be cleansed.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

8 thoughts on “Microfiction: Guardian”

  1. Jane, I’m confused. I have written a tale using the burning whatever image. Where should I post the link? Here?

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