Microfiction: Lost temple VI


The white fluttering smudges flew together, holding aloft…a crucifix—it had to be—and terror gripped the acolyte’s entrails twisting them until he thought he would vomit. Could he not tell? Did he not realise?

“Brother! No!”

It made no difference. The monk was jabbering with fear but he continued to brandish the hated symbol. The acolyte was held fast in the coils of the amulet but he was undecided now, torn between his duty to his superior and a deeper duty to the dead.

The voice of the darkness rumbled and snarled. The pavement buckled like a stormy sea, and the jagged pinnacles of the ruins shuddered. The voice of the older monk rose to a terrified shriek then fell silent. Stones fell about his ears, but the acolyte found that he could once more command the muscles of his legs, and he ran to where the shadows piled thickest. He ran, the amulet throbbing in his hand, and the darkness parted to let him pass.

The air filled with the beating of wings as the ravens descended, flying in their disorderly fashion in a ragged circle. Displaced air flowed like a stiff breeze around his head and he sensed the antipathy so keenly he could almost feel it scratching his skin.