Training #6: “The Temple”

This one is a shorter one. It’s just something that I had to get out of myself, after going on a binge-read of Lovecraft. I could have made this story more descriptive, longer, but I’ve felt the vagueness of it works in its favour. Using the reader’s imagination against them. I just hope I’ve stimulated the imagination enough, to have at least shown the mind the direction they should be heading in.

After last weeks ramble, I feel as if this is really short. It’s just not a story that has this much happening. It follows people surrounding a building, which sets the location pretty clearly. The timeframe could be worked with more, but I decided to focus on one battle in particular, and extended the meaning of battle to include aftermath anyway. It’s not told in chronological order, but rather showing ever more revealing information about the temple and its surroundings. Still, it leaves many questions unanswered, some of which should not be answered to feeble human minds.

“The Temple” by amnesicApathete

Work was teeming. Swarms of people were walking over the place, some transporting, some directing, but everyone in eyesight deep in labour. The temple had stood here for millennia, the community had grown around it. They wouldn’t allow for it to just crumble away. It was already the second week of repairs, but momentum was not yet lost. After all, stopping would mean giving up the very soul of the village. But there was still a lot to mend.

Imperative was the left nave. It was where the creature broke in, and as a sign of that, it had a giant gash in the side, reminiscent of a horizontally falling tear. And while that was the most visually striking scar, the more important was the damage on the inside. Two of the three supporting columns have fallen, and only by a miracle did the nave’s ceiling not break down. One of the supports broke by the beginning of the fight, when in its stampede, the creature did not realize its surroundings, and crashed into it with all of its speed. The second fell from us. While shooting cannonballs at the beast, we managed to hit it. Fortunately, the column’s remains fell upon the creature, ending our suffering, but not before the main hall was ravaged.

Then there was the tower. It was in shambles, most of the rubble that was once it, cleared from the temple’s foyer. It was the first to be attacked, before even the monster broke through the temple wall. Our minstrels were in it at the time, singing prayers to our gods, when they were cut short by lead spheres sounding against stone walls. It took us a while to discern, that the screams were those of horror, and not of enlightenment. We retaliated as we could, until our defenses were broken.

But of course all of those attacks were just distractions. The real target were the lower halls of the temple, where a division of their men went, while we were occupied by the reptilian beast. They were not prepared for what they found. They believed their families would be there, kept as slaves, and forced to work. But we would not do so lowly things as those, those barbaric minds conjured. However, partially they were right. The men who descended into the lower temple soon joined their families, in unity with our gods.

Unfortunately, this revolt of theirs means we have less resources to satiate our gods with. The minstrels, now among us and not locked away in their tower, sing their song. It is becoming ever more gruesomely lustful. With the temple in its current state, we won’t be able to obtain new people until we finish the repairs, and I’m afraid we don’t have much time. We will have to sacrifice some of our own to our gods, less the minstrels start the Choir.

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