2005/10/17

Pews stretching away amidst thin columns reaching up into that... space. Basic, stone, facing the alter away away.

A long time to reach it.


Light. There
is someone
standing
right where I'm headed.




Silent breaths move my ribs. I move my ribs to breathe. No feel of the air in my throat, so dry, clay coated, sour.


I feel sorry for you. Why?



Step
one
foot
after
the
other
foot.

Alter a stone slab. I never expected a cross. Not a glyph in the place. Dusty like a year's disuse. Must be a speaking stone, cult of the Voice; a display table, cult of Ishtar, Isis, Jezebel, Yoni--am I angry?




That glow again, at its feet. Too bright to see either clearly. Warmth on this tight cold skin and a sound like gusts through thick leaves and rhythmic.



"There is a--"


"--child." Really. There should be a memory but everything is faded, inkstained or incomplete.

Look at you. Naked. Sneering contempt now, not sympathy. Don't you know anything?



... "What should I know?" Quietly, eyes downcast, bare feet dirty and bruised, knees skinned somewhere, hands black with clinging dust. The rest of me goosepimpled, nothing wrong. Naked. Something wrong. Skin. Dirty.

You'll need this.

"A torch." Yes, that's what it is, a torch. Torch. Bright and warm--not food but it's better than nothing. Cursed stomach.

And this.





Drape it over yourself.





Like this.











Timid; still can't see this
person
well.

"You must have brought this from... out-side." Funny word.

Outside?

Looking at the stone block now. I take the
torch
and look closer. Still not a glyph to be found. I trace
0
in the dust and glance around. Darker now and the figure is gone. Everything beyond this light is impossible to see at all. The doorway where I came is much to far.



A stairwell behind the
altar
illuminated by the
torch
round and steep with an outline like
0
and a draft. Cold dusty smell, empty.




Are You there? No echoes. Descent on slowly padding soles.

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