The Temple

This piece was a result of another of Nulli’s Musings. The prompt was a wonderful picture of a vivid green eye covered in either paint or clay. The peeling, cracked appearance called forth many a serpentine image from the participating writers, including me.

Photo Prompt – A vibrant green eye with peeling skin/clay/paint

The Temple

 – 309 words


Memories danced through her mind like dust in a sun beam – disjointed, meandering, skipping from one horrifying image to the next. In the excitement of exploration and the potential of making a new discovery, Lianna had dismissed the locals’ whispered tales of curses and an evil presence that guarded the treasure. This was her chance to prove she was as skilled as the men; as determined; as physically capable.

And she’d succeeded.

She’d found the temple nestled into the sheer cliff, hidden by vines and decades, if not centuries, of jungle growth. She’d chopped a path towards the cave mouth, heedless of remembered warnings and scattered, etched totems to beware. She’d stepped fearlessly into the darkness, led by her small lantern and a dream of finally succeeding at her chosen career.

And then it all went wrong.

A hidden slope, slick with moss and condensation, knocked her feet from beneath her. Lianna slid down the smooth rock with a shriek, losing her lamp to the infinite black that surrounded her. After seconds that felt like hours, she came to a gradual stop. Crawling on her hands and knees in an effort to retrieve her missing lamp, she heard the gentle sound of what might have been silk drifting over the stone. She felt a pinprick sting.

And awoke like this.

Trapped motionless, her body encased in hardened clay, only her eyes were able to move. The chamber, unlike the front part of the cavern, was carved into the rock and decorated with vibrant murals. Sconces every few feet held torches that cast dancing shadows upon her frozen body and illuminated the only other item in the room: an intricately carved stone altar. Even squinting, Lianna could not make out the images, only that they involved a restrained female and a large, serpentine creature.

And the gentle shushing sound returned.

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