Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nick John's Week 154: Sanctuary

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Nick John’s Picture Choice: One

Title: Sanctuary

He smiles as he dies.
I watch his eyes dim, expending dwindling power in a vain bid to drive back the terminal darkness, light fading then winking out.
My grip loosens on his head. He falls, brittle old bones rattling like jack straws on the cracked, blasted marble slabs.

What had possessed him to stand against me? He’d known himself overmatched, even in his prime, and that had lain far behind him, yet still he’d opposed me.
He’d called on his God, chanted his rites, mumbled his incantations.
I’d blazed through hasty wards, melted his bell, shredded his book, extinguished his guttering candle. These were meant for lesser ones than me.
Driven to his knees, as I’d closed with him, my dark fire blasting him, blinding him, brazing all about him, he’d reached behind him. Shielding his precious cross?

I catch the stray memory of a scent. Fear and despair, but a faint aroma of hope.
Where are those who’d sought sanctuary?
They’d scampered away when the old man had challenged me, distracted me.
They’ll be mine now - eternally.
I quarter the castle hall, scattering ecclesiastical flummery like a thresher.
I follow the spoor full circle back to the corpse; then understand his dying smile.
As I’d blasted him, he’d fused his melting cross into the mechanism of the great oak and iron door, sealing it between me and my fleeing quarry.
A pale, charred crescent - his dog collar - smiles from the shadows, mocking me.


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Despite his Mother telling him not to, Nick continues to make things up.


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