How Not to Explore Ancient Temples

Here’s my take on this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt.  Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple for organizing this!  To see the (modern) photo that inspired this, and to read the other writers’ stories, click here.


Daerona pushed his torch closer to the wall. Those odd wheels couldn’t be decoration. Not after creeping through so many temple tunnels, after digging out all that debris. This must lead to the Bedchamber of Da’atal.

A puzzle lock, perhaps? Anqearo couldn’t detect any magic or traps, but that didn’t reassure Daerona. Azza’at spells were powerful.

The skeleton’s bracer caught Daerona’s eye. Wait, that wasn’t Azza’at. Much more recent. Uh-oh.

“Look, they move.” Nobody had been minding Thono.


Too late. Thono turned a wheel.

Only Daerona escaped the cave-in.

“So, I excavate again, only without Thono. Just my luck.”


22 thoughts on “How Not to Explore Ancient Temples

    • Thanks! As to whether there’s more… well, yes and no. In Eneana, there really is an ancient empire of Azza’at who worshiped the great sun goddess Da’atal. And there are many abandoned temples. now lost and buried under the sands. But I just made up these specific adventurers on the spot (and killed off all but one of them already, oops). Still, you never know; we may see them again in some other story!


    • Nope, he wasn’t. I get the feeling that after adventuring with these particular people for a while, he might have felt just fine going solo. I can’t decide whether that’s because they were so incompetent or because he’s a self-centered jerk, but they clearly weren’t well matched. (And who knows, maybe this happens to him all the time…)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Joy,

    Quite an imaginative piece from the prompt.

    One question. Is there a reason you didn’t copy and paste the photo into your post? I think it would help your followers understand about writing for Friday Fictioneers. Also to click the link takes one back to my blog (not that I mind the traffic 😉 ) and forces the reader to scroll back through all of the directions.

    A well written story nonetheless.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rochelle! And yes,I feel bad about not including the photo, but the whole blog is devoted to stories about this fantasy world that doesn’t have any modern technology, so I’m trying to only include images that are consistent with the theme. I hope you (and the person who contributes the photo on any given week) will forgive me for not following that rule. I really do find the photos very inspiring!


    • Thanks! And that’s the idea, that hopefully all the short stories and flash fiction will start adding up to a more full sense of the world. Also yes, very harsh punishment. But then, that’s how you keep future explorers from disturbing your holy places — deadly traps!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed — although in a magical world, a cave-in can be both more and less dangerous than in the regular world. All this guy is interested in is getting to the treasure / historical artifacts. His companions all get killed and his first thought is what bad luck HE has, having to dig out the boulders that the magically trapped door dumped into the room.


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