On the Wisdom of Disturbing Idols

Another flash fiction piece about unearthing that which should remain buried.

oxen card from worldofstock


Aenda’s laborers spent weeks hauling the idol from the sand-buried temple. Finally, they wrestled it onto the sledge, behind an endless line of oxen. He had never managed a rig this big before.

Aenda was no expert in Azza’at religions. He didn’t recognize this foreign winged god, or what it held in all those hands. But he was spooked.

He wasn’t alone. The locals wouldn’t touch it bare-handed, babbling about being possessed. Aenda’s mage found no magic, no curses, nothing to fear. Still…

Did it move? It seemed turned toward him more.

It occurred to Aenda to move closer. He climbed onto the sledge, hesitated, flattened his hands against the silver surface.

Thoughts of his god Sambar tingled through Aenda’s mind, a twitching almost-recognition of something vital.

It occurred to him that the idol should not leave. Of course.

It occurred to him that he should call the lightning. But he couldn’t—

Lightning rained from a cloudless sky, blackening bodies, incinerating tents, shattering the sledge.

Aenda wobbled, hands fused to the statue, eyes cloudy white.

It occurred to him that he was not finished.

The bones left behind posed a mystery. Why so many oxen, pulling an empty sledge?

word count: 200

This story was inspired by the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Click on the blue frog below to read the wonderful stories submitted by other authors.  There you will also see the REAL photo prompt, which is of a big rig truck (inspirational, but not something we have in Eneana, so I substituted the closest I could to stay on theme).

11 thoughts on “On the Wisdom of Disturbing Idols

    • I’m glad you like it, thanks! When I first saw the photo of the big rig I thought there wasn’t any way I could make that work for my world, But then, hm, if Sunday Fiction doesn’t mind me stretching it a LOT, then okay….

      And yes, gods in this world are also hard to understand sometimes. Like, if I was an intelligent idol stuck in a buried temple, I’d think it would be an *improvement* to be rescued and taken to somewhere that has people – i.e., potential followers for the god I represent. But noooo, this one only wants to go back into his temple and stay there. Go figure.

      Liked by 1 person

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