Time changes everything, even stone.
Photo credit: Lee Coursey (modified)
The history scholar stared, equally awed and disgusted by the huge statue jutting from the cliff. After years of research, he had finally found it, mirroring the drawing on that tattered scroll. His theory was correct. The legendary Temple of Ka-el was no myth. The tyrant Baruq really had erected the evil edifice, to his own glory. Almost completely destroyed–by hubris, if the tales were true.
Only one of the giant stone slaves survived, eternally struggling to hold up the missing foundation.
How many real slaves had died to build this? How many had suffered?
A local merchant separated from the crowd of sightseers, flashing a beringed hand in greeting. “Welcome, foreign pilgrim. Ancient statue amazing, no? Utaka, holding up whole sky. A god, in our image.”
The scholar studied the thriving village, the descendants of those slaves proud, profiting from this misinterpretation.
Baruq would be furious.
The scholar nodded, smiling. “Amazing sight, indeed.”
His theory could stay unspoken. This myth of Utaka sounded much more pleasing to the ear.
Word count: 171. Inspired by this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. Thanks to Precious Joy as always for hosting! And to Mom the Obscure for the original photo prompt, below. Click here to see the other stories!