Photo credit: Francisco Gonzalez (cropped)
Back when Haranna was poor, an earthquake exposed a magnificent gold vein there. Karna Galk hosted a feast. Everyone cheered, praising Akjat, God of Fortune. Akjat smiled.
Galk rebuilt the castle, draped himself in gold-cloth, counted his coins.
The priests of Haranna’s mountain goddess warned him: “Remember your duty, or be lost.”
Galk lied: “I will.” A tiny part of his heart turned to stone.
Akjat whispered in Galk’s ear: “Take more.” Galk nodded eagerly. He pushed the gold miners, careless of casualties. He took more of the crops, and kept the profits, while his karn went hungry. He sold criminals as slaves, and then dissenters, too.
Each time, the stone in his heart spread.
When the gold mine faltered, Akjat whispered: “Dig into the sacred mountain. What has that puny goddess given you that I have not?”
Galk couldn’t resist. He reached out in supplication. But the thought alone turned the last of his heart to stone, and his body followed.
The statue of Galk remains in Haranna, to remind them that the god of fortune is also the god of greed. They honor their mountain goddess and share their wealth. And when Akjat whispers, they do not listen.
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Big thanks as always to Alistair Forbes for hosting, and to Sally-Ann Hodgekiss for providing the original prompt photo, below:
Photo © Sally-Ann Hodgekiss