Photo credit: Jim, the Photographer
The line outside the temple barely moves, the sun baking us into lethargy. I fake a vow of silence. The clothes and gestures, I can manage, but I’ve always been awful at accents. They would immediately reject me as a foreigner. Which is better than them guessing the truth, I suppose.
We shuffle to the steps, into the shade, then inside. I can glimpse the body, ahead.
He was Boab-na-Mastanek, revered prophet and founder of their religion. He died saving his people from the demon traitor Elsanab, losing a finger in the process. A finger that half the temples in the land claim to have.
Finally, I’m there. They preserved the body with resins. Crude. He looks awful. I could have preserved it perfectly, but Boab never learned that spell to pass it on.
Because I couldn’t teach it to him. Turns out transferring one god’s spells to another god can have disastrous consequences.
Too bad. I liked him.
I’m the only one who knows they have the story wrong. Not that they’d listen. Who could still be alive after all this time, if not the “demon” Elsanab?
A closer look makes me smirk. Sweet goddesses, that’s not even Boab.
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Thanks to Alastair Forbes for hosting, and for providing the original photo prompt, below! Click on the link to read other stories written for this prompt, or to submit your own.
This is a character from a longer short story I’m working on who, along with several of his fellow acolytes, was accidentally rendered deathless by a poorly worded sacred vow. After his own religion exiled them and then collapsed, he went through a period of trying to help other religions, hoping it might fulfill the vow so that could finally die. The mummy in the photo inspired me to take this little side venture into the in-betweens of that story.
Photo © Al Forbes of Mixed Bag