Fractured Façade

Riga Cathedral Latvia.JPG

Photo © Woongyoung Park, via Google Maps Photosphere

In Petitioners Square, the kneeling rich bought blessings with their tithes. We acolytes followed the priestesses beneath cracked plaster and crumbling arches, clad in rough, faded robes.

Later, waiting on Mother Valen, she allowed me a question.

“Why doesn’t the church repair Petitioners Square?”

She frowned. “Fiscal priorities. You wouldn’t understand.”

“But the renovations to Sisters Hall…” I blinked at her plush chair, the fabric walls.

“Come here, child.”

I approached, bowing. She struck me so hard I dropped my tray. Precious bowls shattered on the tiled floor.

“Clean that up. For breaking the dishes, take three weeks penance.” She turned away, dismissing me.

My heart screamed protest, but my secret gave me strength. Nobody knew the Goddess had already spoken to me. I would be the first in years to Rise.

And when I did, I’d remember those who corrupted the Goddess’s will.

I would make this good again.

Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge. Big thanks to Karen and John for hosting this fun challenge, which gives me the excuse to explore so many fun places around the world through the wonders of that adventurous Pegman of Google Maps! This week Pegman takes us to the Old Town of Riga, the capital of Latvia– specifically for this photo, Riga Cathedral. Click on the link above to see the stories others wrote and the images they chose, and to join in yourself. The more, the merrier!

25 thoughts on “Fractured Façade

  1. Nice, the slight breeze blows onto a spark that will soon burst into the flames of upheaval! Great start to a longer story. This is gonna get messy in their world. Glad I’m here safe in mine… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha, I’m not so sure our world is that much safer, but at least there are *some* things we don’t have to worry about. As usual, I didn’t really think of this as the beginning to a longer story, but now that you mention it… It sure could be. And The Flames of Upheaval would be a great working title. Thanks for the great comment!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Karen, glad I was able to hook you! To be honest, I just made this up from the prompt, rather than it being set in a specific church or location. But it’s certainly consistent with a range of religions and places in Eneana, and could take place in any of them. I try to make my religions (like any other social structure) believable, so of course in addition to sincere, well-meaning people (who still have flaws, of course), any religious order would also have its share of greedy, selfish folk in it for their own purposes. And boy, they sure do make good villains, I agree!


    • Thanks, Josh, glad you liked it. I “traveled” all over Riga looking for other scenes but ended up back in the same place where I started. It’s a very modern city, it turns out, which makes it hard to find a decent ruin. Good for the people who live there, though! 😉


  2. ugh. the three weeks of penance – and the “kneeling rich bought blessings with their tithes” reminded me that there is a big difference between religion and spirituality – and too often religiosity leads to exclusiveness, rudeness, oppression – and the “dismissing” of others.
    but then you gave us hope
    “I would make this good again.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s the same with any organization — religious, political, educational, social: some of the members will have the same ideals and goals as you and some will have completely different values. I imagine that both groups feel they’ve got the right end of it, but yes, I do tend to side with those who value kindness and peace and love. So, this narrator wants to remake her particular church to be “good” again, and that sure seems hopeful! But the cynical side of me wonders how many ways even that goal could end up being twisted.

      Point being, great comment – thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes she will. And she’s not the only one! (Although you know I’m contrary about such things, so we might learn that Mother Valen is actually more nuanced than evil, and is being coerced or steered into doing things a certain way, maybe in some confusing attempt to protect the acolytes from greater problems.) Thanks for reading, Ali!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, that’s an age old story, isn’t it? Power and wealth corrupting. And an innocent asks the right questions and is beaten down for her curiosity. Love that ending too – a comeuppance is on its way. Great stuff, Joy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes exactly — great comment, Lynn! Although the more I think about it, the more I wonder if there’s more behind Valen’s behavior than garden-variety greed and evil. Our narrator may find that what she ascends to those ranks, she’s hampered by the same structure that rewards and punishes certain strategies. Maybe Valen even believes that she’s protecting the acolytes from greater harm, hmm. And of course, just because someone is motivated by (their ideal of) “good” they can still become a tyrant in its name. He he he, this is sounding interesting…

      Liked by 2 people

    • She certainly hopes she will be — although she’s better off laying low for a while, while she learns more and gains more skills. As soon as she reveals that she is blessed by the deity (and thus can do divine magic), all the various factions will zoom in on her and try to persuade and control her.

      Liked by 1 person

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