Sunday June 05, 2016
Lana walked through the garden of the ancient temple and marveled at the architecture of it. She was on summer vacation from school but her parents had paid for her trip to some of the monuments of the world to help her get experience for her degree in architecture.
She pulled out her sketch pad and started drawing the temple, getting a view from the side was easy enough, but when she tried to get around to the back she found it fenced off and was unable to see it.
After a while of taking notes, she decided to head in to the temple and see what should could find, she wandered the corridors for a while, making a map as she did so until she’d explored the entire thing.
Looking at her notes, she noticed a strange blank spot, a room should be there but she had not found any way in. ‘A secret room!’ she thought as she started to work her way back towards it.
She scouted around until she found what looked to be a faint outline of a door in the stone wall, there was no obvious way to open it, but just above it was a carved stone face. She reached up and pulled it, pushed it and then finally twisted it which caused a subtle ‘click’ and a moment the door opened.
Lana walked in to the room, electric lights illuminated it and it was larger, with a high ceiling. Right in the middle of it was an alter, with a small item sitting on it covered by a cloth.
She walked forward and turned when she heard the door close behind her, she could see the matching stone face above it on this side and so didn’t think anything of it as she walked towards the alter.
Sketching out some of the markings and taking some more notes, she tried to capture the essence of the place before she put them back in to her knapsack. She walked around the alter and then reached out and lifted the clothe from the item that sat on it.
Underneath was another carved stone face, it matched those above the door with the exception that it was made from a brilliant green jade, the lights reflected off of it in the most amazing display of colours and lights that it took her breath away.
She watched the slivers of light dance inside the jade and she looked deeper and deeper in to it as the world around her fell away and the small stone carving consumed her.
* * *
The priest opened the door to the ceremonial room to prepare for the offering later that night and was surprised at what he found. The blonde woman on her knees staring in to the idol was fully enraptured by it.
He quickly averted his eyes as soon as he realized the idol was uncovered, found his ceremonial blindfold and tied it around his head. He took slow, deliberate steps forward like he had so many times until he was just in front of the alter, to the left of the woman.
He kneeled down beside her, bowed his head and started the prayer.
“I serve the master. The master is all. The master owns me. The master commands me. I serve the master…”
He continued to repeat the prayer again and again, slowly the woman’s lips started to move, her voice small and shallow to start but eventually growing strong, more confident. Soon she matched him word for word, no wave in her resolve, the prayer was now her prayer as well.
* * *
Lana stood on her tippy toes on the pedestal behind the temple, her hands behind her head, her chest pushed out forward as the two men approached her.
“This is the one I was speaking of Master, she found the ceremonial room on her own and I found her last night as I was preparing for the ritual.”
“One of the American tourist, yes?”
“Yes Master, she is not scheduled to return home for three days.”
“Very good, she is from New York, yes?”
The priest nodded.
“Very good, I have business in New York next month, she will make fine entertainment while I’m there. Make the arrangements.”
“Yes Master.” the priest replied as the Master walked towards the temple.