Yes it’s about that time, another Terribleminds flash fiction challenge.
This week, we followed a link labelled The Secret Door
We had to write about where it took us. Mine was somewhere in China, but the location was written in Chinese, so I cannot be sure of where. And I lack the ability of putting the image on this blog. So hopefully you’ll know it when you see it. Anyway, here’s the result.
“I seek your wisdom Shaman”
“I know why you have come, young hunter” the Shaman looked up at Akala “sit” he said gesturing to the other side of the fire; it was all that kept the darkness at bay. Akala sat, staring across the fire, wary, but in awe. “So” said the Shaman “you seek an answer”
“Yes” replied Akala
The Shaman smiled, his headdress and face paint made him look sinister in the light of the fire “Then first you must ask a question.” Akala straightened up, fixed the Shaman with a look, and said “Do not toy with me Shaman, you know why I am here.” The Shaman nodded, the feathers in his headdress flapped like the birds to which they had once belonged “still, you must ask the question; the spirits guide me, not I them” Akala took a deep breath, gathering his patience, his father warned him of mystics, had begged him not to go. But he had to know; so he made the journey across the Sahara in search of the Shaman.
“What is the meaning of my dream?”
The Shaman scooped up some sand; palm open he held it before the fire, and then blew. Akala leaned back as the fire roared, before reverting to a gentle crackle. The Shaman picked up his stick, and held it in the fire briefly; then pointed it toward his left. Akala could feel the ground slither beneath him. He watched as the sand where the Shaman was pointing moved; cascading upward, as though rising from the depths of the Sahara itself. When the Shaman was done, there stood a door.
“You will find what you seek beyond the door” he said. Akala rose to his feet, he studied the door with the same uneasiness he had the Shaman. The fire illuminated its gnarled wooden surface, he looked at the silver head that protruded from the middle; a lion, with a ring in its mouth. Akala looked back at the Shaman.
“Is the Hunter stifled by fear?”
Akala simply glared in reply. He pushed the door open; the pitted hinges squealed in protest. Akala had expected to be bathed in light, but instead he was presented with darkness. Resisting the urge to look back, he crossed the threshold.
Akala was overlooking a pool; two streams floated down over rocks and led into it. All around were vivid pink petal’s, broken by the occasional patch of green. Akala noticed – though they had not noticed him – that he was standing beside a group of people who were different to himself; smaller, and their skin was pale compared to the deep brown of his own. They seemed to be enjoying the view, discussing it in a foreign tongue. Akala looked back to the water, and on a rock between the two streams, stood the Shaman. When he blinked, the Shaman was gone. Jumping the small wooden fence, Akala made his way down to the water. He could sense the Shaman, felt as though he was being pulled toward him. The water lapped up his shins as he walked toward the small alcove to the left of the streams. The Shaman was waiting. “Why have you led me here mystic?” asked Akala. The Shaman put a finger to his lips, and waved his stick across the pool of water between them. Akala watched as a vision appeared in the ripples.
A man stood atop a pile of logs, he was chained at the feet, and his arms were chained independently of each other and in turn, to the floor. An iron collar round his neck was tied to the chains that bound his feet. The man resembled those Akala had stood beside when overlooking the streams.
“Why have you brought me here to watch my dream Shaman?”
“The young hunter will see beyond that which his mind has shown him”
Akala frowned at the Shaman, and then looked back to the water. Other pale men were lashing the bound man; whips, chains and sticks. Akala could feel his pain, though the man did not flinch – he barely batted an eyelid. Another man stepped forward, clearly their leader, ordering them to cease. He walked toward the chained man; he held a stick, the top of which was alight. This was where Akala’s dream ended every night, waking him in cold sweats and leaving him with an impending sense of doom. But the vision continued to play out in the ripples of the water. The man threw the stick at the feet of the chained man; Akala watched as the flames danced across the logs, and began to rise. The man looked up, and for the first time Akala could see his face. He seemed to look straight into his eyes, as though he knew Akala was watching. Before the flames engulfed him, the man smiled. Akala looked to the Shaman, pleading for answers. The Shaman nodded toward the water. Akala watched the flames consume the man. A roar like nothing he had heard erupted from the fire, and then so to, did something else. Shooting upward; red, scaly and huge, it hung in the sky, its wings beating slowly. The men stared up in disbelief. Time stood still as Akala took in the sight of the creature. It roared again as it had in the fire and spat flames at its tormentors; the men screamed in pain, as the fire peeled flesh from their bones. The beast flew toward Akala, roaring as it did, and then darkness. Akala was sitting before the fire once more, across from the Shaman. He looked round, perplexed. “What was that?” Akala asked
“It seemed so real”
“It is” said the Shaman
Akala looked at him, his face convoluted with confusion. “Myths, Legends, Fables” said the Shaman “They never die, just lay dormant, but now they stir”
Akala stared into the fire, gazing at the dancing embers. “So what am I to do?” he asked. The Shaman grinned “Fulfil your destiny”