Occult Part II.


 

“Your Holiness,” Ehra urgently cried grabbing my shoulders. “Are you alright?”
I opened my eyes and found myself trembling. I looked at Ehra as I gripped his hands and slowly straightened my back slightly wheezing as a thousand questions flew through my mind. I slowly nodded as we walked in silence listening to the bells ring and faint cries as people neared the temple. I began to quicken my pace as Ehra tried to keep up with me. I carelessly wiped my damp brow with the back of my hand and half closed my eyes so that the sand would not enter them; a trick I had perfected from my childhood. We removed our shoes before entering the sacred chamber. Its stillness, cool air and tranquility soothed my uneasy mind as I felt the Lord caress my covered head. I walked towards the preparation table and rested my palms on its cool stone surface. I had a duty to our Lord, our people, our way of life and our world. Not to these pale men from the Dark World. My fingers trembled as I prepared the veneration platter: four incense cones, a small pot of clay and yellow flowers. I watched the flames flicker as I began to think back to my childhood. Once I had innocently asked my mother what all this meant. She had smiled and said: “ Incense cones to ward off evil spirits. Some clay for new life and yellow flowers for peace. That is all the Lord wishes; peace.”
 I closed my eyes and began to chant a prayer thanking the Sun Lord for his blessings. Sharp pains stabbed the backs of my eyes and made me feel uneasy. I opened my eyes and finished the prayer. I turned to Ehra who placed his fingers on the platter and raised them to his forehead solemnly as I threw a few petals over him. We walked out of the chamber and into the main temple itself. I could see people gathering in the courtyard below, children triumphantly shouting as they ran after their friends, men and women eagerly talking before the final ceremony began. Ehra and I walked down the steps to the balcony where we were greeted with a deafening roar from the crowds. I smiled and declared: “My brothers and sisters! Today the Sun Lord smiles down at us from the celestial plains that He adorns every day. A bountiful Lord whom we thank every day for giving us life from these barren lands.”
My words were greeted with cheers and the occasional shout of “Thanks be to Him!” which was echoed around the courtyard. I felt a sense of pride and happiness wash over me as I continued: “People of the sand, for a month we have prayed for protection, love and energy from the Sun Lord. The final prayer remains. Let us complete our ritual and satisfy our Lord.”
“Do you think that the Lord will help?” Ehra asked as we left the jubilant scenes of celebration once the prayer had finished. “Have we offered enough?”
“Yes,” I replied waving my hand at him. “Ehra, my brother, He will not let anything happen to us.”
Ehra looked at his hands and said: “Your Holiness with all due respect…”
“No you listen,” I retorted. “The pale men come with disrespect; the Lord will punish them for this.”
“But what of the books your Holiness?” Ehra continued. “They speak off the pale man arriving and….”
“Those are just stories,” I fiercely answered. “Things our mothers said to keep us away from the Dark World.”
“You cannot deny them though,” Ehra quietly said. “It has been foretold your Holiness.”
“I do not fear them!” I angrily hissed. “And neither should you!”
We walked down the sun-lit corridor greeting fellow priests and priestesses as we made our way to the hall. I uneasily looked at Ehra and then at the ground. Of course I had read the books and seen the signs: an abundance of insects and an unusual number of children had died before the age of ten.The pale men were destined to visit our world but only once which they had done centuries ago. After that arrival, there were no more references to the pale men or ice eyes in our books. Perhaps the Scribes had made a mistake? But to date, they had never been wrong…
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