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Saints

 
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CovenantJr
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:19 pm    Post subject: Saints Reply with quote

Statues of saints flanked the broad avenue that languidly slouched toward the crumbling capitol building as it squatted on the urban horizon, listing slightly as though sinking into quagmire of its own creation. The saints seemed unimpressed, their weather-pocked faces gouged erratically into disdainful sneers and theatrical gapes of mock horror. Occasional limbs and chunks of celestial wing spattered the avenue's course, dwarfed deceptively into particulate smallness by the once-grand sweep of an imperial approach. Passing close to, it would become apparent that a feather from a single broken wing could have skewered a car with effortless ease.

We weaved amongst these fragments of saviours, once living human beings but now transformed beyond recognition - first into haughty pseudo-divine overseers, and now into helpless observers of the despondent ruin around them, their own millenial fixed stare driving them to inert madness as we, the daring few survivors, scurried like dust mites between their gargantuan heedless toes.

It would take hours to reach the capitol building - perhaps even days, given the need to dodge the giant rubble, and suffering the almost tangible slowing effect of having to force ourselves past the ageless glares of the disfigured saints. At some point along the avenue - it was impossible to tell how far we had gone, the hunched capitol seeming no closer and the saints gradually blurring into a wall of interchangeable grotesquery - at some point we heard a sky-shattering crack, and the jaw dropped right off the head of a saint to our left. The concussive landing scattered us like fragments of paper, but the thing that held my vision was the saint's face. Jawless now, its disfigured head seemed to scream resentfully, its heavenward glance now cast as a deranged roll of impotently enraged eyes. We moved on hurriedly then, but I was never able to stop glancing back at the half head, and its mortified horror so potent that it had ruptured the saint's own head.

At least until we approached the capitol. After what seemed like an age, in which civilisations could have risen and fallen while ours still sank sombrely into madness and decay, we realised we were nearing the house of the causes of all this. The core of the collapse. Lit by early moonlight, a timid sun flinching toward the horizon, and curious static fires that drifted and span where they should have flickered, the collonaded cube seemed daubed with rancid greens and corrupt browns, only its scratched and stained dome still retaining the faded marble greys of its prime.

We stopped. We had to. We stood there amidst the last honour guard of the rows of saints, those most privileged to stand watch over the keystone of civilisation itself, and we couldn't take another step. It sat there, lustful and covetous, its green-lit columns lasciviously caressing its peeling domed scalp, while the immense blackened doors that had once welcomed wisdom and governance hung like maimed lips at the rim of a gagging mouth. A sudden, panicked wind carried grim sussurations and a stench of old infection from its carpeted throat. We had arrived at last, and the purpose that had carried us this far, to the very centre, was no longer enough. Yet it had to be. We had to finish.

With a spasm that hunched my shoulders against the glowers of stony saints, I dragged a foot forward and set off, heedless of my companions following me or not. One foot, then the next, a step at a time into the diseased mouth of the capitol, to the sick heart of our broken world.


---------------

This was written from a randomly generated word prompt - 'saint'.

Starts off a little too adjectival/adverbial but picks up a bit as it progresses, I think.

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"'Yes it is', not 'that it be'. You don't have to talk in that stupid voice to me. I'm not a tourist."
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Linna Heartlistener
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh.
Very descriptive; kept me curious.

(and I kind of like the prompt idea.)
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"We human beings do real harm. History could make a stone weep." -Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson

deer of the dawn's anti-recommendation of "Gilead"
My anti-recommendation of the same. (hers is shorter!)
Both are on the Watch's excellent "Anti-Recommendations of your Favorite Books" thread.

'"He will wipe the tears from all faces." It takes nothing from the loveliness of the verse to say that is exactly what will be required.' -Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
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wayfriend
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's good. A slight incongruance at the start - sneers and horror seem 'unimpressed' ? - but that's the danger of overdoing the description. I quite liked the cynicality of the series of transformations of the saints, it demonstrates a keen sense of the connections between things.
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CovenantJr wrote:
It sat there, lustful and covetous, its green-lit columns lasciviously caressing its peeling domed scalp, while the immense blackened doors that had once welcomed wisdom and governance hung like maimed lips at the rim of a gagging mouth.


Terrific descriptions!
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