‘You will not.’ Does he thinks he sounds like God himself? ‘You will not open that door, Brother Benedict.’
‘My lord, the people –‘
‘Apostates! Serving their just punishment! Do not interfere in Heaven’s work.’
‘Heaven’s work? Condemned to an agonising death?’
‘They made their choice.’ The Prior sniffs, folding his arms across his belly – a belly the people whose screams we can barely hear had a role in filling.
‘My lord, forcing them to sacrifice their last crumbs to the Church at this time of famine? Surely they had no choice?’
‘All must play their part.’ He licks his fat, wet lips.
Murmurs rise from my gathered brothers as I step out of my allotted place. Their prayers rumble to a halt.
I ignore them.
Five strides see me to the door. I rip down the nailed Proclamation and wrench the chamber open. Heat and horror fill me, but one last step, and I am home.
This week’s Flash! Friday prompt was the image above – a rickety-looking door bearing a radiation warning, for those o’ you who can’t make out its teeny-tiny details – a mention of Hallowe’en and Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the cathedral door in Wittenberg, and the necessity to include a monk. So, rather a lot to try to include in a story which has to be sub-160 words! I hope I got the monk bit, the ‘document nailed to a door’ bit, the rebellion bit, and the horror bit, and after that, well. I can do no more.
It’s Hallowe’en, and that means I’ve spent many hours decorating a load of paper bags with seasonal drawings, which I’m about to start filling with sweeties. I do this every year because where I live, there are lots of children, and they descend upon us like a flock of locusts. We have to start planning our tactics for Hallowe’en night some time in August to make sure we’re stocked and as ready as we can get. Every year we buy more stuff, but every year we run out, and I can tell you there’s nothing worse than a kid, all dressed up and full of the joys, coming to your door looking for their treat only for you to say you’ve run out. I really hope it won’t happen again this year! It’s not much fun to have to hide in the dark until they go away – they don’t tend to take offers of sandwiches very well, either.
Anyway. Happy Hallowe’en – feast well, my friends! See you back here tomorrow for a suitably spooky book review, and until then, Blessed Be…