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I continue to be inspired by Monday, not the return-to-work-after-the-weekend Monday, but the Inspiration Monday (InMon) page on BeKindRewrite blog. From the prompts provided on 11 June, I’ve chosen Friends in low places. It is a little longer than my usual submission, and a little later, too – sorry Steph.

Seeing as you have found your way here, have  look around, see if there is anything else you like. Leave a comment and tell me what you think. Thanks.

Friends in low places

Just before midnight the iron gates to the crypt are unlocked and pushed open. The elders file in and start their preparations. Centre stage is the sarcophagus of the founder. Its flat stone lid shows signs of wear. It is draped with a black linen cloth, on either end are ebony candle sticks, each holding a fresh black candle. Directly above is an iron ring set into the barrel vaulted ceiling. From this is hung a black wooden cross, head down.

The novices make their way around the walls, each taking their turn to light the torches; soon shadows dance around the walls. The Grand Wizard open the satin sack and pulls out the sacred articles needed for the ceremony. A silver chalice, small silver dishes to hold blessed water, salt and fresh herbs, and the silver athame, the ceremonial knife. He adjusts their position until he is satisfied with their placement.

He raises his left hand, a sign that the proceedings are about to start. The associates fall silent, their heads bowed.

“Tonight is the longest, darkest night of the year. Tonight our Lord will come to guide us with his infinite wisdom, but as with all the laws of nature, nothing can be given, unless something is taken away. He demands an exchange, a fair price, for what we need for the coming year. He demands a soul!”

He leant forward, his hands flat on the altar. His dark eyes, searched the group gathered there. None would raise their face towards him.

“Who, here now, will offer themselves? Which of you is committed so strongly, that you will give your blood?”

Silence, except for the crackling of the wooden torches around the crypt. All gazed at the floor. None dare move in case that movement was taken as a sign of submission.

“No-one? No-one!” The Grand Wizard walked around the altar and stood directly in front of the associates. “Then someone will have to decide for you.” His voice now menacingly quiet, hardly more than a growl.

He turned and pointed at his deputy.

“You! Vice Grand Wizard, choose the youngest female initiate, bring her to the altar!” From the shadow of the back row, she tried to stifle her gasp. The Deputy strode along the centre aisle and grabbed her arm. He dragged her, whimpering, to the front and made her kneel before the sarcophagus.

The Grand Wizard stood beside her, “Stand!” Her turned her to face the associates. Her trembling was almost uncontrollable. “You, my dear, will choose who is to give themselves. Who is most befitting of this honor?”

* * *
(c)2012, K Patrick Moody
Inspired by Bekindrewrite’s Inspration Monday blog of 11 June 2012
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