As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I saw them staring at me; chalk-white, wasted, silent. Outside could be heard the incessant buzzing of 15,000 hornets preparing to attack, their drone foreboding a terrible death. I was stuck. The ossuary had become my prison; I was a free man, besieged. Fixing my gaze on the skulls that were neatly stacked in the glass cabinet, I felt safe. The relics of those that lived long ago seemed to be alive and I sensed their presence.
The earth shook beneath our feet at the bellow of thirty cannons whilst the enemy broke through the gates. We ran to save ourselves from the horrific assault that would despoil our bodies, enclosing ourselves in the powder room, women and children. Then the angels cried, the dew-drops of nectar settled and a small flame was lit… The eruption was heard far-and-wide. Flames ravaged the land; blood stained the spirit and it cannot be removed. Searching through the rubble they found a golden plait that once bedecked a sweet, little head, too innocent to understand.
As the sun begins to set the hornets make a hasty retreat. It seems to me that they fear the dry bones that have settled here. The fallen look at me; their warm expression speak a deafening silence. They tell me to go my way as I no longer have anything to fear. Their sacrifice lingers in my memory, like the bitter-sweet scent of incense, as a phantom of liberty, captivity’s nemesis.
(Trifecta: Week One Hundred challenge)