Monday, July 27, 2015

170 - Pray For The Sun To Move

It felt like going into the Ten Tens but there were no records of how an Ordeal was done.  This past year the Fenjitzas had had his priest and acolytes working with the University Historians to try and ferret out any remnant that might make it safer for Minis.

The only thing they had found was variants of the story passed down clandestinely with the gold and black handkerchiefs.  Lie in the Temple under the light of God without water, till you are released. That was the old punitive version.  The Assembly had written Lie in the Temple under the light of the Ten without water, until you gain the God’s Ears, and bring us an answer.

Minis stepped inside after waving at Ky and the babies, immensely grateful for Gan and Fara taking up station on either side of him as he walked up the middle of the Temple.

The choir began the hymn “I Open My Soul” and the crowd streaming in after he’d passed took up the song and the harmony.  Surrounded by his people’s music, Minis felt himself settling into the prayer-like state proper for approaching the Ten.

Ahead, at the top step approaching Muunas, both Radas and Narilla stood waiting, and when he got to them he gave them the two handkerchiefs he held, the black one to Radas and the gold one to Narilla, and in the middle of the hymn he heard people gasp at the reversal.  He and the two high priests had talked of what to do, when the Assembly gave him their writ, but Narilla had been the one to say “It’s a whole new ritual, Minis.  The original was merely people punishing a bad Imperator. The Assembly has changed it to a rite that you offer freely. Offering to do what your line has always been asked to do--“ “—the good ones, anyway.” Radas had broken in.  “—and you need to approach the Ten with faith and humility.”

So now he removed his kilt, handed it to Gan who winked at him. The glass circlet he handed to Farasha.  Then he turned faced Muunas, staring up into his face, arms wide, hands open, the golden seals the only thing on his body.

The glass instrument thundered out the opening chord of one of the deeply stirring arias, echoed by the choir.

"COME TO ME! Come to me, children of the Ten!"

He bent to lay a hand on Muunas's toe before climbing up past the statue’s lap, to the stone hand. There he stopped once more to look into the God's Face, and over into the Goddess's where She stood next to Her divine Husband.

The hand was perfect in every detail, lines and muscles, even the suggestion of calluses and he wondered for a wild moment what sculptor would dare suggest the High God ever worked at something enough to develop calluses.

As he lay down on the warm marble he had another thought that made him smile.  What soothsayer, or hand-reader would ever dare to read the God's fortune in the lines carved into the stone.  He had to stop himself from giggling at the blasphemy and knew that Mikas had to be there because it was the kind of joke He liked.  Thank you fessas God, for helping here.

He laid himself down on his back in the sunlight now streaming down from the Sun slit in the roof. There was nothing else to do but open himself to the light pouring down and biting into his skin.

The hymns the choir sang no longer matched the round of the Ten, but where all chosen for their relevance and to help and support Minis as he lay. Some were more known by the crowd and not all of the congregation would join every hymn.  'Grace' was a favourite and the building nearly shook with the fervor of the singing.  Their music shook him all over as he lay and he thanked the Ten and the people for their passion and will that he succeed.

He could see only the red glare of the sun through his clench-closed eyes and his skin was already beginning to sting.  His prayer first was for the sun angle to change so he would not be blinded or broiled in the first bead. May I pray for more rain? Mella, if you love me a cloud or two would be truly welcome.

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