The Grand Silence
The monastery bell tolls, announcing the Grand Silence. No TV, radio, speech is permitted until daylight. The Abbot blesses white-robed monks, then me, their unexpected guest. Theyíre unaware Iíve escaped prison. Theyíve given me a room, a hot meal, and say I can stay as long as I want. Iíll thank them by working in their orchards tomorrow.
Now Iím alone in the darkened chapel, watching candlelight flicker across statues of ancient saints. Did one just move? Nah.
Itís my overactive imagination. Wait! Did it just say Iím guilty? Which one just called me a homicidal maniac? This is too spooky. I gotta get outta here.
I race to the huge monastery gate. Itís locked for the night. I start to climb it. Something grabs my legs. Oh no! Itís the statue that called me a homicidal maniac! I shoot it twice in the face. But it still hangs on. I fall to ground hard.
Sirens break the Grand Silence. "You killed the Abbot," a cop yells.
"Iíd never do that. Heís a good man. I shot a scary statue."
"Statue? Youíre nuts. Look at who you shot?"
The Abbotís head is blown off. I fall to my knees, wailing over my great sin. I wonder if God will ever forgive me. Whatís that moving toward me? Oh no! All the statues from the chapel. They have swords. One is swinging a huge blade toward my neck. I feel the bite of cold, hard steel...
submitted at 3:44am
3 June 2009
Michael's stories have been published by 108 magazines and 30 anthologies.