Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Tomb


The Master Tombbuilder surveyed the land in front on him. To the east the holy mountains sheltered the coming tomb from winds and evil spirits. To the west, the vast dessert promised security from foreign lands. The sun watched high overhead, approving of the days work of marking off corners and rooms. The first inner wall was to be built.
Breaking with tradition and to save time and money, the Master Tombbuilder decided to use a local sacred softstone for the inner wall to improve the beauty and sanctity of the site. The first few layers of stone had been set without event. The Master set down his crossed leveling device onto the stone and watched the pendulum to ensure that the wall was indeed level. All was going as planned. He handed the leveling device to his apprentice.
When the wall reached shoulder height, a horrible rumble was heard, dust came forth from the lowest level, and within seconds, the stone cracked and began to fall. Men on wooden stools were hit by falling stone and mortar. Dozens of bricks of softstone hit the floor, cracked and broken. The men were panicked.
After cleaning up the destruction the Master Tombbuilder called the Head Priest from the Temple. Clearly the wall had failed because they had not sought the approval from the gods. To the man they went to one knee, one knuckle to the floor, and said their oaths to the gods. The Head Priest blessed the site and the men with his holy stick and returned to the temple.
The wall was built up again, but when the height reached that of the shoulder, the rumbling was heard, the cracked began to form, and the wall fell. Men were again injured and began to panic. The Master Tombbuilder sent the apprentice to fetch the Head Priest.
"Master, is it possible..."
"Silence! Fetch the Head Priest, boy," ordered the Master Tombbuilder.

The Head Priest returned. This time he blessed the site, the men, the Master Tombbuilder, his tools, and the stone. With that, he returned to the temple. Yet when the wall again reached the height of a man's shoulder, it fell.
The Master Tombbuilder sent the apprentice to fetch the Head Priest.
"Master, is it possible..."
"Do as you are told, boy. Get the Head Priest quickly or the gods shall take you," barked the Master Tombbuilder.

The Head Priest returned. This time he blessed the site, the men, the Master Tombbuilder, his tools, and the stone. He reasoned that the wall had fallen because the gods needed the priest to stay there. The priest stayed and the wall fell again.
The apprentice picked up a broken piece of softstone and looked up from the floor at the two powerful men.
"Master and Priest, I think the fault is in the stone itself, not in our affinity with the gods."
The two men began to laugh as they looked to each other.
"Children."

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