There were mists over the valley, and Ampar knew this was would be a bleak day in more ways than one. He had begun his novitiate a full year before, and he was quite sure that a life in the Order was not for him.
As he approached the great gate of the central sanctuary, he paused to catch his breath. It was then that he saw it through overcast sky. There was something sparkling on the hillside on the opposite side of the valley. The light seemed to have a pattern: flash-pause-flash-flash-pause. This was repeated several times before ceasing. But what could it be? There was no sunlight to speak of, what might cause such a sight? Surely it couldn’t be a reflection.
Ampar went about the rest of his day, and though he was diligent in his duties, he could not get the rhythmic pulses out of his mind. The next morning he purposely dallied at the same spot, but the day being brighter, he couldn’t see any sign of the flashing.
The young novice repeated this for several days, but soon other matters began to fill his mind. Then several weeks later, there was a drizzly grey day. There it was, the flashes were again on the hillside. I must know what that it, he mused as he hurried off to prayers.
That night he made a decision. He would leave the temple complex and seek to find the answer to the mystery of the flashes.
For several days he squirreled away tidbits of food and sought out items he might need. He was able to easily find a length of old rope which had recently been replaced as a handrail on the bridge over the river. Surely it would be long enough for his purpose. He also found a hammer with a broken handle. It would do well enough. He also cut several length of bamboo, all of which he stored under his mattress.
On the fifth night, he gathered his equipment and sneaked from the novices’ dormitory. He knew their would be watchmen on the bridge so he made his was down stream, and using his hammerhead to drive bamboo stakes, which he used to anchor the rope end. Tying the rope to his waste he waded, and then swam to the other side. Untying himself, he fastened the rope to two more stakes and headed to the hillside.
As he neared the spot, he saw the familiar flashed in the morning light. He rushed to the beacon, to find the Grand Master with a lamp and a mirror. “Well done. You are now an Adept,” the Master said.
4×4 Challenge by Chris Fielden
- Take the 4th book from your bookshelf.
- Open it on page 4.
- Find the 4th sentence on the page and start a story using its first 4 words.
- Word limit: 444 words
From Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms – “There were mists over the river
and clouds on the mountain and the trucks splashed
mud on the road . . . .”