This post is a response to Write on Edge’s Write at the Merge # 6 (stained glass, and the lyrics to Fun’s “Some nights”), and Trifecta’s word (Path – 3a : course, route b : a way of life, conduct, or thought).
If you’re looking for some great short stories, I highly recommend checking them out by following the links below and reading a few of the other submissions.
Concrit always welcome, I hope you enjoy!
“Our path should take us through the high pass. That’s what all the records indicate.” Ruby alternated scowling down at the grubby map in her hands and the weathered building before them.
“I’m telling you, this is it. This is where it lead.”
“The map is supposed to take us to a Haven.” Ruby’s voice cracked and Jim moved to put a hand on her shoulder, only to have it slapped away. “You must have read it wrong.”
“Let’s just go and check it out.”
“Fine.” she strode across the boulder-strewn yard and through the arched doorway, Jim trailing behind her. Halfway down the aisle, she snapped, “See, nothing but a church from the before-time.”
Jim walked past her, entranced at the sight of the stained glass mosaic rising up from the shadowy hall, lighting the motes of dust in fiery hues. “It’s fully intact! Can you believe it?”
“What are we supposed to do now, Jim?” Ruby barely glanced at the glass.
“How could it’ve survived for so long, unbroken? I mean, Ruby, have you ever seen anything like it?” Jim felt a painful squeeze at his heart, understanding now what his mother meant about the exquisit pain of seeing something truly beautiful with your own two eyes. “It’s just so much better than that picture in Mrs Em’s book, y’know?”
Ruby smacked Jim in the head. “You know what’s better than a bunch of glass? Surviving. How about you come back out of the clouds and focus in that, huh?”
“But Ruby -”
“We’ll find the right path in the morning. Do something useful for a change and break up some of those chairs for firewood.”
Jim sighed as his sister stormed out into the dying light of day.
“… how could stained glass still be whole without protection?”
“How, indeed?” The man at the pulpit had a cruel gleam in his eye.
The church doors crashed closed.
“Ruby?” Jim whispered, backing away from the red-lit man.