The Fifteen Minute Novel 2022: Day 185

The fifteen minute novel writing experiment is a attempt to write a complete (and very rough) draft of a novel by writing for fifteen minutes each day. I have taken a timed writing from one of the daily prompts done in 2021, cleaned it up a little and used it as my jumping off point into a story. Each day I will take the last line of the story written the day before and use it as my sentence starter and write for fifteen minutes, growing the story as the year progresses.

Day 185: Anya found herself looking at the woman’s face to see if there was a resemblance to the statues she knew.

Anya found herself looking at the woman’s face to see if there was a resemblance to the statues she knew. The woman bent forward and her braid of stone hair swung a little at the movement. She appeared to study Anya for a moment.  At least Anya had the sensation of being studied.  The statues stone expression did not alter.

“You find something curious,” the statue said.

The last time she was in the room the statues voice echoed painfully on her insides, the vibrations of her words causing Anya’s chest to hurt.  This time, even though the words were still heavy, there was less pain.

“Your words don’t hurt as much,” Anya said.

“I have modified them.  It had been a while since I had the necessity and was out of practice when you arrived. You will take no harm from our speech.”

“I see,” Anya said.  “Thank you.”

“It is more amusing for me if you remain undamaged,” the statue replied.

Anya wasn’t certain how to respond to that.

“I asked what you found curious,” the statue said.

“I thought you looked familiar and was wondering why,” Anya asked.

“I would remember meeting with you before this. Perhaps you have seen my likeness?”

“I was thinking of two statues and trying to determine if you looked like either of them,” Anya admitted.

“And where were these statues?”

“They were in the church in my village.”

“Most of my temples have fallen and few were ever in villages.  There were a few in the cities.  One in the Haverdown and another in Ced and a third in Boskin. The rest were in wild places.  I need no temples as the sky is always within sight.”

Anya nodded and decided it was probably better not to point out that they were ina temple, or temple like building at the moment.

“The two statues were of saints,” Anya said.

The statue laughed.  “I have been accused of many things.  Saintliness was not one of them. Who were these saints?”

“One was Polara,” Anya said. 

“The star?” the statue said.  She laughed.  “They turned the Star into a saint?”

Anya frowned, not entirely certain what to make of the comment.

“That I can assure you was not me,” she said.  “Who was the other?”

“Bendeasa,” Anya replied.  But Brother Fertamosan kept forgetting to count her at the end.”

This time the laughter echoed through the temple and Anya felt it rumble through her chest.  It shook her bones and made breathing difficult.  Anya bent double with the pain, falling to her knees in front of the statue. The laughter stopped and Anya blinked back tears as she drew in deep breaths.

“I forgot myself,” the statue said. 

Anya nodded and the statue remained quiet as Anya gathered her breath and let the pain fade.

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