The Three Idols

Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 15

In times of uncertainty, it was the custom of the clans to place their idols in the temple on the mountain, and seek answers from the gods. The clan of the river brought an idol of gold. The clan of the forest brought an idol of wood. The clan of the hillside brought an idol of stone.

“Almighty gods,” the three oracles called in unison. “We wish to know which of our clans you hold in highest esteem. Leave your mark upon the idol so that we may know.”

This troubled the gods, for they knew that to favour one clan above the others was likely to breed war among them. However, to give no sign would let the matter fester, and likely breed war still. The gods deliberated late into the night. It was decided that they would send a storm to smite the temple, and make their displeasure known.

At midnight the oracles saw the lightning strike the spire, and at dawn they visited the ashes of the temple.

The idol of gold had melted all across the floor, and from this the oracle of the river surmised that her clan had been chosen, because the idol had been made one with the temple.

The idol of wood had been burned away completely, and from this the oracle of the forest surmised that her clan had been chosen, because the idol had been taken up to heaven.

The idol of stone remained upon the altar, and from this the oracle of the hillside surmised that her clan had been chosen, because the idol had been spared.

All three oracles brought their news down the mountain, and all three clans were satisfied.

It wasn’t quite what the gods had had in mind, but, they supposed, it got the job done.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook Cover

Click any cover to download that book in your choice of format.

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3 comments

    • Damon L. Wakes

      Yeah. I had to check that up on Wikipedia but from what I can tell that’s not a great route to family harmony.

      Seems as though the thing to do would have been to give each of the brothers a ring but instruct them not to tell the others because they’d be jealous.

  1. Pingback: Winchester Writers’ Festival 2016 Writeup | Damon L. Wakes

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