12 April 2014 - 3:10 pm

Altered Perspectives: Challenge #4

Think of a religion. It can be real or fictional; your choice.

Think about what the religion values. The things that are important tenets or rules. What are its key teachings? What does it forbid or encourage in its followers?

What kind of people are its clergy? Who are its believers? What is the community that believes in this religion like?

Picture the trappings of the religion, like robes or incense, symbols or gestures. What does its talisman look like, if it has one? Where does prayer happen? Where do its altars live?

Think about the services, rituals, and ceremonies of this religion. Where do they happen? What is the tone of them? Who is involved? What is involved? Is there chanting, or singing, or silence?

Now consider what that religion might consider to be an artefact, a sacred object. What is this object? Is it big or small? What is it made of? Is it a piece of one of its saints, something that once belonged to someone important, or a vessel containing some kind of power? Something else? Why is it of such value to this faith?

How is that object kept? Is it locked away, kept in a glass case, or out in the open? Who has access to it? Is it kept privately or shared with any follower who wishes it? Is it part of a particular ritual? Is it preserved, or allowed to become rubbed smooth by the touch of thousands of hands over the years?

Where has it been in its existence? Does it travel, or is it kept in one place? Has it ever seen the sun? The stars? What has this object been exposed to in its lifetime?

One day, a thief enters the place where the artefact is kept, intent on stealing it. Why? What does this thief hope to gain? Is it money, or power, or something based in belief? Does he or she believe in this faith, or in the power of this particular artefact?

Tell the story of this theft from the point of view of the artefact.

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3 comments

  1. Marlee says:

    Bright red hair. Flames on her head. That was all the book saw before it was shoved in the sack. It grumbled to itself, its pages flapping irritably as though the girl who had manhandled it could hear it. Why someone wanted to steal it was a mystery. No human would be able to read it, and no witch would need to steal it. Well, no good witch. And no evil witch would be able to touch it. And it had felt the touch of human skin against its old, worn leather. And it wasn’t just any good witch who could touch it, either.
    No, the witch who had stolen it had to have been from one of the five great houses. Though again, why this witch would steal it was a mystery to the ancient Grimoire. After all, it had been set up in the Great Library. All witches had access to it. It had never been kept behind a glass case, never locked away from the world of the witches. Anyone who wanted to access the knowledge it contained was more than welcome. Why someone would try to steal it… A great mystery that the book itself was desperate to solve.
    The book had been there since the first witches. Those five great men and women. Karyn Hawthorne, who had made its pages from a tree she had grown herself. Matthias Glimmer, who had collected the ink from an octopus. Lainey Swift, who had stirred its pages with a breeze. Thomas Ember, who had dried the ink on its pages. And of course Alexandria Hart, who had filled its pages with knowledge. These five people had created the Grimoire. And their descendants had maintained it. All witches, whether they be descended from one of the great five, or from any of the lesser witches who had come about over the years, as long as they had good in their heart would be able to touch the book that had been painstakingly made, and all were welcome to it.
    It was large enough even had someone wanted to steal it, for whatever reason, almost no one would even think to. But the book had felt the touch of magic in that flesh. Whoever this witch was had prepared to steal it. They had imbued themselves with strength, enough to be able to lift the heavy Grimoire, filled with generations of knowledge and spells, from the five great families from where they had spread all over the world.
    The sack was jostled, suddenly, and the book landed with a thud in its Hessian prison. Perhaps now it would find out for what purpose it had been stolen. Instead, the book was left there. For days, it stayed in the sack. Now and then it felt a brief touch as the same witch that had stolen it checked to make sure it was still there. It heard comings and goings. There were two people in this room, the one who had stolen it and another. That was all it could determine, however.
    Eventually, it began to hear names, and to distinguish them. There was Adeline, who appeared to be the girl who had stolen it. There was Michelle, the other girl. She was a faerie. Something that the Grimoire had not encountered in a long time, and it itched to be taken out by the faerie, to be read. Days passed, however, and it didn’t get its chance.
    It heard more words, discussions, conversations going on above it. It figured out that it had been stuffed in its sack under Adeline’s bed. He soon learned that the family she was from was the Hart family. How had the daughter of Alexandria come so far? How had the family become so depraved? Why would the descendant of the woman who had filled it with knowledge, and with love, always love, steal it? Keeping the knowledge and the love that filled the Grimoire from the other witches of the world.
    Finally the Grimoire heard itself be mentioned. The faerie was talking to Adeline about what had happened since it had disappeared. It seemed the witches were at a loss. The Grimoire had learned days ago that the girl who had stolen him was a teenager. A girl in school. How it had not yet been discovered, and how she had managed to pull this off was beyond comprehension.
    After what felt like years, but was only days, the Grimoire was taken out. Still in its sack, it couldn’t see anything else. It was carried down some stairs, and through some halls into a room that must have been a part of the school the girl who stole him went to. It was dumped on the floor, and moments later heard the door being shut, and some curtains being drawn. Freedom finally enveloped it as it was taken out of its Hessian prison.
    Now the book got a better look at this daughter of Alexandria. The red hair had originally led it to believe that perhaps she was the daughter of Thomas, who had been just as flame haired. Or perhaps Lainey, whose eyes had been just as blue. Although now it was getting a better look, her eyes were the same shade of purple as Alexandria. As she sat on the floor the book saw the same grace that Matthias possessed. As she opened its pages the same tenderness that Karyn had always treated it with.
    And that’s when the book knew why it had been stolen. Unlike every witch who had opened its pages in the past hundreds of years, she opened to the front cover.

    To our daughter,
    Your road is long, and will be hard. We know this, and we are sorry for the heartache and the sorrow that you will go through. We wish we could change your road, but the course is already set.
    In you is the hopes of all mortals. Many will love you, but many more will hate you. May you have the courage to not falter, and the strength to keep walking, may this book ease the passage you must make through the world.
    In you is the hope of the world. The trees and plants, the animals and birds, may you choose wisely, and gently.
    In you is the hope of the water. May it always flow free, and may you choose wisely and gracefully.
    In you is the hope of the sky. May it always be swift, and may you choose wisely and cleanly.
    In you is the hope of the fire. May it always be strong, may it always burn hot, and may you always choose wisely and strongly.
    In you is the hope of the people. May they live on, may they move on. May they always be free. May their lives be meaningful, and may their love strengthen you. May you always choose wisely and fairly.
    While our words set you on this path for good, may you always have a choice. And may you choose ever wisely.

    The words had been the first ever written in the Grimoire. The five friends had sat together and all added their part, until Karyn had summed it up. Now as Adeline read the words, tears fell from her eyes, splashing on the ancient ink. Moments later the ink disappeared, its purpose fulfilled.

    April 14th, 2014 at 9:26 am

  2. Mel says:

    A lot of questions raised by this one! But in a good way. I want to know more about why Adeline felt she had to steal this book, and what the message was a prelude to. I like that she seems to be a confluence of all of the original witchy bloodlines. I’d be curious to read the story that follows.

    April 15th, 2014 at 12:44 pm

  3. Leeseedee says:

    Unfinished, but I kinds liked it.

    When I am sad, they sing to me. When I am happy, they sing to me. When I am sleeping, they sing to me. There is too much singning in my life.
    They say that my owner, my father was a god. I remember him. He was good to me. He would sing to me too. His signing was different; he crooned gently as I ran through his hair. Occasionally he would bring me to his lips, pretend I was a microphone, and dance around the room with me. Many people loved him, but he was the one who loved me.
    Until he was gone. The leeches came the day after he left and carried me off, smuggled me out of the dressing room with other belongings and split us all up, dispensing us around the world.
    I arrived at this tiny, white chapel. White, everything was white. The carpet was white. The walls were white. The pews were white. The people who came were dressed in white, their hair styled like his. I hated them.
    They all sung his songs, trying to sound like him but none came close. Their high priest was like a charactacure. His hair was foul and fake. During sermons they would take me out of my glass box and people would touch my handle and murmur prayers to me. Some tried to slip their fingers under the covering that held my bristled head. They would try to grasp at the hairs that clung to me, the hairdos from my fathers beautiful hair. Their fingers were slapped away. Some tried multiple times, week after week. Then they would disappear. If they came back, it was always with some of those fingers removed. Their touch now trembling in fear and their touch barely more than a whisper. I felt the eyes of my priest on them.
    Their touches were so many, so impersonal, so sickening that I began to tune them out. As they sang, I ignored them. Their ghastly voices swept over me and filled me, pushing out the sound of my fathers voice. In the silence of the night I would conjure my fathers image, put myself in his hands and have him sing to me, his lips near me, crooning to me.
    It was a regular sermon, and the time had come for people to touch me. Fingers brushed against my handle, the more daring gripping me, one person testing the covers to my bristles. I was ignoring their songs, hating them all, when a felt the touch.
    People say a lot through their touch. Sometimes it is fear, sometimes reverence. A touch can tell you if people are upset, scared, angry, horny or happy. This touch was sadness tinged with regret and a tiny touch of anger. It was so different from anything I ever felt. The fingers lingered there, stroking me. Then they were gone. I strained out, searching for the person who had touched me like that. I felt a figure, and it was like being kissed by a ghost.
    The figure was female, I could feel it in the curve of her hip and the delicateness of her face. But besides the gender, everything else felt like father. I wanted her to come back, to touch me again, to pick me up and sing to mer to see if she really was like him. But she was gone. More fingers touched me, severing the connection I had to her.

    April 16th, 2014 at 10:35 pm