Reena’s Xploration Challenge #255- Sacred Ideals

Photo prompt.

Image credit: Noel Nichols on Unsplash

The “Crimsons” had built their civilization on a yet to be mapped chain of tropical islands and it had thrived for more than 4 centuries.
Their relative isolation from the rest of the planet produced their most striking physical trait for although their skin tones varied, their hair was universally undeniably flaming red.
As legends evolve from partial truths, they had come to recently attribute their happiness and success more or less directly to this part of their appearance and now that once infrequent explorers happened upon them and had given them their current superficial name, they were embracing it more and more.
They were, by all standards, happily and productively ‘primitive’. Their children were raised by small community ‘parental pods’ each of which shared an identical cultural pride and common ‘spirit’ but this was incrementally starting to include a subtext of worship of the perceived magical property of their red hair. They also maintained excellent health and longevity due to ritualized attention to their diets and promoted, most fervently, the values of justice, honor, and humility.
They were ruled by a priestess who was like a queen in the requirement that she needed an ancient genetic lineage connecting her to former priestesses in order to reign. All had worked well until a necessary excavation for burial purposes revealed an ancient artifact. Priestess, Avea, claimed it immediately and refused to allow any ‘commoner’ to study it.

When Avea studied the ancient ‘time capsule’ she made a most unsettling discovery. Within the almost pristinely preserved contents was a skull. On the skull six long chestnut brown hairs remained attached and an ancient text in their own language lay beneath it. The text read like an ‘owner’s manual’ about a proper diet. It also promised their cohesive long-lived prosperity if they would adhere to the three principles of justice, honor, and humility. But nowhere was hair color mentioned! This could pose a problem to the newly established reverence for their common immutable characteristic and might just cause division among their communities who were unevenly committed to that ‘modern’ idea. Avea wisely realized that she held her people’s future directly in her hands.

On the third day, the priestess revealed her impression of the contents of the sacred artifact to the people in a speech declaring a day of celebration once a proper shrine could be erected to hold its content. She repeated the text but never mentioned the startling forensic evidence.
As Avea placed the skull on a pedestal in the newly built shrine at the start of their national holiday, she plucked those chestnut hairs from it letting them fall among the chaff at her feet. Division caused by any emphasis on appearance, simply wouldn’t be good for anyone.

Six Sentence Story- Progress Shouldn’t Hurt

Prompt word: labyrinth

She’d always thought her grandparents- born at the beginning of the 20th century- were the generation who witnessed the most dynamic human change in a lifetime, but the cultural changes of her sixty-six years eclipsed those industrial, medical, and technological advances they had beheld.

Her stomach twisted every time she reminisced about her childhood of jumping rope on the playground and feeling completely safe only to return to her present, a place and time of declared progress yet tragically foreign and ominous.

She’d like to blame it all on the 1960s but on closer examination there really was a labyrinth of cultural rot that went unnoticed while the rapid “advancement” of the human experience was cheered along.

The hippies, militaristic feminism, and the drug culture, were just the first glaringly emboldened movements to take center stage; all made possible by the everyday comforts and prosperity that the enormous leap of the sciences had secured.

Earlier, when she walked by the schoolyard, small children stood separated wearing surgical masks just twirling in circles with one child erupting in a rant filled with vulgar language getting no notice from the teacher nearby.

One child’s eyes widened with shock and met hers, but to steal her hoping to guard her precious innocence was not possible, so she wept for her instead as she walked home praying for all those children’s future.

Quadrille #145- d’Verse Poets Pub- Watch Out for Gribbles

 Add the word or form of the word, nibble to your poem of 44 words, not including the title.

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Freedom’s eaten neither by gluttonous grabs,
Nor in mouthfuls,
But in nibbles.
Prosperity sinks neither by tsunami waves.
Nor in waterfalls,
But in dribbles.
Peace dies neither by storming troops,
Nor in conflicts,
But from quibbles.
All mighty timbers must watch out for gribbles.

(44 words)

gribble (NOUN)

  1. a small marine isopod that bores into submerged wooden structures, often causing damage to pier timbers.

Six Sentence Story- A Parable of US

Prompt word: fountain

There once was an exceptionally beautiful fountain built by a like-minded community with years of blood, sweat, and tears creating a dynamic cohesion, as well as, a prideful shared tradition associated with that noble, purposeful, creation.

Once the news that such a marvel existed reached other communities, many people made a pilgrimage to see it and many of these people became enchanted by the cohesive success of this unique village therefore deciding to stay.

Those who stayed, eagerly embraced the successful traditions and purpose from which this fountain had sprung so, as the community grew, it never accepted any challenges to ‘change’ by outside forces and kept all progressive changes made- an internal all-for-one decision- with only a few exceptions.

There eventually came a time, dear reader, that the success and prosperity of the ‘community of the fountain’ was known throughout the world and the numbers who came to behold the fountain were vast, yet the generous community welcomed them all to stay and told them to add their own traditions to the community with one stipulation- never were they to deface or dismantle the founders’ fountain.

Sadly, opportunists finally made their way to the community and partook of the bountiful sweet water but refused neither to honor the fountain nor the traditions that created it, and in so doing, added only their own vision for its maintenance by carving their names (and modifications) into its structure.

The ‘community of the fountain’ has now endured many years of self-serving disrespect and internal erosion of its original beautiful purpose and it’s clear that the once unique marvel of the world may not survive much longer as the fountain’s foundation is crumbling and the sweet water running out.