I’ve been away too long and my writing feels rusty for it. So, let’s play catch-up on weekly photo challenges!
A few weeks ago the inspiration was Windows, and I found Radical Amazement’s picture of the Rose Window (2nd one down) in Chartres Cathedral to be quite lovely. Even more interesting was the link and a mention given to this picture of the labyrinth on the floor of the cathedral. This sent me googling information about the labyrinth, leading to an informative page about it. In the end, the picture I’m specifically using is a larger version of the on that page, but thank you to Radical Amazement for a lovely photo that spawned the search! The window will still get a mention even if the labyrinth takes over as I suspect it will.
Windows (or, Labyrinth)
“How’s Barker?” Tisa asked as she and Joseph walked back to the nave.
“Not that good, but no worse.” Their third companion had a broken leg from two days earlier–rotted boards on a wooden bridge gave out under him. They’d been transporting him on a litter so far, which Tisa did not find practical in the least.
“We need to talk about that,” she began. “We can’t afford to have someone with us who can’t walk. It’s no good for us or him.”
“We cannot simply abandon him,” Joseph replied.”We’re indoors now, I can take a better look at the leg. Maybe use some of the wood from the pews to make a splint.”
“And if you can’t?”
“I am not leaving him defenseless and along,” Joseph said firmly, looking at her. “If you want to leave, you’ll do it on your own.”
Tisa pressed her lips together, dissatisfied with this. She should leave. Joseph’s intelligence and education were handy, yes, but he was no fighter. His life would be short in this world, without someone like her. She should go, there was no practical reason to stay just to have two more people to have to defend…
But she’d been alone before. For too long, and she didn’t want to go back to that. Too much time alone was…bad, for her. I’ve grown too used to his prattling, she told herself. “See to it he gets splinted and a crutch so he can at least be upright,” she ordered gruffly as they entered the nave.
To both their surprise, Barker had pulled himself off the litter all on his own in their absence, and was looking at the floor in the center of the church, on his stomach and rubbing at the profane symbols with his sleeve. Joseph hurried to him. “Barker! What are you doing?”
“The devil, the devil’s in this, blocks the maze, blocks the way out!” Barker babbled.
Tisa exhaled through her nose. Even without the broken leg, Barker wasn’t fully sane. She was certain by now that his name was a nickname earned by the virtue of being “barking mad.” This was a new level even for him, however–the devil? A maze?
Joseph tried to pull his hands away. “There’s no devil in here or anyone else, Barker. Get back on the litter so I can look at your leg.”
“Need to find the center!” Barker struggled. Joseph cast a pleading look Tisa’s way.
“I’ll find it, Barker, just listen to Joseph,” she said, walking over. That seemed to calm him enough to allow the scholar to get to work. He kept staring at her, though, eyes wide and twitching, so she looked down at the floor to see what he’d been going on about.
Huh. There really was a maze, now that she looked more closely. The floor of the nave had a weird, winding circular path on it that kept doubling back and curving on itself. She walked around to get a better idea of it–it was a large circle, that had only one path to get from the outer edge to the center, one that had the walker taking the longest possible way to wind their way inwards. What was the sense in that?
Moonlight illuminated large chunks of it, with colored images dimly lighting others. Looking over her shoulder, she saw that the remains of the shattered stained glass once provided on overlay to the maze when the light shone through it. She walked to the middle and stood looking at the window, but whatever was meant to be seen from there was gone now, nothing but shards of glass on the floor and the ground outside the building. Searching the ground again, brushing leaves aside with her foot, the center of the maze was also the center of the profaned circle that defiled the place of worship.
A maze, a window, and a church, so apparently important that they inspired both hate and madness. Tisa quickly stepped away from the center. That wasn’t something she wanted any part of.