WoTF – 2021 Q2 – The Temple Holds Many Secrets

This time, I had several ideas for a short story I wanted to write, which had been brewing in my head. Then I got an invitation to the Writers of the Future Workshop, which is really quite nice. I did the workshop, and submitted the story that I developed along the way.

Rejected.

Sadness. Yet, I can tell, the story has some rough parts. I’m not sure I’ll change them because they are a part of how I built the story, on purpose. It’s ok. I have the story for myself. Natsukashii.

Here’s the very beginning. (I may post the full stories later, because… why not? …Other than my abhorrence of WordPress’s new block editor, which stops me from doing a great many things….)

The Temple Holds Many Secrets

When the last rays of sunlight lit the floating dust in front of the Buddha, the boy who was holding the doll became a doll himself. There was no alarming soundtrack, his physical shape did not suck in on itself, there was not even a whimper. He simply was a boy, and then he was not. 

He could not move, and he could not breathe. He could not turn to the side, only stare up at the temple ceiling through eyes that did not close. A familiar shape was visible out of the very corner of his left eye, where the doll he had been holding had rolled to a stop a hand-length from him. His joy at recognizing her diminished when he realized she faced away from him, toward the main hall. He tried to speak to her, but nothing happened—they were both as unmoving as one might reasonably expect a kokeshi doll to be. He thought he might be afraid, yet he had no heartbeat to measure his fear. 

The boy may have stayed there on the tatami floor, in the dimming light, hidden where he had not intended to hide himself so thoroughly, had it not been for events that unfolded earlier that day involving a cat, an ikebana vase, his English teacher, and his little sister. 

end excerpt


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