The arches rose above him, craning his neck backward. They called to him somehow, mute voices pleading for release, for permission to fall. He paused, struck suddenly by the immensity of the nave. He peered into the gathering gloom to the distant, shadowy chancel. The fear threatened to turn him back. He cowed it into submission, realising that to turn back now would doom him.

He peered into the darkness which shrouded the assembled pilli. The irregular forms flirted with his vision, dancing into focus one moment, only to coyly veil themselves in darkness before the traveller could focus on their features. Long did he stare into those shadows, hoping to catch more than a glimpse of those sinewy, curvaceous forms. Only the urgency of his mission could finally draw him away from the contemplation of those taunting shapes.

He heaved his consciousness back to the central aisle, or so he thought of his pathway, though he knew that there were many paths which led to his desire. Whether such a thought denoted arrogance, he did not care to consider, not being overly concerned with such things. His steps were lost in the vastness of the hall, and the thickness of the carpet.

He disliked the silence.

He longed for the ring of his boots on stone, for conflict to arise beneath his heel, for power to spark from the earth itself wherever he strode. Well was it that he did not take the time or energy required to analyze the character which had driven these ambitions, for such things do not aid one's digestion.

He fixed his eyes on the shadow which was the chancel, dark, green, seemingly many miles away. He was not worried. Distance could never worry one of his faith. He knew the path that he must follow, he would conquer whatever tests might arise.

He strode on, his eyes scanning the vault above, noting with satisfaction that with every few steps he was bathed in light, singular, diffused and purposeful, seemingly placed specifically so as to illuminate his grandeur.

He slowed as he passed through one of the shafts, revelling in its power, in its revelation of his power. He knew now that he was invincible, that nothing could bar him from his purpose. Warmed by his thoughts, he passed on into the nave, his eyes scanning the horizon for some sign of the transepts, for some signal that the alter was near.

The chill of the hall crept into his shirt, seeming to nestle contentedly against the pit of his stomach. Hardly any closer than before, he could see the darkness which was the chancel, hazy and indistinct upon the dying horizon.

Once more the traveller stopped, gazing at the boles of the pillars, as if, inscribed on their invisible trunks, he might find some runes, traced by some ancient race or the other which would allow him to summon the chancel to him, rather than forcing him to attend to the chancel.

Finding nothing of interest, he trudged on.

The dejected little man continued to proceed through that great hall, his small feet rendered incapable of making sound by the luxuriant carpet. A little sigh of dejection escaped his lips, only to be swallowed by the brooding trees. The pitiful testimony to impotence continued on his path.

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This work is Copyright (c) Mike Fletcher 1992