Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sudden Short Story 63

"As we enter the next room," said the tour guide, "you'll notice a small pyramid like the one we're standing in.  In fact, it's an exact scale model, exterior erosion notwithstanding, but that isn't the most interesting feature.  Unlike any figure, real or mythical, in ancient South America, this figure of a seated human is covered entirely in metallic armor.  Though the statue's armor bears some resemblance to medieval European plate mail, the design doesn't match any Old World armors, and the artist's motivations for this peculiar imagery are lost to us. 
"The inscriptions in this room, however," she continued, gesturing to the glyphs upon the walls, "do appear to tell the legend surrounding the figure.  Our best translation is that he is a legendary warrior, whose obligation to protect the world was so great that he will slumber, without sustenance, until such time as the world needs him to save it.  So, it has been nicknamed 'The Throne Room of the Ancient Guardian.'"  
The tour guide noticed a few stifled giggles among her audience, which was certainly a novel reaction.  These same giggles, however, seemed to also awaken a woman who was heretofore immersed in her phadlet.  She looked up, seeing past the tour guide, who also turned around at that time.  They beheld a little girl, sitting upon that statue like it was such a Santa Claus. 
"Tammy," she said in that harsh whisper that a parent uses when she wishes to yell at a child while remaining quiet.  "I'm so sorry about this," she said to the tour guide as she passed her to collect her daughter, who appeared to be aware that she'd be scolded, as the smile had left her face, but was not leaving the statue. 
The mother and the tour guide ascended the small pyramid, after moving aside a length of velvet rope.  "Mommy?" whispered the girl.  She was shivering at this point.  Before her mother could quite reach her, she said, with a tear in her eye, "Mommy, the statue's breathing." 

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