Temper and Temperance

It was not peace Simon felt when he stepped into the temple. Something else settled deep in his gut when he ran his fingers over the carved walls. It was like picking up a childhood toy, ill-fitting in adult hands but comforting nonetheless.

His brother and their guide were back outside on the front steps discussing the best way to get in, he’d gone around the side and noticed the crack in the earth through the jungle’s undergrowth. Simon had called to them, but after a quick assessment of structural integrity had decided to duck in.

Simon felt that odd familiarity when his new hiking boots hit the mud. The rains last night had funneled water into the place, and he suspected they’d encounter flooding in the temple depths. But for now, the upper levels were traversable, allowing Simon to trace the walls around him.

The scenes etched into the stone were ancient and stretched nearly from floor to ceiling, and Simon could only guess what the writing beneath them said, but stepping slowly along the walls, he could begin to follow the story they told.

A solitary warrior figure moved from battle to battle, fighting under different banners. Simon paused before the crude representations of fallen enemies and the furious expression consistently twisting the warrior’s face. After each violent skirmish, the warrior faced a looming crowd with his victims piled behind him. In those, the warrior held his head in his hands. Chased out, the warrior found his next fight and promptly lost himself again.

“On the dangers of rage, and the power of restraint.”

Simon was not easily startled, but his pulse still skipped. Heat rose on the back of his neck when he turned to see Liam, their guide, standing at the opening to the outside. Pulled into the carved story, Simon had not heard the other man come in.

“Wait for us next time. These temples are dangerous.” Liam said before turning his back on Simon. He busied himself clearing the brush away from the opening so Simon’s brother could get their equipment in.

Simon bit down on his response and ignored the prickling of his temper. He’d never liked being told what to do or that he couldn’t handle something, and had taken similar orders badly before. Simon glanced at the carved walls and took a breath.

His temper in check, he went to help his brother pull their climbing gear in from the outside.

This week I challenged Raw Rambles with a song from one of my favorite artists, Janelle Monae. Per the music challenge, we are to write a post to or inspired by Janelle Monae’s Cold War.


One response to “Temper and Temperance

  1. Pingback: Cold War | raw rambles

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