Saturday, August 26, 2006

In Ruins

In Ruins

Seeing the tombs for the first time, feeling that surprise of discovery, could never be repeated. Marlene felt changed as she walked out of the forest, the sounds of birds and insects silence by the fog cover. The ground sloped towards the ancient courtyard, partially obscured by the mist until a breeze swept it away.

Marlene breathed, filling her lungs with moisture and decay. The tombs had been asleep for centuries, hiding secrets within their vaults. She would not be able to explore them for long, but even knowing the futility of her desire, she entered.

The carefully manicured path led her through a cherry orchard and around a lake. She knew that each view had been chosen carefully to illustrate both the beauty and impermanence of nature. The fog returned, swallowing the sounds of her footsteps, leaving her alone with her thoughts. She felt alien to herself, to be in this land, without reference.

Her watched chimed, reminding her to return to the entrance. "Tee-shirt, mister?" The skinny youth stood at the gate, carrying a closet's worth of clothing on his arms. She tried to recapture the silence of her walk but the motorcycle-taxi drivers gunned their engines and she breathed in exhaust.

She found her driver and sat on the back of the motorcycle. They passed through the kaleidoscope of vendors selling soft drinks and posters along the road. Marlene left the park, and the descendants of the emperors who had built these ruins.


Bk30 said...

Isn't that always the way of it? You find something that completely transports you to another era or place..and modern life interupts!

Very nice you captured the essence of the past very well :)

Cave Dweller said...

I want to go back in there with her! So tranquil and then to be brought back to the harsh world. Very, very nice!

Cath Smith said...

Lovely atmospheric piece. :)

CaySedai said...

Very different moods from beginning to end.

Chanpheng said...

Thanks for your comments. When I first saw the picture, it reminded me of the tombs of the ancient emperors outside Hue, Vietnam. Same experience - transported to another world for a few hours before crashing back into the present.

Laurie said...

Very well done, although I was sad to get pulled out of the story. I was curious about where it was going.

And also very curious about these tombs you mention. If you have a pic, we could use it as a prompt in a future edition. :)