"It all began to fall apart when we stopped believing, Marian."
My grandfather seemed coherent at this moment. I was hesitant to send him back to where ever he went when his mind wandered. At the same time, I wondered if he was right. With all of the technological wonders discovered over the centuries, there no longer seemed to be any reason to believe in what we could not see or hear. There were still some who practiced the Old Ways, of course. I had heard of historical buildings in other places where the worship of Theists was still conducted. This city state did not condone such practices, however, and even now I could hear sirens in the distance.
"Indiana? We need to go now," I grasped his arm. "The police are on their way."
"No," He shook my arm off. "I have to bring it all back, and if that means that I die, so be it."
Tiny wisps of smoke had begun drifting up from the Ark. A soft golden glow emanated from inside, as though a small fire had started when it was exposed to the air. I heard small whispers, voices long dead, stirring from the shadows inside. Curious, the crowd began to push forward, surrounding us and the Ark. I looked for a means of escape; the sea of humanity around us was too vast.
"Marian, get down!" My grandfather had knelt, and pulled me down beside him. His face was more frantic than I had ever seen. "Whatever happens, do not look at what is in that box! Do you understand me? Do not look!"
We knelt next to the Ark, our gaze centered upon the concrete beneath us. I felt the movement of people around us as they crowded around the Ark. The whispers seemed to curl around us, flowing outward from the Ark and circulating like fog. Small sparks landed around us; I started to lift my eyes, but Indiana grabbed my hand and pulled my arm down as a reminder.
At first, the crowd seemed awestruck by whatever was occurring; I heard small sounds of wonder and appreciation. A child's laughter echoed in the air, and people moved closer still. The police had arrived; a firm voice over a microphone warned that crowds gathered after curfew were subject to immediate dismemberment. There was a sudden scream as sentences began to be carried out.
That's when the golden glow from the Ark, that gentle light, seemed to become a conflagration of unbearable heat. Screams began echoing around us, and around us, bodies began hitting the ground suddenly. I shut my eyes tightly, terrified. What had Indiana done?
And then there was silence.
This was a continuation of last week's adventure.
Age is a high price to pay for maturity (from the Light and Shade Challenge)