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The Wailing Ruin -- FWG Flash Fiction for 6/22/2024

More destruction has been done in the names of gods, even the same God, than in the interests of men.

The prompt is:





Wispy clouds scudded across the sky, driven by the relentless Scottish wind. Missing only its wooden roof, the ancient abbey stood sentinel on the moor. When just breezes blow through and across the church’s many arched windows and doors, they whisper the moans of the long dead monks, but before a gale, those arches scream their tortured final cries and prayers to their Catholic God.

Having survived bloody raids at the hands of marauding Norsemen, sailing up the firth to the abbey’s very doorstep and wielding battle axe and club, the humble yet wealthy men of the cloth were unprepared for the power of simple words.

The onslaught that the ancient order could not overcome was started by a paper covered in writing and nailed to a church door in faraway Germany. Ninety-five theses—statements of protest—written by one of their own, unleashed a torrent of atrocities committed by both sides in a conflict of faith in beliefs that differed in the minutest of points.

While the monks converted Vikings from raiders to trading partners, a command issued by the newly Protestant king spelled their downfall.

Scot turned against Scot, just as Englishmen had turned on their kin a generation before. The monks slain and their properties seized, the Order dissolved, and their precious church fell into ruin. The oaken doors, roof beams, and stained glass were either broken or stolen, and nothing remained to give pause to the howling winds.

Riding on those winds, the ghosts of the abbey raised their voices to decry their suffering and the loss of their less-than-humble wealth and way of life. Their protests were less than futile, though, as their incessant wailing drove even their most ardent, though clandestine, supporters from the area, leaving the Wailing Ruin even more abandoned and isolated.



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