Submitted into Contest #152 in response to: Set your story in an oracle or a fortune teller’s parlor.... view prompt


Black Christian Sad


It had the appearance of a small temple, or rather a small chapel, surmounted as it was by a dome  that  resembled those of Palladio. The small chapel had been built by willing people of the town, with the collaboration of willing people of the nearby towns ( villages). Even from the beginning it was known it had been a place of prophecy , of predictions, that is , a kind of meeting place or club where people would go to ask about their future, yes, to have prophecies , or anticipations of what would happen to them in the future, at first the small blessed, if not sacred small building, had had a purely Christian character or inspiration.  Even the predictions, the prophecies of ( for) the future intended to be above all a comfort and support for people who were worried, anguished too about their future, and also for those who, living a difficult situation in the present, hoped that something could happen that would change their lives for the better.

There were no doors inside the small chapel. The space, of modest size, was divided into three areas : the entrance, the entertainment room ( conversation room),and the area of the prophecy, also called the seat of the oracle.  It was accessed from one area to another through an arched opening. The ORACLE area  was the innermost, and it was also at a lower level than the other two.  Entering it gave the feeling of slipping into another dimension, if not into another world and another time.  In the oracle area, which could be accessed only one at time,it stood the altar, which was  just an altar like those in Catholic churches.  On the altar, covered with a white embroidered blanket , trimmed with lace , it stood, the ampoule of the  prophecy ( for the prophecy). This glass ampoule was half filled with frozen blood, but there were those who said petrified blood. Here, it was precisely the frozen , or petrified blood ,contained in the ampoule, which would have given the answer ( the response) to those who consulted the oracle.

 People who went to consult the oracle, willing to know their future or, at least, something of their future, they had to kneel at the foot of the altar and, after asking the question, which could be formulated aloud, even if most of the consultants preferred to do it being silent ( in silence), they had to stay there, kneeling, absorbed in prayer for at least two hours.

 If the answer to the question asked ____  questions as :Will my son find a good job? Will I recover from the disease that ails me? Will I win the lottery and become rich?_____was positive , the frozen, or petrified blood would melt, would come back to be liquid, at the end of the consultation. If the response was instead negative the blood contained in the glass ampoule would remain solid. The consultation should last , at least, two hours_____since it takes time for the frozen blood to melt , to be liquid again. And, if the blood is even petrified, how cannot you see the miracle when it melts?____But the consultant could lengthen it as much as she wanted ( to his/ her willing). He ( she) could stay kneeling at the foot of altar, absorbed in prayer, even for a whole day and night. To lengthen the time ( the duration) of the consultation they were, those  who did not resign themselves  to a negative response. So they insisted on praying, kneeling at the foot of the altar, waiting for the blood to melt sooner or later.

Whose that blood, about half a liter, contained in the ampoule, really was, it is not possible to know. But they, the founding members of that kind of cenacle, that were the frequenters of the small temple, were very keen to  emphasize the character, the deeply Christian inspiration of the temple and of the oracle, too____in fact the people who went to consult the oracle called it THE BLESSED ORACLE. So they, the founding members, three men and two women  of the most renowned and estimated in the town of Treu claimed ( assured) and, however ( in any case) they succeeded in making the people ( who went to consult the oracle) to believe it, that the blood contained in the ampoule was the blood of Christ. There were also several  stories circulating  about which merciful and miraculous ways the blood of Christ had come right into the hands of the very respectable founders of the temple ( of the oracle temple). In all these stories, even quite different each from other , however, two moments ( points) were the same ( remained firm): the blood of Christ had been collected during the crucifixion by very faithful Christians of the first hour , and ( second) that Holy Blood had been able to remain intact through  thousands of years because ( since) for a long time____there was who even said for centuries____it had continued to be ( kept being) petrified. As soon as it had been collected, as it was flowing from the cross, it had become more solid than marble and such it had remained for a very long time.

In almost all of these stories the first time when ( that) the blood of Christ, petrified for centuries, had returned to melt, was related to some extraordinary event, such as a natural catastrophe, or a war, or some terrible epidemics which, as if by magic, ceased  as soon as the blood of Christ  liquefied.

The rumors that in the temple with the oracle there was, contained in the ampoule reserved to the prophecy, THE BLOOD of CHRIST soon spread even outside the town of Treu. The Bishop of the diocese to which Treu, which did not have  a bishopric, belonged intervened with strong determination, rather indignant , to stop those of the temple____who(m) the bishop called “the clique of the oracle”___from talking  about  the blood of Christ, that would be ( would have been) in their possession!  Stop telling such a lie! Indeed stop  cursing! If they did not stop, he would have closed their temple. He, as Bishop, could not bear such an outrage to the Church, to all faithful and, above all , an outrage to Jesus Christ! The blood contained in the ampoule, it could not be the blood of Christ, go! ( on!) Then not only the founding members of the oracle temple, but also the people who attended the temple, and above all those who consulted the oracle, protested strongly, very angry, against the Bishop who wanted them to renounce…to the blood of Christ !  Since they didn’t care so much that the blood of Christ really was in that ampoule. What mattered to them was rather to be able to continue to believe that the one contained in the ampoule , that was placed on the altar , at the feet of which they knelt trembling with hope and fear ,at the same time, when they were waiting for the response on ( about) their future, that it ( this) was the blood of Christ. Now, how could the Bishop forbid them to believe that this ( it) was the blood of Christ? Ah, they would have gladly plucked him, or rather skinned him, since he had no feathers, the Bishop! They thought of addressing the citizens of Treu and inviting them to march to the provincial capital, going to the bishop palace.   They would have shouted their protest against the Bishop who wanted them to renounce to the blood of Christ. But the citizens of Treu did not join their protest. When they protested in front of the Bishop’s palace , the police shot them. Three of them were killed. The blood of the ampoule was  replaced by the blood of these three killed. But no one in the temple of the oracle spoke of Christ’s blood anymore.

July 02, 2022 03:55

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.