It was under the bridge that I found it again.
I’d left it there so long ago. I thought time would bury it, or destroy it. But there it was, undamaged – the ancient scroll I’d wished never to see again.
I was a young archaeologist eager to discover the secrets of the world. I discovered this one in the ruins of an old cemetery. The scroll was yellow, the ink smudged, but I could still read it.
It told the story of a young maiden whose heart burned with love for a demon. But she was mortal, and her love for him would die with her. The demon eventually killed the maiden and devoured her heart so her love could be with him forever.
I took the scroll home to study.
It was the worst decision I’d ever made.
Its pages haunted me. Every dream turned into a nightmare. The maiden’s howls tore through my very bones: Was it love or betrayal? Love or betrayal?
I could no longer sleep.
I tried to burn the scroll, but it wouldn’t burn. I tried tearing it into pieces. The pieces always became one again. So I sealed it in a small chest, inscribed a warning above the lock, and buried it next to an old bridge that no one used anymore.
The years passed. Now I, an old man, kneel under that bridge again. I hold that same scroll between my weathered fingers. I hear the maiden’s whisper rise from its yellowed pages:
Was it love or betrayal?
Love or betrayal?
(Image courtesy of Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo)
Written for Sue Vincent’s Writephoto challenge: Bridge