The painted mirror – part 7

The hollow was alive with hands, like birds, of child and man. Red ran from the centre of the palm like rivers. No-one hand was identical. Some had pressed into the stone with greater force leaving thin lines, others left blobs. At first he was puzzled then with a force he realised. It was all so horribly simple. Images of fingers being severed from stumps with stone knives came to his mind. Tim bent double and was sick over his shoes. Every time he regained himself he would imagine blood spilling into the palm of the worshippers, palms they would press against the same wall and he would crumple up again. Tim had seen pictures of Aztec sacrifice in children´s books but this was too much for him. He began to cry for all the men, women, and children who had probably died here – a time before medicine – and he cried for his brother whom he missed with a fury. For when he looked around this last chamber he realised there was no other exit and that his brother was missing. Robin was gone and the loss hit Tim like a longing ache.


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