Christmas Hiatus: Quandary Wall

The blog is on hiatus for the Christmas season. New stories will return in January. Here’s one from the archives:

One night, many years ago, an archaeological team partied late, celebrating their recent discovery. When the drink flowed and few remained standing, Kurt and Mary snuck away. On Mary’s mind was a reference in an ancient text, to a mural of some spiritual significance. On Kurt’s mind was Mary.

He followed her through the tunnels, lighting where she pointed, digging where she instructed, brushing away layers of dust with utmost care. When the mural emerged, the quandary wall, embossed with advice-giving symbols revealed after lonely centuries, she giggled with excitement, and kissed him.

Later, they married.

Now, they have returned, because Mary faces a dilemma beyond her experience. Her path is unclear, the options unfathomable to even the wise: Family? Truth? Justice? Salvation? Discretion? Right and Wrong never felt so far from her grasp. So Kurt suggested she do as her ancient heroes did when faced with such impossibles: consult the mural, the quandary wall.

They fly, they land, they trek. He follows her through the tunnels, they find once again.

As she deliberates, memories flood back to him. Tears and a tightening of the throat. Then he brings himself back to the present and looks upon his wife again. Her hair may have turned grey, the brilliant mind fraying slightly and forgetting, but the spirit remains. She touches the embossed symbols, reads the stories, finds solace and comparison. As she reaches a decision, she giggles with excitement, and kisses him.

Later, their children buried them side-by-side.

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