I'm going to bust out the continuation prompt today. Consider it sort of an apology for delaying getting back to House of Mercy until Sunday (that is the current plan at any rate). So just pick up the tale from wherever the previous author left it and carry things forward for a while.
Had a very enjoyable tour of Covert Farms with the family this morning/early afternoon. We rode on the back of one of their farm trucks around the property, stopping to pick strawberries, zucchini, and grapes. Also had a visit with their chickens to collect some eggs before heading back to the main building for a baking lesson on how to make strawberry zucchini muffins.
Which we then got to eat (all of us, as they were gluten free).
We did not have the Bailey talk with Max today. I was wanting to do it with Kat after we got back from the tour but from then until bedtime was pretty hectic. Will have to make a point of finding time tomorrow.
The temple had been built deep in the jungle, its large square stones having been moved there by methods unknown. The effort had been unquestionably massive, with no roads approaching within a hundred miles and the nearest river coming not much closer than that.
And all for not, Jessica couldn't help but think as she studied its exterior from fifty feet away in the shade of a towering rubber tree. Neglected for too long, the jungle had laid claim to the building with tangles of twisting vines and carpets of smothering moss. The main entrance appeared to be barely passable without the use of a machete and if she didn't put hers to use that would not remain the case for much longer.
"I should get on with it," she said as she hefted her pack onto her shoulder. But she hesitated for another minute before putting her words into action. Had anyone been around to ask about her reluctance to enter the temple it is unlikely that she would have been able to explain it.
Birdsong from the canopy serenaded her as she made her way over and around exposed tree roots. Normally Jessica would have been comforted by their noise but on this day it sounded more like screeched warnings.
Stay away. Go back. Do not enter here.
"Ridiculous," she muttered as she climbed the slick steps up to the entrance. Retrieving her flashlight from her pack, she inserted a fresh set of batteries and clicked it on, aiming its beam into the darkness of the temple's initial hallway.
She could make little out, other than more vegetation making its way deeper into the building. Still unable to force herself enter, she clicked off her flashlight and pulled a granola bar from the side pocket of her pack. Carefully removing it from its packaging, she stuffed the wrapper into another pocket and took a small bite as she returned her gaze to the interior of the temple.
That was when she saw a faint flicker of distant torch light.