The Desolate Tower

THE STILLNESS OF EVENING spilled over the desert like an upturned lantern. It’s silent, cool liquid seemed to course over the endless sands, percolating in the silvery-blue blues dunes that stretched for miles in all directions.

From atop his horse, a lone rider surveyed the scene before him. The heavens were moonless; only the bright stars remained. It was a dark night, a mysterious night, a night of enchantment if he had the time to wait for it.

Grumbling quietly to himself, he spurred his horse on. The stallion sped down through the dunes, a silver trail bleeding behind them.

In moments they had arrived at an old crumbling building. It looked ready to collapse, its once breathless white luster coated in a dull sheen of grime. The ages had left their mark; thorny vines peeked through the walls, hardy plants that could only grow in the deserts. Half of the stones were buried in sand, as the winds of the time began to swallow the ancient monument. But it was still all they had.

Sighing, he dismounted, leading his horse under the decaying overhang. It led into the inner court of the building. Where once there had been a fountain and a reflecting pool there was only a grotesque three-tiered monster.

Half its side looked as though it had been melted by a falling star, the beautiful iron twisted and disfigured by the great fire that had ravaged the place. As for the pool, it was an empty bed, full of weeds, cacti, and thorny desert shrubs.

Within a few steps he stood before the secret door. He knocked once, twice, thrice. At the third rap, the wall slowly slid aside, revealing a set of golden stairs winding upward.

Releasing his hold on the stallion’s reigns, he motioned for the horse to wait. He gave the stallion a final pat, before cautiously marching up the stairs…

Written: 13 Aug 2010

Word Count: 317

Inspired: to write something inspired by the 1001 Nights


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