Silcarine – Disciple of the Sun

“May the Sol Father always shine down on you until the end of your days,” the High Priest’s deep voice filled the solemn interior of the temple of the Sun.

“And to you as well,” Jess said in reply.

The High Priest then turned to the disciple standing in wait just beside him. He dipped a finger in a clay bowl filled with yellow paint. “Lift your head sister,” the High Priest said to Jess.

Jess looked up right at the cold, gray eyes of the High Priest. She felt a chill ride down her spine. No matter how many times she had done this ritual she could never get used to the High Priest’s chilling stare. She felt the High Priest touch her forehead. He then started to draw a sun.

“Thank you,” Jess said after the High Priest finished painting the sun. She then stepped down and another disciple took her place before the High Priest.

She slowly walked past the other disciples standing in line, waiting for their turn to receive the blessing of the sun. With their shaved heads bowed down, Jess could only guess the thoughts that were running in their minds.

She could still feel the eyes of the High Priest on her even though she was no longer in front of him. Her pace quickened. The sound of her hurried footsteps mixed with the heavy voice of the High Priest—“always shine down on you until the end of your days” she heard him say from behind her. In front of her, two disciples pulled open the huge iron doors of the temple.

“May Sol shine down on you,” they said in unison as the light from outside flooded the dim inside of the Temple of the Sun.

“And may he shine down on you as well,” Jess mumbled as she quickly stepped outside.

With a deep sigh of relief, she quickly ran down the steps of the temple of the Sun. She won’t have to receive the blessing of Sol until the next month. That means she won’t have to face the High Priest and stand in front of his piercing gray eyes. Jess smiled at the thought.

The outside of the temple was a stark contrast to its solemn inside. The air was filled with the relentless sound of hovercar horns as traffic piled up on the streets. Jess stepped out of the gates of the temple grounds and onto the bustling streets of the Third City. She looked at her wrist and rubbed a finger on top of it. The skin glowed neon blue and numbers appeared. It was five in the afternoon.

“Shit,” she hissed. She was late for her work shift.