short story, story promptCeleste wants to find out which event triggered the destruction of hundreds of small towns and villages, but the answer she finds is not what she expected in a million years…


Celeste gazed at the small village before her. Sorrow filled her as she watched wisps of smoke curl from the burnt remains of the houses. This should never have happened. They should never have let it get this far. The idleness of the deities had caused this.

The destruction and death in this village was her fault. She had sat by while the mortals suffered.

“My lady? What are we doing here?” Cronos, one of the demigods that she presided over, cast a quizzical eye over the burnt-out shells. He’d insisted on coming with her. According to him, the human planes were dangerous places. She’d watched the mortals far longer than he and knew much more about the Mortal Planes, but had accepted his offer of company. She had a feeling she could use his powers.

“What do you see, Cronos. You’re a descendant of Time. What events led to this destruction?” She looked at the demigod. He was at least a century younger than her, but with his divine gifts, he could look along a particular timeline and pinpoint the major aspects of it. All she could do was watch as the decades passed. It was difficult for her to understand what events were important enough to lead to this end result.

The handsome young man turned back to the village. His eyes glowed a bright blue. Faint sapphire-coloured shadows settled over the village, reforming the houses in ghostly shapes. The shadows flickered and changed as the timeline ran backwards faster than she could keep track of. Every now and then, the scene would pause as Cronos scanned it, looking for the events that had ultimately led to the end of the village.

Finally, the changing scene came to a halt. There were fewer houses and the village looked much less developed. Blue fields surrounded the village on all sides. Shabbily-dressed villagers walked the dirt streets while chickens scrounged for crumbs.

“How long ago is this?” Celeste asked.

short story, story prompt

“Four thousand, six hundred and thirty-three years ago,” Cronos said, his voice sounding weary.

“What happened?”

“It’s about to happen. Watch.”

Celeste wandered closer to the scene, passing through the blue shadows and studying the villagers. It seemed peaceful. Idyllic. What could have happened four and a half millennia ago that caused the complete annihilation of not only this village but the hundreds of others she’d seen in the past few weeks?

Suddenly, all the people turned as one, looking towards the centre of the village, as if a sound had attracted them. The silent figures began hurrying in that direction and Celeste followed.

Rounding a bend she stopped short, the breath rushing out of her. She stared in shock. A shadowy blue woman stood regally in the centre of the village, speaking to the people gathering around her. They all began kneeling before her.

“Me,” Celeste whispered. “That’s me.”

Cronos came up beside her. “You came here four and a half thousand years ago. This is the event that resulted in the destruction of the town.” He waved his hand and the images disappeared. They were standing in a paved town square, the houses around them blackened husks.

Celeste shook her head. “Impossible. I’ve never been to this place before!”

“Time is never wrong,” Cronos told her gravely. “Something you did has caused this.”

“Why don’t I remember?” She glanced around wildly, as if the answer might jump out at her. She could have sworn on her immortal life that she had never been to the village before now.

Cronos surveyed their surroundings. “I don’t have the answer to that question, but it’s clear something big is happening. It might be wise to get to the bottom of it.”

This one has a good mystery to it!

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