Story Time Sunday #43

The photo that inspired today’s story was taken on January 26th in Surabaya, Indonesia. It depicts an Indonesian devotee cleansing and purifying a holy statue with tea, roses, and Cendana water at Suka Loka Tri Dharma Temple.  I like how the piece plays with the ideas of dedication, hard work, belief, and blind faith. Your thoughts on these topics? Happy Sunday!

A Guardian’s Success

The steady slurp of water overnight had not awakened the Komainu, as grandfather foretold. And when the first rays played peek-a-boo from behind the misty mountains, Marcos lost his grip on the hose. He had done just as his elders instructed: placed his family’s precious remaining gold coins in the shrine’s box, sprinkled the sacred guardian with fresh jasmine flowers, and said his prayers every evening at the creature’s gnarled feet. Surely, the prophecy would come true.

Marcos opened his eyes to continue the purification ritual. Around him, he saw signs of decay–mold making sunspots on the surface of the hutong’s steps and porch.

Poverty is a rat, Marcos thought; it feasts on whatever is available and multiplies without warning, the soggy statue now afire in the morning sun. His last hope for an abundant lunar new year, blinding him.

The higher the sun rose, the lower Marcos’ head hung. His legs were locked from standing overnight. Tempted to turn off the blast, he showered the mythical creature’s head one last time, when he saw it: the slightest twitch.

Had it been imagination? Sleep deprivation? Marcos wondered, and yet he knew without asking that the magic of any victory was not found in belief but in manifestation. Marcos’ troubles were no more.

© khartless 2022, All Rights Reserved

Photo Copyright: Robertus Pudyanto / Getty.


  1. For me, this piece speaks to the power of making beliefs, maybe more, dreams, manifest, through daily actions connected to these conceptions. Otherwise, they are merely thought exercises. Great write, K.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely descriptions and flash – it seems to me the story is asking did Marcos see what he wanted to see, and isn’t that what belief is?


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