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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Won the 2017 Iron Writer Annual Championship!

After many years of trying, I've finally won the Iron Writer Annual Championship!
This is a big thing for me, the 4th championship, and I've been there since the beginning.
Here is my winning story  :-)
(Here it is on the Iron Writer website with the other contenders)

Elements: The Temple of Truth, a question, an answer, either a lie or a truth, you must not say which (500 words)

With Love and Admiration

Alex stood under the intricately carved gateway at the main entrance of the Sanctuary of Truth. Both herself and Morgan had gone to Thailand to see its splendors and the Sanctuary was the pinnacle of their tour together. There was definitely something intrinsically fine about the building, with each whittle unleased showing the sculptor’s skill and creativity, bringing a sense of awe and respect to whomsoever looked upon its beauty. But a worrying cloud of doubt and inquiry hung over the mood inside. It was certainly a great work of achievement on the part of all involved, but was it a ‘truth’? Alex couldn’t move from the thought that this place was nothing but a copy, a rich man’s folly filled with sculptured oddities and cultural adornments of his own design. Nothing here was real except as an object of its own aesthetic pleasing.
Morgan came over and touched Alex’s shoulder for one tender moment, only to disappear once more into the shadows of a mass of mythical figures fashioned from wood. Alex went back to the Naga guards standing over by the stairs. These snake-like female forms were nothing more than an example of the excellent worksmanship of the sculptor and the depth of a pocket. There was no truth in any of it. The website said it used art and culture as a reflection, a mirror of the ancient knowledge and philosophy and there was truth in that, but Alex saw a similarity with Plato’s cave. No matter how elegant the sanctuary looked, it would never rise above the magnificence of the real world some meters away lying under the blanket of the sun.
What was this place but a recepticle to hold all that was dear of the Eastern culture laid down in the mind of one, for the greater duty of his own heritage. There was no supreme categorical imperative at work here; the walls, the carvings stank of heteronomous reason and self interest misunderstood as a semi-educated autonomous motive. This construct was as aestheically pleasing as a masquerade mask with the grotesque self-satisfying ego showing through the facade of a false pride, revealing an empty shell made from paper mountains and shallow rationale.
Alex watched Morgan step from one sculpture to the next in a silent reverence, being completely enthralled by it all. They had come, they had seen, and Morgan was happy. In this alone, Alex found integrity. There was worth in their visit, purpose in their strides. Although tempted to turn and walk away from what she considered an opulent blemish on the face of the Earth, Alex calmed her angered morality of the impurity permeating deep in every grain of wood. Maybe she’d found the truth she had been searching for.
“How do you like it?” asked Morgan.
“I’ve never seen such a place like this before. Thank you for bringing us here, it’s given me a lot to think about.” She smiled and hugged her partner with love and admiration.

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