Andora shrugged into her vestments and began her walk around the temple.

The noise from outside could not be tuned out.

She pasted the beatific smile to her face, and concentrated on exuding an aura of peace.

Is that the beggars? Or the gangs?.

All those she passed within the temple walls were reassured by her presence.

A loud shot pierced the stillness of the sanctuary. Gangs. Definitely the gangs.

The vestments labeled her as a bastion of peace. Her face was a vestment to cloak her feelings.

I would kill them all. Beggars and gangs alike.

Andora placed her hands together and bowed to the other acolytes as she passed them.

The sounds outside changed to wails.

She approached a group of supplicants and laid her hands on each of them, blessing them with the peace of the place.

She found some flaw in the wall to concentrate on so that she could walk past the gate without seeing what was beyond.

A younger version of herself smiled and bowed politely,walking sedately in the opposite direction.

The young woman found the same flaw in the wall, avoiding looking at the gate.

Is it me?

Is it us?

Andora stopped, turned, and looked at the gate.

Mourners were barred from entry, as were the beggars and gangs.

It is all of us. Inside and outside alike.

There is no changing what happened here.

This post was written in response to this Write On Edge prompt:

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

The word limit was 300 words. It’s so much easier to write a thousand words in under an hour than it is to compose something succinct yet complete in just 300 words.

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