Prompt 15: Holy Cow-munion – 501 Prompts

Illustration by slightly overwhelmed

501 Prompts is my way to explore new creative ideas and actually writing them down for a change. Here’s how it works: I prepare my idea to the prompt and then sit down for 20 minutes straight to write it down. After a short editing session it goes online as it. It’s open to all genres, topics and experiments with storytelling.

No notebooks get hurt during the process. And that’s a promise.

Enjoy this week’s prompt!

The Prompt

wisdom cow glasses

My Story

“Day and night, we never stop thanking you!”
“Guide us through these challenging times!”
“Praise our Savior, praise the Holy Cow of Wisdom!”

A myriad of voices echoed through the giant gathering chamber. The mass of worshipers moved in unison like a big herd of cattle. They walked, danced, bowed down until they finally reached the big sacrificial brazier at the foot of a large pedestal at the far end of the room. Smoke rose from the smoldering embers and spread the smell of fresh herbs that managed to make the stuffy and dense air even more sickening.

On top of the pedestal, high above everyone else, lay a cow on a bed of flowers. Its look fooled the eye of anyone not initiated to the rapidly growing cult because it looked like any other cow. Except for the glasses that were fixed to its head with a simple cord. Blank, it stared ahead and chewed stoically on something, as if it didn’t know anything that was happening below.

During a rapid change of movement, two worshipers bumped into each other and lost the rhythm of the collective chant. They were near impossible to tell apart from anyone else. Their heads were cleanly shaved, and they wore the plain brown gown of the cult. Each had a bouquet of fresh herbs in one hand that they had bought outside before partaking in the ceremony.

“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“No, excuse me. It was all my fault. I got distracted.”

The rules were clear for a situation like this. Before rejoining the ritual, they had to express their enthusiasm for their spiritual leader while everyone else kept going around them.

“She is amazing, isn’t she?” said the first.

“Oh yes,” the other answered with the convincing tone of unconditional love in their voice. “Coming here and joining the community changed my life for the better.”

“I was lost, too. But now everything is just so clear to me.”

“Right? I can’t believe that the solution had been right in front of us the whole time.”

The excitement of sharing their experience overcame the first, and they asked a strange question. “What did she tell you?”

“Well, actually…” the other stopped frowning. “Now that you ask, I never met her in person. I’m still waiting for my calling.”

“Really? Me too! How long have you been here?”

“One day, I just passed by and stopped to make fun of all of this. But when I noticed other people joining in, I felt pulled in too. That was 3 years ago. Now I’ve given up everything.”

“Do you know anyone who has talked to her?”

The other shook their head. An aura of doubt overcame the two of them.
“How does anyone of us know what to do then? Is any of this real? Maybe it’s all just a lie.”

“You think it is a scam? And that’s just an —,” the first stopped mid-sentence as if they had to fight an inner battle to get the words out. “That’s just an ordinary animal?”

In an instant, everyone around them stopped. Silence fell over them. They looked at them, not angry but unsure, maybe even afraid. The two of them shift uncomfortably in their moment of not-conforming.

The first was quick to jump into motion again to start the ritual again, and the others joined in. They danced with more fire and conviction than ever before. They sang and shouted at the top of their lungs.

“Praise the Holy Cow of Wisdom!”
“Praise her!”

Read my thoughts behind this story here.

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