Kridge rode his horse across the plains, pushing his steed beyond its natural limits to the brink of exhaustion. He whispered prayers and used the symbol of his god to give the animal strength; hoping it would last until he reached the temple. As they rode over the last hill he could see the grand structure nestled on the edge of a copse of trees. It was a blocky structure with strong lines and hard edges. The columns were tapered and phallic and covered in art depicting Tremarius in various pursuits of strength, romance and conquest. The deep call of a horn sounded across the expanse to announce his arrival; he had been spotted. Now flagging, the horse began to slow and he allowed the poor animal to reduce it speed to a trot. Kridge could see the area in front of temple filling with followers, the proud boys of Trey. He would need the extra moments to compose himself for what was to come. He paused the horse at the temple grounds, took a deep breath and prodded the horse forward.
“Hail, Kridge! High priest and prophet to Tremarius the Strong.”
Kridge thumped his fist against his chest and saluted as he drew near. “Hail proud boys of Trey! I return from doing our god’s work!” A cry of joy went up from the assembled masses.
“We have determined where the heretics will take the beloved sister of Trey and we must stop them. Begin the trials, only the strongest, best looking and most virile shall be allowed to fight!”
The shout of triumph was deafening and the followers of Tremarius began contests to determine who was the best at primping, bench pressing and fighting. There were young men flexing at each other, arm wrestling and fighting. They traded homophobic insults and slurs. It was exactly what Tremarius wanted.
Kridge dismounted and hurried into the Temple. Behind him the sounds of the his flock following him, echoing off the stone walls until it sounded like the howling of wolves. The stairs to the his private quarters and preaching balcony were steep, but he took them two at a time, the slapping of his feet like the sound of a bunny hopping across the earth. Kridge’s heart began to hammer in his chest. Reaching the top of the stairs he flew threw the entrance to his home and slammed the door. A vase filled with roses wobbled, fell and rolled across the table next to the door; the sound of a skeleton rolling across a rock bridge. His heart was was beating too fast to handle, the sound of his own blood an ocean in his ears. The world seemed to spin. Staggering, he made his way to a basin on his nightstand. He dipped his hands in the water and splashed it on his face and for a moment he could swear it was the sound of blood splashed across the earth. The urge to vomit washed across him is giant spasmotic waves.
“LOOK AT MY BOYS!” Kridge stood up straight, frightened, his sickness forgotten. “LOOK AT THESE PROUD BOYS KRIDGE!”
Kridge looked to the balcony and saw the the glowing outline of his god. He walked the balcony, took his place at the right hand of his god and looked out upon the mass of followers below. Down below he saw men of many ages, but most young; yelling and laughing, competing and smiling. All convinced of their place in this world. All certain of their victory. All fools.
“DO YOU SEE HOW THEY FULFILL MY WILL?! PROPHET OF MINE, THEY WILL BE THE INSTRUMENT OF THE DOWNFALL OF THE HERETICS.”
“Yes, Tremarius. Your will be done.”
“IT IS ALL THANKS TO YOU. YOU DID THIS. YOU WERE THE PERFECT CHOICE TO RECRUIT MY WORSHIPERS.” Kridge staggered away from the balcony. “REMEMBER THIS KRIDGE, WHEN EVERYTHING IS DONE, AND THE BODIES ARE COUNTED. YOU DID THIS; AND IT WAS GLORIOUS.”
“I, I have to use the chamber pot.”
Kridge dodged into a small closet used for his chamber pot and sat on the seat hard; his breathing was ragged. All he could think about was the slaughter he had witnessed and the young men he had led to their grisly ends.
“I HOPE EVERYTHING COMES OUT ALL RIGHT. HAHAHHAHAHAHHA!” The juvenile god continued to laugh for a long while. In the darkness of the privy Kridge began to cry. He cried until he fell asleep; shame and regret his only companions.