He stood and looked over the carnage; there was nothing alive within the area he surveyed. He himself was covered in ash, blood, and debris; his people had won. He glanced about and noticed he was alone; none of his kinsmen were in the sector. Around him were the remnants of the city; downed buildings drooled their contents underfoot. There, amongst the death and darkness, something glinted in the setting sun: its shine suggested that it could be nothing but gold. He looked around again; “No one will miss it,” he thought as he slipped the object into his pack. At that moment, his disobedience brought the death that had consumed the city not only upon his own people, but upon his own head as well.
Today’s Write Now! prompt (the bold and underlined sentence) put me in mind of a story in the Bible. You might be familiar with the story of the fall of Jericho? If not, check it out here for the details but basically, Jericho was a city that stood in the way of the inheritance of Israel and so was slated for destruction. But that’s not the whole deal. Check out the next part of the story, which was the inspiration for what you read above. So there was this dude named Achan who thought it would be okay to take just a few things for himself, despite the fact that their orders were to not take anything because the place was cursed. In the end, Achan’s small thing turned into a big thing: some of his kinsmen died, the lot of them were shamed, and he died a terrible death.
Maybe it’s just me, but if somebody told me that everything in a place was cursed and I shouldn’t take anything away, I’m not going to take even a small thing.