Divine Sanctuary - Chapter 1

quadraptor's picture
Chapter 1 - Ancient Atonement

A loud sound broke the silence of the morning. "Blasted thing!", the man cocked his rifle and aimed again. He fired at the retreating deer, the bullet going through his left hind leg and sending a wave of pain through his body. The stag cried out but kept running, not too far behind from his doe and fawn.

The man cocked his rifle once again, but a middle-aged woman snatched it out of his hands. "You fool, have you forgotten the rules of this town?", she spat at him, "We don't hunt the deer!" By this time, Francis' parents arrived, curious about the commotion. "Silas, what have you done?", they began to ask. The hunter spat on the ground and walked off without saying a word.

They looked to the forest. A slight splatter of blood shone from one of the trees.


It was early in the afternoon, and Francis' last class had gotten out of session. He spoke to his few friends and then began made his way home. He walked a few steps from the school when three older boys got in his way. "Where do you think you're going, shrimp?", one of them asked, smirking and crossing his arms. Francis was picked on often by these bullies, but he learned comebacks to their insults. "None of your business, Chucky.", Francis replied. The boy's face turned slightly red as he yelled, "It's Charles!" Francis scoffed and began to take a step around them when the other two boys reached out at him. He backed up, just avoiding their grasp. "Get him!", Charles ordered his thugs. Francis sprinted in the opposite direction, the boys regaining their footing and chasing after him.

He ran into the woods, leaping over fallen trees and breathing calmly as he continued. The boys struggled to catch up, tripping over their untied shoelaces and having trouble crossing the fallen trees. Francis looked back for a moment. They weren't in sight, and as he turned around he lost his footing, landing on the dead leaves and sliding down an incline. He slid down, his head just barely avoiding several rootlets that stretched in his way. He finally slowed down and made it to the bottom of the slope, sitting there for the moment to catch his breath. He sat up, swatting off leaves and dirt on his clothes, and taking a few steps forward, he noticed something before him.

A statue? In the middle of the woods?

Francis' eyes were locked on the statue of a great stag, sitting with his head lowered, eyes closed, and a slight smile on his face. The statue sat in the middle of an oval-shaped grotto, sunlight penetrating through the trees and shining on him. Specks of pollen and insects floated around him. Francis began to take a few steps toward the deer statue when he noticed something nearby - three live deer were making their way to the statue.

The doe led her fawn quietly, while the stag limped behind them, stopping to catch his breath. Francis stopped and watched, but the doe's head rose as she spotted him. Her heart skipped a beat - the human startled her, and she wanted to run, but her mate stopped her, and turned to the boy. He made his way before the great statue, standing in the sunlight and lowering his head as he snorted. The stag was in no condition to fight, but he was going to protect his family.

"I mean you no harm...", Francis began, taking a step back. The stag took a step forward, but lost his balance and fell on his elbows. He struggled to rise to his feet, but he had lost too much blood from the wound on his back leg, and he soon collapsed, gasping and snorting in pain. Francis saw the wound, and looking in the backpack he carried he pulled out a first aid kit. His parents made him take it wherever he went for emergencies, and the boy began to walk toward the fallen deer.

Taking out a roll of bandage tape and some hydrocortisone cream, he approached cautiously. Francis watched the stag's movements - his heavy breathing, the large antlers on his head swaying with each breath, and the large eye on the side of his face staring back at him worriedly. The boy was then crouched over the stag, resting on his knees as he placed a hand on the animal's belly. The deer's breaths slowed a little, as he closed his eyes and relaxed his head, letting it lay on the leaf-covered ground.

Francis globbed the hydrocortisone into his hand and began to rub the wound. The stag flinched and groaned, his leg already sore from carrying him this far. Francis watched as the wound was coated with the medicine, though blood continued to trickle out and down the stag's leg. He then took the medical tape and bandaged the wound, wrapping the leg several times before cutting the rest of the roll off and taping the end. He stood, wiping his bloodied hand on his cargo shorts before taking a few steps back.

The stag sat up, taking a few moments to slow his breathing until he stumbled to his feet. He was able to stand on the leg much better, though he felt a little unsteady. He held his balance for the moment, his eyes fixed on the boy, before looking down at his own leg. It was already feeling better, and even he knew it would take some time to heal. The doe approached her mate and nuzzled him with a few breaths of relief, and afterward he took his first few steps toward his fawn. It would take a little getting used to.

Francis made his way back to his backpack, returning the things he used and zipping it up. He looked back to see the family of deer walking off into the forest - the stag looking back at him in a thankful manner. Francis smiled, and then looked back to the statue that had been sitting there. "I wonder if that's...", he began to say when his cell phone began to ring.


Francis opened the front door and stepped inside. He was hours late coming home, and his parents were already standing in the foyer, who at once noticed the dried blood on his hand and shorts. "Francis, what have you done?", his mother immediately questioned.

The boy, unsure what to say, looked away as his father approached. "Francis! Answer your mother!", the man yelled. "I nursed a deer's wound, alright?", he confessed. "Don't give me an attitude, young man! Now upstairs!", his mother scolded. Francis let out a sigh and stomped upstairs, slamming his bedroom door.


Morning finally came, and Francis had not gotten any sleep that night. He finally got to eat breakfast after going hungry during the night. Not a word was spoken among him and his parents, though they exchanged several looks before he left for school.

Francis started to make his way toward class when he thought about the statue in the woods. "That had to have been the deer in Grandma's story.", he said. He saw his school down the street, and then began to think about the turn of events lately. Francis took a moment to decide, and then at once ran off toward his grandmother's house.

He got there in a few minutes. She didn't live far away from where he went to school, and quickly he went to the door and rang the doorbell.

The door opened after a moment, and his grandmother smiled by the unexpected surprise, "Shouldn't you be at school, Francis?", she asked.

"We had the day off, Grandma Christine!", he lied, "I wanted to see if you'd like to walk with me today."

To Be Continued...

Epic! I really love these

Epic! I really love these stories <3 Theyre so original and stuff <3 I'll never get tired of them 8D

-- Dannii <3

Fenqua's picture

Continue please! ^^ To

Continue please! ^^

To pray is to believe, to believe is to purify one's soul

To pray is to believe, to believe is to purify one's soul
SilentOrosco's picture



That is all.