Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, taken by Daniel71953 and used under the Creative Commons Agreement
Everyone in Vairavia believed that the statue of Zaraan would protect them from the enemies till eternity. They only had to ensure that the statue was well looked after and well-dressed all the time. Nothing more was expected of them to protect their beautiful town and its beautiful people.
Zaraan was a giant of a man and a ferocious warrior who had, a thousand years ago, laid down his life defending Vairavia.
Vairavia was surrounded by steep mountains and could be reached through a narrow pass. Zaraan was standing guard at the pass when the enemy struck. There were more than hundred soldiers in the attacking party. Zaraan fought like a tiger and killed or wounded almost every enemy soldier.
The enemy attack was repulsed. But Zaraan was fatally injured. Before he breathed his last he told Vairavians to install his statue at the place where he had fought the enemy.
“Let them not know that I have died. Let them think that I have survived my wounds. I have put fear in them and now they feel fear even my statue. They will never dare to attack Vairavia.”
Vairavians spent many evenings rejoicing at their victory. Rejoicing over, they installed a statue of Zaraan at the place he had died. Every few days they cleaned the statue and change its dress. Anyone who saw the statue from a distance thought that it was Zaraan was guarding Vairavia.
The enemy continued to believe that Zaraan had survived the attack and was still standing guard, ever alert and ready to repel the enemy. For years no one dared to attack Vairavia.
Vairavians began to believe that the statue would protect them from enemy till eternity. They became complacent; no one thought of becoming a soldier; no one sharpened the swords; no one trained the war horses.
They began to believe that they were invincible. They began to enjoy fruits of life without any restraint. Vairavia became nation of fun loving and comfort loving people.
But Vairavians were living in a fool’s paradise. The enemy had all along been burning with rage. For years they had been thirsting to avenge their martyrs. For years they had been planning and preparing for a battle.
And then the enemy struck. Some enemy soldiers were still scared of Zaraan. But they were desperate to challenge him. They attacked Zaraan with all the might and ingenuity they could muster. They were prepared for the worst but this time Zaraan could not fight back. In moments he was shattered into hundred pieces.
Vairavia was overrun. Vairavians paid for their complacency and for their blind reliance on a stone soldier. It dawned on them that they had acted like fools all these years. But it was too late.
A post for Light and Shade Challenge on a picture (given above) prompt and a quotation (given below) prompt:
Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.