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Chapter 12 – The Temple of Colors

„Is it him? I believe it’s him!‟

Kara laughted and turned around. All of the sudden the exertions of the arduous journey seemed to melt away from her. Ben, too, felt the relief. In the distance a majestic edifice was sitting enthroned above the valley – the temple of the colors. Now, here their journey was supposed to end.

„I want you to come in with me‟, Ben said. „Even though you have no compass any longer. Without you I would never have come that far.‟

Kara’s face was beamimg with joy and she planted a kiss on his cheek.

A master of the colors, vested with a long shimmering habit, stood in front of the overwhelming entrance portal. Ben and Kara bowed. He extended his gnarled hand, and Ben gave him the compass.

„Only one ‟, he said. It wasn’t a question, just a statement.

„Follow me!‟

Ben and Kara exchanged a covert look and did what they were told.

„The final colors are waiting on the roof of the temple‟, the master said, while they climbed the stairs behind him. „There you will have to await the judgment of the colors.‟

Ben nodded. He felt ready. Kara remained quiet.

When the master pushed open the door to the roof, Ben had to screw up his eyes. The roof of the temple was beaming in bright orange and mint colors. He vaguely recognized three other figures. Two of them were unmistakeably further masters. The third, however –

„No!‟, Ben gasped. „You are not allowed to do this! He attempted to …‟

„Silent!‟, the master interrupted him. „Whoever brings a compass to us will be heard by the court of the colors. This is the law.‟

Kara quivered, too. „What does he have in mind?“, she whispered.

Andram did not look up to them. He gazed to the ground with his arms folded.

„Such a heckler“, Kara hissed. Ben nudged her with his elbow.

One of the masters stepped forward. „Your hunt has ended here‟, he proclaimed. He placed the two compasses at their feet.

„We now kneel down to receive the judgment of the colors.‟

Ben, Kara and Andram followed the masters’ example. Did the colors themselves decide in the end? How was that possible? Both compasses started to glow until a colorful thundercloud burst out of them, enclosing them with lightning speed. With his eyes wide open, Ben looked around: the fish from Lake Baikal! The ice crystal from Alaska! The cloak of the guardian! All the stages of the journey flashed for a brief moment and then disappeared again. The cloud swirled faster and faster.

Ben stretched out his hand.

„The colors!‟, Kara exclaimed. „They are absorbing us!‟

Ben saw this, too. He closed his eyes and felt how he became one with the colors. When he opened his eyes again the colors had disappeared. They were now inside of him. The entire world was glittering. He sensed an infinite diversity, nuances and shades of colors he had never known before!

„No!‟, a voice resounded next to him. Ben swirled around. Andram stood there with his pistol rised. He waffled.

„Why you?!‟ Andram was completely out of his mind. „They should have belonged to me. To me alone! Give them to me!‟

„The colors have decided‟, the master said. „They don’t obey to anybody else than to themselves.‟

„No!‟, he shouted again. Then he pulled the trigger.

„Kara!‟, Ben screamed. She had gone done, the bullet had hit her through the heart. But she didn’t bleed. Instead the colors streamed out of her chest.

„Yes‟, Andram shouted triumphantly. „Come to me!‟

The colors flared up, surrounding him with a dense cloud.

„Eventually I will nevertheless become a master! I …‟

He paused. The cloud flashed and thundered like a storm, elevating him into the airs.

„How? … What? …‟, he exclaimed.

The cloud of colors thundered deafeningly one more time. Then it slang Andram away. A long scream was heard, while he fell from the roof of the temple into the deep. The cloud contracted and hurtled towards Kara. Ben raised his hand to protect his face. A glaring light flash flared up. Then Kara opened her eyes.

„What happened?‟, she asked.

Tears shot into Ben’ eyes.

„You are now a mistress ‟, he said.

„And you a master?‟, she checked back.

Ben gazed into the sun. The light didn’t dazzle him. He saw it in all its magnitude and immense power.

„Yes‟, he said.

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