The ghosts of the twelve little priestesses are walking in a long straight line towards the door in the hill. They have tall hats and the light shines out of them. Each holds a cane of ebony topped with silver.
I have seen them once. Not twice. No-one sees them twice. It is the rule. The very explicit rule. Even those flying overhead on a daily basis in ballons and chartered aeroplanes only see them once.
I asked the bishop to explain. He was sly. He looked at me sideways and blew out smoke-rings. “There are some things, boyo,” (he was Welsh you see and played up to it) “that are better off left unexplained. Would you pick the lock of eternity? No of course not. Who knows what cogs, what wheels would be set in motion to grind your bones and spit out the splinters?”
He was a bishop. I had to respect his wishes.
But I did my own detective work. I waited in the bushes. I interviewed tramps. I turned over nickels and read the inscriptions on the dirty sides. Nothing I read or was told advanced me any closer towards the heart of the mystery.
Maybe it will never be known. I understand the best forensic scientists believe as much. The little priestesses will keep their secret. Of course one could ask their mothers, but their mothers, so all the best authorities attest, have been sworn to silence.
This is automatic writing- but edited and revised.