The Temple of Heaven


PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

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Haoyu Yue Zhan, entering the courtyard of the Temple of Heaven, took a deep breath. Western tourists visited a pale replica of it in Beijing. He had traveled thousands of miles to visit the actual temple hidden in the Kunlun mountains in Xinjiang.

The descendent of famed Yue Fei was not here to study Tai Chi. Here was the center of Earth and Heaven and the gods awaited above. He did not seek paradise, but rather a way to prevent the Earth from becoming a wasteland. Nuclear war was only days away and he needed the power to stop it.

Here I am again to participate in Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ 21 April 2023 edition of Friday Fictioneers. The idea is to use the image at the top of the page as an inspiration for crafting a story or poem no more than 100 words long. My word count is exactly 100.

Seeing what looked like the courtyard of a Chinese temple, I started by looking up the top 10 temples in China.

I wanted a heroic figure, so I found 5 Real Life Legendary Martial Artists settling on Yue Fei (scroll down on that page).

While the actual “Temple of Heaven” is in Beijing, I needed a more secluded location. Fortunately, my research into the name Kun Lun, which is a fictional city featured in the Iron Fist comics and television show, revealed it is loosely based on the Kunlun mountain range in Minfeng County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang, China (look it up on Google maps).

I played fast and loose with the mythology of the location to define my hero’s quest.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to inlinkz.

To discover other aspects of my fiction writing, consider Ice.

At the end of time, the world is hot and men travel the vast oceans in merchant sailing ships. Captain Ki-Moon Yong of the Star of Jindo has discovered a new horror at the bottom of the world. Can he and the Star escape disaster long enough to warn a disbelieving world?


© James Pyles


36 thoughts on “The Temple of Heaven

  1. An interesting story, written such that it could almost past for fact with certain news organizations these days. Interesting quest for your hero, too. We’re never more than a button click away… some days, only half a click it seems.


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