Day after day, the faithful make their way to the abandoned temple, hoping the goddess has returned.
But the oracle is silent, and their cries echo unanswered.
Soon their numbers shall dwindle. One by one, they shall grow disillusioned, shall let enter the doubt that now knocks at their hearts.
They shall decide that the prophecy was true after all, that the goddess is gone forever.
They shall start to pretend that they never believed in her, that they were never fooled. They shall make fun of those who still go up to her threshold, though it is a journey they themselves were once proud to make.
And the goddess, who never left, shall watch secretly from the wings, knowing she cannot leave until the last pilgrim loses hope, until the last believer turns away.
She wonders how long that will take.