Friday, August 20, 2010


by A Lump Of Clay

Chapter 5 – The Mission Begins

As soon as Beloved Son entered the city, exhausted and hungry from the 40-day, lonesome journey from the Glorious Palace, Bright Star tracked him down and sidled up to him.
“Look here. I know who you are and why you are here. You don’t need to go to all this trouble just to win over a few of these wretched fellows for your kingdom. I already have a kingdom here.
Join forces with me and I will make you king over every stone, temple and mountain in this entire land,” Bright Star offered.
Beloved Son turned his face away.
“You know very well that Father, he alone is the One True King of the whole Kingdom. So get out of my way, you lying devil. I am on Father’s business, not yours.”
And Beloved Son went about warning the people to stop their wicked deeds and to pay homage to his Father - the Only True King. He taught them about the great King who was angry at their wickedness. The people thronged him, some to hear his comforting words and others to report back to their supreme master, Bright Star.
One day, Bright Star was told of a 5,000-strong crowd fighting over bread. Lazily he got together the riot troops and headed out to the countryside. All he saw was villagers, seated quietly on a grassy slope, excitedly passing out loaves of bread. Getting closer he saw they were intently listening to a ragged man on a hill, speaking about “my Father, the One True King”. Bright Star’s blood boiled. He stormed back into the city and demanded the city officials to arrest the man distributing food to the poor without a license. Dutifully, the officials trudged up the hill. They looked at the bearded man and then at the pathetic villagers and couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about. So one of the senior leaders challenged Beloved Son saying,
“How dare you say the king is your father? Aren’t you from the village?”
One of them, a big burly man grabbed Beloved Son’s collar and shook him.
“Who do you think you are - a prince?”
Beloved Son looked at him squarely in the eye.
“Yes, I am. But my kingdom is not here. It waits for me in the hearts of those who recognize me and not only listen to what I say, but love the Only True King with all their heart.” The officials, took a last look at the simple villagers who were greedily collecting bread crumbs from the ground. They left shaking their heads, not finding any grounds to arrest anyone.
Another time, Beloved Son walked into the Royal city-hall in the city. His usually gentle eyes burned as he took in the scene of a dirty, noisy market. Angrily he lashed out at the traders, chasing them out.
Word of this reached Bright Star’s ears and he immediately dispatched the city officials to investigate. As he watched from the gateway, the city officials stormed into the hall and yelled at Beloved Son.
“You are just a common peasant. How dare you cause trouble here in the city?”
“Who are you to pass judgement on us?”
Beloved Son walked up to the podium, overturning the cashier’s table.
“This is my Father’s Royal city-hall where the Royal emissaries listen to your problems. And you have handed it over to these crooks?”
Embarrased at not being able to deny the fact that this WAS once the Royal city-hall, they tried another strategy.
“Some of your friends are known criminals and prostitutes, yet you hang around with them. Aren’t you guilty of treason against the King?”
Beloved Son smiled and answered, “My Father, the Sovereign King, sent me here not to spend my time with those who are good - for none of you are good - but to look for these who will turn from evil, and He has empowered me to pardon them.”
Pardon? Only the King had power to pardon. Now Bright Star had him. He grabbed a woman in the crowd – a woman known to have been caught red-handed in an act of treason - and shoved her towards Beloved Son.
“According to the law of the King, this woman must be stoned to death. What say you?” he demanded with a smirk.
The city officials rubbed their hands gleefully. NOW they had him trapped – would he defy the King’s law or contradict his own mission of “pardon”? All around there were shouts for her to be stoned, while some pleaded to let her go. Beloved Son kept them debating this for a while, doodling in the sandy floor. Then, slowly he got up.
“Whoever has never been guilty of breaking any of the King’s laws, not a single one, let him step forward and begin the stoning,” and continued with his doodling
There was murmuring and pushing and shuffling, but he never looked up. Then all was quiet. Looking up, Beloved Son found himself alone with the terrified woman.
“You are free to go,” Beloved Son told her. As she turned to flee, he clasped her hand and looking squarely into her eyes, he said, “Don’t go back to what you have been  freed from.”

Chapter 6 – Bright Star retaliates

And thus the battle of wits between the two Princes went on and on. The world could not hold the books that can be written of  the things that these two did. The days turned into weeks, weeks to months and months to years. The temperature rose to a feverish pitch. At the end of his tether, one day, Bright Star conspired with his agents in the capital city to somehow finish off Beloved Son. His agents organized a massive demonstration where the people sat Beloved Son on a horse and paraded him around the city, shouting and singing,
“You are our king, Save us! Save us!”. Soon they were joined by Beloved Son’s followers, who enthusisatically cheered their new king. When the leaders of the city saw this, they were very angry with embarrassment. This was pure sedition! This time they knew they could nail him! They immediately issued a warrant for his arrest and sent out their troops to track him down. Beloved Son realized that the wicked city officials were closing in on him and time was running out. He urgently sent out a message to the Palace, appealing to his Father to rescue him. Together with his closest friends, he waited in the garden outside the city walls, under the cold moonlight. 2 more urgent messages he sent but there was no response. With a heavy heart, he resigned himself to his fate – no matter what it takes.
“I love my Father and I know he loves me. I will fulfill the mission he has entrusted to me, come what may. Surely he will not let my soul perish in this hell,” he thought to himself as he took a deep breath and rose to go back into the city inspite of the urgent pleadings of his friends. And walked out of the garden, right into Bright Star’s trap.
With the help of a turncoat, the city officials arrested him just outside the garden gates. They locked him up in the city prison, cruelly tortured him all through the night and finally sentenced him to death for the ridiculous charge of treason. His torn and bleeding body trembled with excruciating pain, but Beloved Son couldn’t help wondering at the irony.
“Treason? A Prince on a mercy-mission from his King is accused of treason? They sure don’t know what they are doing.”
At the crack of dawn, Beloved Son was stripped and dragged out of the prison gates to be executed. Beloved Son struggled to stay upright under the heavy execution timbers on his shoulders. Somewhere in the distance, a cock crew, as if to herald a most fateful day. His eyes searched desperately for his closest hand-picked companions, who had followed him faithfully for the past three years. Surely, my Father would have sent some word of my rescue through to them, he thought. His heart sank as one by one, all twelve of them quietly slipped away among the mad crowd, helpless against his pleading gaze.
He was paraded through the city streets as an enemy of the people, and a traitor to the King. Egged on by the agents of Bright Star, the city folks lined the streets, humiliating him and hurling despicable insults as he stumbled along. Then he heard a distant cackling. It was Bright Star - on the hill nearby - watching, smiling with satisfaction that his plan was working out just fine. Beloved Son shook his head as he trudged up the steep hill. Surely, my beloved Father, the Sovereign King will put a stop to this. But  every bloody step forward was accompanied only by the flesh-slicing lash of the whip, all the way to the place of execution.
At the top of the hill, the soldiers spread-eagled Beloved Son on the timbers and hung him up for the large crowd to watch the specialized execution. As the executioner readied his weapon, Beloved Son strained his bleeding ears and his teary eyes for one last time, past the jeering crowd. Anytime now, he would hear the thundering roar of his Father’s 72,000-strong elite Palace Guard storming over the horizon to rescue his Beloved Son from these wicked people. And then he saw it coming – the flash of finely-honed steel - the executioner’s final blow! Beloved Son’s heavy heart burst in unspeakable agony as the realization finally hit him even harder than the soul-piercing steel itself -


Searing pain burned through Beloved Son as the polished blade tore its way into his bosom. Darkness clouded his blurring eyes but scenes of a lifetime of serenity in the Great Palace, and the security of his Father’s bosom, seemed to flash in the skies above. A numbing chill crept up his trembling legs, as his life ebbed out of his broken body in a crimson stream. He struggled to hold on to the memory of the comforting love of his Father’s bosom, the warmth of his Father’s final tight embrace as he left for this mission. As the mirage of the Palace slowly faded before his desperately searching, wide-open eyes, his Father’s parting words rang distant in his ears, “I will bring you back….” With a final gut-wrenching gasp, he breathed,
“It’s done……”
And everything faded into a kaleidoscope of incomprehensible blackness.
Claps of thunder. That’s how it sounded to the now silent spectators as Bright Star clapped hysterically at the sight of the limp, bloodied body of the competition to the King’s throne, being taken to a commoner’s tomb in the outskirts of the village.
“This calls for a celebration, for the Kingdom is now mine.” he cackled to himself, as the city troops sealed the tomb for good. “Thus ends the King’s dreams of his New Kingdom.”

… could there be a continuation to this story?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

yeah.. there should be.