Tuesday, September 14, 2010


by A Lump Of Clay

Chapter 7 – The King makes his move

Shocked silence enveloped the Great Palace like a steel tomb, allowing the heart-rending cry of Beloved Son to echo endlessly within the walls of the once joyous Palace. 3 days ago, when the first desperate message from Beloved Son was delivered to the Throne room, the entire 72,000-strong Palace Guard had stood in full battle gear, swords drawn, horses chafing at the bit, waiting with bated breath for the word “GO” from their King. But no such command rang out from the Throne.
Now they gaped in frozen unison, at the bent and bowed silhouette of their Captain, kneeling in confusion at the King’s abandonment of his beloved heir, to such a horrible death. Streams of silent tears poured down the cheeks of the servants as they knelt before the sight of their King on his throne, his face turned away from them. The heavy Royal Curtain behind the Great Throne tore down its length as the Great King clenched it around his ears. It still couldn’t silence the wailing strains of his dying Son’s heart-breaking cry, “MY FATHER HAS ABANDONED ME! Why …. why…,” still ringing in his ears.
Finally the King turned to the Captain of the Palace Guard and handed him the Royal Scepter.
“Go fetch my Beloved Son”
The Captain was even more confused.
“But…but….Your Highness, it’s been three days since His Lordship the Prince was..…” He couldn’t bear to say the dreaded word.
“I AM the Sovereign King. I have said I will bring him back. And whatever I will, I will do! Go fetch him.”
Bowing deeply, the confused Captain mounted up and together with his equally confused soldiers, galloped out to the city. Maybe the King wanted to give Beloved Son a proper Royal burial in the Palace itself?
Arriving at the graveyard under cover of night, the Palace Guard was greeted with a harsh shout.
“Halt! Who goes there?” barked the chief of the troops who had been guarding the tomb round-the-clock for the past 3 nights on the orders of Bright Star.
The Captain of the Palace Guard furiously made his way forward to the mist-shrouded tomb and came face-to-face with a smug Bright Star with hundreds of the city’s troops behind him in a solid wall of armor, weapons drawn.
The King’s Captain raised his voice.
“I am the Captain of the Mighty King’s army, who stands before his Great Throne! Step aside in the name of the One True King! His Lordship, Beloved Son, Crown Prince of the Kingdom, is going home!”
The earth seemed to tremble beneath the feet of the city troops as, at the Captain’s majestic voice, 72,000 horses marched up to surround the tomb. The city troops dropped their weapons and fled for their lives, leaving Bright Star alone.
“I am the only prince here!” Bright Star screamed, as he unsheathed his sword and lunged towards the Captain. The Captain raised the Royal Scepter. There was a blinding flash as a huge bolt of lightning streaked out of the night sky. It hit Bright Star and went on to smash the seal on the tomb behind him, throwing fiery debris all around him. Bright Star was thrown backward as the Palace Guards watched, amazed. His head felt as if he had been thrown headfirst into hell itself as he rubbed the burning sensation in his forehead. As the smoke cleared, the Guards were stunned when they recognised the Great King’s Royal Seal of Condemnation smoking on Bright Star’s forehead! Bright Star quickly turned away and hid himself behind the tomb.
The Captain ordered his men to open the tomb. Choking back his tears, the Captain held out the Royal Scepter and steeled himself as he bent low and entered the tomb. It was pitch black inside. The Captain peered into it trying to make out the body of his Lord. And then suddenly he saw a sight that would be etched into his memory forever. Lo and behold, there he was –Beloved Son, almost unrecognizable now – walking out towards him, bathed in a surreal glow! The Captain fell to his knees in shock. He had seen so many horrible things in the many wars he had fought during a lifetime of service to the Great King. And yet his stomach turned at the ghastly open wounds all over Beloved Son’s body - a grim reminder of the terrible nightmare 3 days before. His knees trembling and heart thumping like it would leap out of his chest any moment, the Captain threw his coat around Beloved Son before any of  his men could see Beloved Son like this and then tenderly led him out of the tomb. It took a few moments of muted gasps before the Palace Guards recognized their Prince and bowed to the ground before him.
“Hail the Lord who has conquered death!”
The Captain sat him on his own horse.  
“Wait,” Beloved Son told the Captain. “I must speak with my friends before I leave.” So, leaving behind his soldiers to guard the now empty tomb, the Captain closely escorted Beloved Son into the still-sleeping city to look for his missing village companions - this time, determined that not a hair of His Lordship’s Royal head will be harmed.
In the city, eleven of Beloved Son’s friends huddled together, whispering quietly in a dark room, too terrified to return to their homes or even discuss the past week’s tumultuous events. What was the point of their 3-year comradeship now? What was to become of the New Kingdom that they had been preparing for? Their Master had been brutally taken out; one of their own turned out to be a traitor and was now missing; another had been identified in public as an “accomplice of Beloved Son” and escaped only by vehement denial: who was next? Suddenly there was a sound behind them. Fearfully looking around, they could not believe their eyes when the very one whom they had abandoned and left for dead, suddenly appeared out of the darkness and stood before them, arms outstretched, the open wounds removing all doubt that it was indeed their Master.
“Don’t worry my friends, I’m alright. I am going back to my King and your King. But don’t give up on me. I will be back for you and you will rule with me as princes in the New Kingdom. Go tell everyone that I shall return!”
Thus cheering up the shocked group, Beloved Son rode off with the Palace Guard. Wonder and embarrassment never left the eleven as they kept peering into the misty dawn, long after their Friend and Teacher disappeared from view.

Chapter 8 – Celebration In The Palace

When news of the Crown Prince’s rescue reached the Glorious Palace, everyone was in awe of their Great King, who seemed to have EVERYTHING under his Sovereign control – even death itself! For 40 days the Palace waited eagerly for the return of the Crown Prince, curious to hear the whole story.
Finally the Palace Guard returned. The entire Palace exploded in uncontrollable jubilation at the sight of their beloved Prince, His Lordship, Beloved Son, dismounting at the Great Hall. Even the stones lining the pavement of the courtyard seemed to sing out in praise of the triumphant Prince.
The Royal Musicians struck up an elaborate triumphant fanfare as Beloved Son strode into the Throne room and bowed before the Great King whispering,
“It’s done, my King! It’s done!” and then fell into his Father’s bosom.
The King embraced him tightly and ordered Beloved Son to be adorned again in all the Royal splendor that he shared with the King before all this happened. Then he turned to the people in the Palace.
“I am extremely pleased with my Beloved Son. See, I, the Sovereign King, have brought him back – just as I said. And because of his total faithfulness to me, those whom I have chosen, I will include in the New Kingdom. And Beloved Son will be the Lord over all.” And all the armies and all the servants and all the captains and all the Royal Emissaries of the Palace saluted Beloved Son saying,
“Hail to the Lord of all, he who died and now lives again forever!” Then bowing deeply to the Great King, they declared,
“Your Majesty, You alone are the King above all kings and there is nothing that you cannot do.”
Then Beloved Son, now adorned again in glorious Royal Regalia, bowed before his Father saying, “Father, you alone are the Only True King.”
“Come,” said the beaming King to Beloved Son. “Sit beside me at my Throne and watch me make minced meat of your enemies.”

…..and still the tale continues

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