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A Knight’s Story

09 Jul

Just a little short I threw together…

—–

I am the King’s knight. Why am I a knight? It is not because I can wield a sword with great expertise or because I am of royal blood – though the King would argue that I am – it is because of whom I chose to follow and what I endured to make such a decision. This is my tale as I tell you.

As a young boy, I lived in a small village. The people were cruel and the weather was harsh. The houses barely withstood storms and the leader of such a town had convinced himself that he was a king and that he ruled such a kingdom as only my King now rules.

I, sad to admit, was the ruler’s slave. I spent my days running from palace room to palace room, fetching the ruler what he requested. Everyday I would greet him with the solemn sentence “Sir, what is the first deed you wish to give me today?” To which he replied with the same cold-hearted tone I had heard times before “Something that even someone as incompetent as you can accomplish!” then he would proceed to give me the first deed of the day.

Quietly, I would go about my chores for, though the ruler had originally told me that I was of great worth to him, I was no more than a servant, dressed in rags and with no more than hay for sleeping accommodations. But it was all I knew.

I could not run, for there was no place to run. I could not hide, for there was not one that would help me hide. I could not ask another for their kindness, for not one was of a kind or gentle spirit. Not one was of the right, but all were of the wrong.

Though, take not pity on my soul, I deserve your heart not. I, myself, was not of a kind or gentle spirit. I, myself, was of the wrong. All that live in this town were of the wrong and all that live in this town would die in the wrong…or so it was thought.

My tale, no matter how sad it seems, is a one of a rather good fortune, one that I am happy to have said I lived.

As is told; the ruler of our town is the only ruler in all of the lands, but this was a lie he told. No, there is more of a ruler, a kinder, more gentle, soft, and loving King that lives and rules even the town of my aforementioned master. This King was one I had never been told of. One I had never met. The one that I needed.

As I walked through the woods one day, sent on a chore that I have now long forgotten, I heard a nearby song. The singer’s voice reached my ears and rested in my soul, warming me from the inside out.

It was the singing voice of a girl, a young lady, and as I searched the woods for its owner, I did not realize that I was venturing further from my town than ever before. I hardly noticed the strong grip of the ruler loosen, but I stopped when I heard his cold voice, weak and tired like I had never heard before. The singing grew more quiet as the ruler spoke.

“Idiot! Come back to the village now or I shall punish you!”

I winced at the harshness in his tone, but the singing’s enticing pull carried me forward. Though my feet were now heavy with fear, I still went onward. I had to find this singer, something about this girl’s voice was different. Perhaps she knew something I did not. I had to find her.

The voice continued to call, – though it grew more quiet as I ventured onward – but I ignored the ruler’s siren, pulled towards the singing, the gentle singing that was now in my soul, overcoming me, overpowering him.

Soon I broke through the trees and the world stopped. All went silent, even the call of my weakening master.

In front of me stood a young girl, her black hair reaching to below her waist. I smiled at her sheepishly, unsure of what it was that I was required to do now.

“Hello.” she said kindly, her voice was like the voice of innocence. Somehow, I knew her name was Wisdom and so I called her as such.

“Hullo, Wisdom…and…what may you be doing out here?” I asked kindly.

The girl smiled shyly, “I was told to come out here and sing. The King told me that I would help someone…he said I had to trust him and use my talent for good and I would save a lost man. Are you the lost man?”

I tilted my head slightly and I studied her for a moment, “I do not think I am lost. You seem to be lost…is this King you speak of the same as the one I serve?”

Wisdom shook her head, “No, Sir, I do not think so. Is the king you serve of good or evil?”

I grimaced, “Of his own good.”

“Then he is of evil for there is only one good and it is not one’s own.” Wisdom said, “Come with me, I wish for you to meet my King.”

I would have fought had Wisdom not grabbed my hand and led me deeper into the forest, I could not resist. Though, the entire walk with Wisdom, I heard the call of my ruler. His constant chant, he whispered threats and fears into my heart, making my world seem black and my future short.

Wisdom led me for hours; though my feet never hurt and my body never ached, I was certain it was hours. We only reached our destination after walking through the forest, through a village, and into a palace the size of an entire town.

As we walked down the chambers, I began to feel a fearful unease approach me. The whispers of my ruler coming back to my mind. I let go of Wisdom’s hand and stepped back, hesitant to go any further into the long hall.

Wisdom turned to look at me, “What is it?”

“I…” I spoke slowly, choosing my words carefully, “Do not think I wish to go any further…something is wrong. I do not know.”

Wisdom smiled at me, “Nothing is wrong. Come.” She began to walk forward, but I stayed.

“I do not wish to go with you further.” I stated plainly, but I could see the hurt in the girl’s eyes when I spoke such simple words.

“Very well…if it is your wish, then you may go.” Wisdom smiled a final time, curtsied, then disappeared into a room nearby.

I was left standing, alone in the hall, wondering what event had just happened and how it would affect my life hereafter.

When I arrived back to my ruler’s palace – if you could call something of such little magnitude a palace after having seen the King’s great halls – I was greeted by two very angry guards. I did not fight – for I knew it was my punishment – as they grabbed me and took me away.

They took me to a dark dungeon, deep in the basement of my ruler’s castle, and they left me there, without food or water, tired and hungry, waiting for my death sentence.

For you to understand why I was thrown into this dungeon, you must first know of a law that was passed many years before I joined the kingdom.

Long ago, when my ruler had just begun his reign, he had overcome many innocents. He had them under his power and they were all like me. Lost.

One day, a stranger, from a land that frightened our ruler, came to town. He was resistant to any temptation our master enticed him with and he was kind. He was different. This stranger was sent for more than one reason.

This stranger, only twelve knew his name, was taken captive by my ruler and sentenced to death. It was said that, the night of his hanging, the sky grew dark, the bird’s songs ceased, and rain slowly began to roll into the town. After he died, he was never seen again…but it is not to say that he is actually dead.

There are rumors – small ones, they are, and are best not to be spoken of – that float around. Rumors that claim of the strangers death being void, of him still being alive…of him, actually being a Prince and not just a stranger.

And, as these rumors circled around, the ruler grew more of unease with this stranger, even in his death. Soon, a day came when a young child wandered off into the forest on a cool summer’s eve, but she never returned.

When asked about the disappearance of one of his followers the ruler would reply, “It was that rotten stranger! The one I killed! He has turned the tables! They are no longer eternally mine! He shall pay!”

Since the child’s disappearance, the ruler has left the town every third Wednesday of the full moon. Some say he goes to court to ask for the child and all the others that have been lost since, others say he goes to do a ceremony to one even stronger than him, but I say that it is something far greater.

Years after the ruler began his mysterious meeting regularly, he put forth a new law. It stated that no one can go more than half way into the forest, lest they shall be severely punished.

I had disobeyed this law and I knew my mistake would not be overlooked. And as I sat in my prison cell I attempted to accept my punishment, but something inside refused to welcome death. As I tried to erase the thought of rebellion from my mind one memory repeated to appear.

The girl I had met in the woods; with her lovely voice and her kind eyes. The girl who had led me to a palace and told me I was welcomed there and the life I had refused because of my own fear. I had come back to a life of pain and torments, but for what reason? I did not know.

Morning soon came and brought with it the darkness of lost hope and a forgotten slave. Clouds covered the sun and rain fell from above.

When the guards came in, I had just woken up. Roughly, they forced me to my feet and dragged me out of the cell. They took me through the village and into the old, ugly castle that my master lived in. Then they unceremoniously threw me on the ground, at his feet.

I had seen this done a million times in my years of service to my master. Typically, the prisoner would beg and plea, kissing the feet of the “king” in a final attempt to save his life. But my master would be merciless – he called it being equal and just – and never paid any heed to the begging.

Therefore, I sat still, looking down at the ground and awaiting my punishment though I already knew it.

“You do not beg.” my master said, “Do you wish to die then, slave?”

“No, but I do not wish to worship and plea for my life when my sentence is already sealed and the guards orders already finalized.” I responded, the words came from my mouth but they did not sound like my own. Was I really defying my master? Why? I wondered who…what…if a spirit had entered me when I had gone into the palace. If, perhaps, Wisdom had become part of me.

“Finalized?” my master echoed in the very voice that he had told me I would be a prince in, “Their orders are not finalized and neither is your death, my…umm… Servant.”

Servant? I thought, Is that the greatest title he could pay me? Why have I ever followed this man? There must be another…but it is too late now.

When I had finished with my final thought, a very surprising change came about my master. He turned completely pale, as if the air was being drained out of him and his very blood had gone white.

The castle door opened with a slam and a brightness filled the room like no other. I can only explain it as the brightness of the Son, for there is nothing and no one else that could make such a light. Nor will there every be.

A man, about in his thirties, walked up to my master’s throne and spoke with him briefly. My master appeared to be angry, but frightened as well.

After a moment of speaking, the man turned around, allowing me to view his face. He had brown eyes that showed compassion and about shoulder length hair.

I did not understand why my master appeared to fear him for I felt no fear when I saw this man, but rather I felt interest. Something that compelled me to ask a million questions though nothing left my mouth.

The man bent down in front of me so he was eye level with me, something my old master would have never done, and spoke softly. “Do you wish to be free of this tyrant, young man?”

I gulped and glanced at my master, his cold glare stared back at me. I looked back to the man, his kind eyes promising protection. “Yes, Sir. I do.”

And with those four words my life was changed. The kind man freed me from my old master and I was never forced to serve him again. I was led back to the palace Wisdom had brought me to and I met her at the door, she had been waiting for my return.

I lived in the palace for five years, with thousands of hundreds of other followers of my new master, my King. Wisdom and I grew close and were soon married and had a baby girl.

But I have left you wondering; how is it that I am a Knight? Well, on the anniversary of my seventh year of having left my old master I was requested in the throne room of the King. While this was quite odd since the King preferred to come to where you were, I still went with confidence.

When I entered the throne room the King explained to me that I would now be his knight for I had seen things that some of his people had not. I could save ones that had been like me and fight for my King.

With much gratitude I accepted and he Knighted me that very day in front of all of the kingdom and my old master, who watched from miles away unable to control me now.

Remember one thing from my story, if you remember nothing else. You too could be a Knight of the King a servant of his good will and part of his royal family. It takes not great power or great talent, you must not be smart – though, wisdom will be given to you – you need not to be well-educated or be old or young. To have the King as your Master you need only ask.

—–

Bethany Faith

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