For Christmas this year, I wrote a couple of friends a short story. It turned out very sweet, so I thought I would share it with you. It is quite different from my books, and I’d love to know what you think. So, without further delay:
Of Kings and Enemies, a Story of the King Working Through Friendship
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Long ago, during the time of knights and dragons, in the land of the great King, there lived an ordinary girl with her mother and father. While they lived in the city of the King, sometimes the nearby forest called to the girl and she would wonder at the secrets hidden within its dark branches.
One day as she played outside her home, two creatures approached.
“Hello,” said the one no taller than the young girl. “Oh, yes. Hello there.”
The two creatures stood in the shadows of her home. She paused as she looked upon their odd shapes. She’d seen many great and beautiful things living in the land of the King, but nothing quite like the gnarled masses before her now.
“Do you have nothing to say?” said the one at least twice her height. “Where are you manners?”
“Hello,” the girl hesitantly replied.
“We do like to make new friends,” said the short one. “My name is D.”
“Dee?” said the girl.
The creature chewed on his long fingernails. “Well, really the D is short for something, but I don’t really like to say it. I just prefer D.”
“We’d really like to stop by and say hello every once in awhile,” said the tall one.
“Oh, yes, yes,” said D. “Yes, we would. If that would be okay with you?”
The tall one looked to his left and stepped a little farther back into the shadows, watching another child approach. “Wouldn’t that be nice? If we came to visit?”
The girl paused but hated to be rude. “I suppose,” she finally said.
D jumped from one foot to the other, a smile splayed across his face. “Oh, wonderful, wonderful. Another new friend.”
As the girl grew, the creatures came by more and more often until they were almost constant companions. They prepared her for not receiving the best grades in her class and helped her change her dreams into more attainable goals.
One day, soon after she reached the age of maturity, the girl received a letter from the King. She took it to her room to read with her companions.
“What does he say?” said D, hopping up and down beside her trying to see the letter for himself.
The tall one clicked his tongue as he read over her shoulder. “This is not good.”
“What?” said D. He moved to her other side to see if the angle was better.
“This will not do at all,” said the tall one shaking his head.
D stomped his foot. “What will not do?”
The girl sat on her bed, the letter falling into her lap. D moved so he could read it.
“By royal command. . . “ D began to read in stunted phrases. “Selected for great honor. . .Move to the inner wall. . . .” D clawed at the paper. “Move! He wants you to move?”
“It seems like it,” the girl quietly said.
“But why?” said D. “And why the inner wall? We don’t like the inner wall.”
“I don’t know,” she said.
“Not good,” muttered the tall one.
“The inner wall is. . .well, it’s inner!” said D, as if that explained everything the girl needed to know.
“Well, it definitely wasn’t in our plans,” said the girl, “but how can I tell the King no? He is a good king and should be obeyed.”
“Who is he to tell you what to do?” said the tall one, flailing his arms about as he paced the room.
The girl stared at him incredulously. “He is the King,” she whispered.
“But what if you don’t like your new home?” said D. “Or friends, what about your friends?”
“I don’t have many friends,” said the girl, “and it’s just to the inner wall. It’s not that far. Could you not visit me there as well as here?”
D looked at his hands. He sighed. “We could come, but we are not well liked there.”
The girl looked at the disapproving faces of her companions. “He’s the King. I must go,” she said quietly.
The girl considered her new home. It wasn’t quite what she imagined it would be, but then she wasn’t sure what she should expect. It’s small stature seemed overshadowed by the large inner city, yet somehow it just felt right.
The tall one looked about in great disapproval. “Your last home was much better. More space.” He watched the many people passing by on the street. “Less crowded,” he sneered.
“Well, hello there!” A woman with a small child in her arms rushed forward. “You must be a new resident. Welcome! I’m so glad to meet you. I live just down the road, not far at all.”
The girl was a bit overwhelmed by the excited woman, particularly since her companions abruptly disappeared into her new home. In just a very few minutes, she learned the new woman’s name was Babbling Brook, she had several children, her husband was in the King’s army, and they attended the local Chapel which was nearby and just perfect for people wanting to know more about the King.
As the woman rushed off to her next destination, she yelled over her shoulder, “I’ll see you soon!”
“I don’t like her,” said the tall one, suddenly reappearing beside the girl.
“I liked her,” the girl whispered, as the woman disappeared around the corner.
“She’s much too free with her opinions,” said the tall one.
“She talks too much,” said D, nodding excessively.
The girl spun around to face them, filled with disgust. “Opinions? All she did was tell me about herself. You two are the ones disparaging her character and we don’t even know her.” The girl paused. “You didn’t even stick around when she came up to talk to us!”
“People here don’t like us,” said D. “We told you. They don’t like us.”
The girl paused, narrowing her eyes at D. “Why would that nice woman not like you?”
“Perhaps,” said the tall one, “we should go now and visit again later. Once you are more, shall we say, settled in your new home.”
To be Continued . . . on Friday, December 28th.