The Story

Dark wings flap overhead,
scattering sheep and attracting the notice of all the people.
She huddles on the ground,
a young shepherdess,
hardly daring to breath.
The beast lands,
wings blowing her hair,
revealing her smooth cheeks.
It sniffs the air,
searching for her,
for goodness,
for the Light.
As it approaches,
she recoils,
shaking.
It scoops her up,
shrieking its delight.
Many dark wings rise,
bearing similar burdens,
the holders of the Light.
The arrows of her people fall to earth,
useless against the tough hide of the beast.
As it clears the horizon,
the light fades,
and the shadow of despair falls over her village.

The Light is fading,
weakened by evil walls,
with no fuel to keep it burning,
it is a smoldering spark,
ready to die.
Where is the knight,
the Prince Charming,
who gallops in and saves the day?
Where is the youngest farm boy,
who meets a wizened crone by the road,
and receives magical help?
Where is the fairy tale ending?
There is none here.
The whole world reeks of death,
the maiden’s tears douse the flame,
and she lies down,
waiting for death.

The beasts return,
carrying more unfortunate beings of Light.
Some are beaten and battered,
some are pale as death,
but from most the Light still shines,
withstanding the spirit who would douse it forever,
beginning his reign over earth.
The girl shivers,
awakens,
and weeps anew,
cleansing her heart,
asking for the flame,
but it is too late.
The one who has set out to save her,
will,
at the cost of his life.
So it must be.

But there is hope beyond death,
for the one who came to save.
Beaten beyond recognition,
he is flown in by the beast,
already thirsty for his blood.
His countenance is calm,
but no Prince Charming,
nor underrated farm boy.
She turns her back on him,
supposing him another victim,
wishing him dead,
wishing herself dead,
wishing,
hoping,
dreading.
Hoping her Prince would come,
dreading that the spirit would overcome.

The man stands with his hands bound,
refusing to speak,
except to acknowledge that he is the Prince,
not Charming,
but of Peace.
The beast screams,
hurling itself at the man,
knocking him to the ground.
The spirit shudders,
shadows slinking ominously.

There is no light,
the spirit capers in delight,
and the beast bellows,
rejoicing in the downfall of goodness.
The land is filled with shrieks,
howls,
moans,
and wails,
as all Light is vanquished.
Many beasts gather,
rejoicing with the Prince of Evil.
To all appearances,
hope is gone,
fallen with his body,
from the castle’s highest turret.
But if we go to that spot,
where his shattered body landed,
we will find a group of mourners,
all of whom he had touched.

There was nothing in his appearance,
nothing extraordinary in his countenance,
nothing to indicate royalty,
to the wayward eye at least.
But an observant eye,
one that has been searching,
waiting,
would not look past his eyes.
Kind,
noble,
and sorrowful,
strong as the sea,
warm as a welcoming fire,
soft as the sun’s kiss,
the power of the highest,
in the guise of the lowly.
Those eyes are now closed,
in eternal repose.
Or are they?
The story hasn’t ended yet.

A single beam of light escapes the encroaching clouds,
striking the spot where his body lay,
illuminating the scene,
that had waited for years to unfold.
Two figures descend on the beam,
their appearance like lightning.
They stoop,
and raise their Prince to his feet.
He is changed.
He still bears the marks of his pain,
but he is clothed in spotless white,
and he is alive.
The mourners who come to carry him away,
fall at his feet in wonder,
worshiping him.
He tells them he will return,
and they must wait for him.
She must wait for him.
The flame is burning,
brighter than ever,
and her tears seem to kindle it,
instead of quench it.

He was gone,
but he would return,
as long as she waited for him.

White wings flap overhead,
no one sees,
except one old woman,
tending her flocks,
just as she had long ago.
She stands erect,
the welcome light shining in her eyes.
The bird lands,
wings blowing her hair,
revealing the scars and wrinkles.
The bird comes forward,
stooping,
she runs forward,
leaping astride the bird,
she laughs,
saying goodbye.
She sees others,
rising on their birds,
all laughing,
all saying goodbye.

The wind had blown her troubles away,
she lands,
running,
reaching for her Prince,
coming into his embrace,
feeling alone with him,
knowing he held the whole world.
He touched her face,
and her beautiful spirit shone through,
he touched her head,
and a crown appeared,
he touched her clothes,
and they were spotless robes.
She turned and knelt,
casting her crown at the feet of the King,
the one who made her,
who breathed the breath of life into her,
whose heart bled for her.
He stooped towards her,
and lifted her face.

This will be experience by all,
all who wish to believe,
all who accept the Prince,
all who stay faithful.
Those who have gone before,
they know how the story ends,
but we must wait,
wait to see his face,
wait to cast our crowns at his feet.
And as we wait,
we share,
hope,
believe.
Do you know my Prince of Peace?

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