31 Days: From Enemy to Heir, Day 2
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Once upon a time, in a kingdom not as far away as you might think, there lived a prince. This prince was good, kind, and fair. His people adored him. And he loved them more than they could ever imagine.
But just beyond the shadow of the castle and the security of the rough-hewn walls, evil and darkness reigned.
Long ago, the prince’s land had fallen under the spell of a beautiful deceiver, who through lies and betrayal wrested a kingdom away from the prince.
It was a victory that came with a curse. Thorns stole up through tender ground, and for the very first time, futile sweat and innocent blood spilled onto sterile dust. Great, grotesque dragons swooped through the air and skirted over the wasted land like clouds, raining fire on the earth below.
Fear, not love, governed all who lived there because while the Enchanter was lovely, he was not love. He wooed the people with his beauty but married them to death. His only thought was to consume them, body and soul, so that all traces of princely identification vanished like smoke.
It was a very effective plan. Little good remained in the part of the kingdom the Enchanter claimed. Sometimes, a flower bloomed or a child was born less marred than the others.
That was the worst fate of all.
Beauty born in evil is not beautiful for long. Quickly the good curdles in the foul air and becomes the most putrid thing of all. The beautiful girls would become the prostitutes that fetched the highest price; the fearless little boys would be the murderers who took advantage of the shadows.
The Enchanter grinned when beauty was born within his kingdom. He, of all people, knew what to do with that kind of power.
Still, there was a beauty the Enchanter had no power to control. He was reminded of it every single day of his reign when the sun came up and he saw the prince’s castle looming large over his own pathetic domain. It was so majestic and glorious that even the Enchanter had to shield his eyes to the sight of it.
He could not stomach what that castle proclaimed, and neither could his people. Rage boiled inside them. But they would never dare to approach those walls in the day. They would wait.
When the night pressed down on them like a heavy hand and the darkness gave them a perception of strength, they gathered outside the castle walls and clawed at the stones with bare hands. They desired to consume the goodness inside the way their ruler consumed them.
But those walls would not crumble. The gates never even rattled.
Try as they might, the enemy could not break through the walls the prince had erected. They could make a great noise and prowl around like a pack of wild beasts, but it was as if they had no teeth.
What they did not know was the one thing that could have changed everything. On the other side of the wall, standing out of sight with his hand on the latch, stood the prince. He heard every miserable groan and every empty threat. He was waiting. If any of them had knocked, if any one of them had begged entrance rather than trying to steal it, he would have thrown the gates open wide.
But they did not knock. And they did not know that the prince’s gates were never locked.
Join us tomorrow for Day 3!