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by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Spiritual · #2265420
A king will make a foolish choice against the advice of his wise nobleman.
Mortimer sat in the stony ground of the dark cave with four torches burning around him. He was meditating on a scripture verse-Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

He smiled as he took in a deep breath. What encouraging words he thought. Mercy Day was tomorrow, and Mortimer was jittery with excitement. It was the day when the kingdom of Wrethmire would look back and celebrate the special gift to mankind.

Mortimer stood and took one of the torches stuck in the ground then took a large bronze snuffer and extinguished the remaining three. He made his way through an uphill tunnel with stalactites dripping droplets of water. The tunnel smelled of wet stone and there was an clicking echo from Mortimer’s steps.

He entered a wide expanse with a small lake to his left. A skiff with two paddles was docked at the bank. Mortimer stepped onto it and sat then took hold of the two paddles and rowed for the other side of the cave lake. The only sound was the slosh of water from the paddles and the voice of Mortimer as he hummed. He was caught up in his own humming, the fifteen minutes to the other side of the lake passed like three minutes.

He stepped onto the other side and the cave exit about a dozen paces away let in sunlight. He walked to a horse tethered to a tree, untied it and mounted.

Mortimer began the ride up the grassy cliff that spiraled around a high mountain as another rider met him.

“Nobleman Mortimer, the king requests your presence in the throne room,” said the rider.

“Did he say why?” said Mortimer.

“He did not. He said it was urgent, though.”

Mortimer nodded and followed the other rider up the rising cliff and came to a small gate in a tall wall.

“Hello, Mortimer. I trust your prayer vigil was fruitful,” said a muscular man on the other side. He turned a wooden crank and the gate rose and Mortimer dismounted and entered a large antechamber with royalty and nobility conversing.

He dashed forth, heading for the throne room. People greeted him along the way as Mortimer nodded and went on. As he approached the large, open golden door of the throne room, King Thaddeus rose and waved to Mortimer.

“There you are!” said the king. “Come!” he said, motioning with his hand for Mortimer to come to Thaddeus.

Mortimer bowed when he neared King Thaddeus. “I need your wisdom on a matter,” he said. “I am thinking of making peace with the kingdom of Nierod by inviting them to Mercy Day.”

The holiday had never been celebrated like that before. And Mortimer feared such an action would be taken advantage of by Wrethmire’s arch enemy. He would speak bluntly. “My Lord, it is indeed a grand gesture, but I think it is unwise.”

Nobleman Trenton in his decedent gold hemmed robe approached Mortimer and Thaddeus. “I overheard you conversation and I think that the best thing is the contrary. The open invitation to our most sacred holiday would deeply move Nierod with trust.”

“The king called me, not you good nobleman,” said Mortimer to Trenton.

“No, I will hear you out, Nobleman Trenton,” said the king.

Trenton smiled. “I surmise the Spirit that is glorified on Mercy Day would change them. He can do anything.”

“That is true but, Nierod has always been opposed to God. Their minds are blinded.”

“Nay, God’s Spirit will prevail!” said Trenton. “As the Word says-“the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword…”

“My Lord, this idea is foolhardy! God is all penetrating, but these barbarians have always spurned our God.”

Thaddeus looked down and pulled at his beard and narrowed his eyes. “We will invite them. My decision is final.”

Mortimer bowed and turned abruptly and dashed off. The idea was madness! How could both be so ill minded. A knot formed in Mortimer’s gullet at the thought tomorrow would bring.

A messenger was set to Nierod with the invitation and returned with a letter accepting the offer.

That night Mortimer had a nightmare of violence of the next day and he woke in the morning in a sweat. He looked out his window in one of the high east towers. The gates opened as King Atrophess of Nierod was ushered into the kingdom gates with his soldiers and retinue.

“Let this day mark a new start of peace for our kingdoms!” said Thaddeus.

King Atrophess neared Thaddeus and he extended his forearm to shake.

Atrophess shook it and smiled. “May this mark a day of peace and bonding,” he said

The crowds applaused.

Atrophess took Thaddeus by the neck and put a knife to it.

“Ha, ha! Fools! Your trust in your god has doomed you!” Atrophess said as he handed Thaddeus to two guards.


The Nierod’s forces began their onslaught as men and woman fell by the sword.

Another army stormed through the gates and attacked the forces of Atrophess from behind; the kingdom of Rune had come to help!

The army of Wrethmire pressed from ahead as their ally besieged from the rear. Nierod’s army was thinned out from both sides until Atrophess was apprehended and Thaddeus recovered. Atrophess seethed with glaring eyes as guards held him.

“You have done foolishly Atrophess. God has used your treachery to finally subdue you,” said Mortimer.

“Take him to the dungeon!” said Thaddeus.

Herik, king of Rune came to Thaddeus. “Word of your idea came to my ears. You acted unwisely.”

“Mortimer was right. I was being wishful.”

Mortimer approached the two kings. “At least they are gone forever. God will use what the enemy means for evil and us it for good.”

“Let us attend to the dead and wounded. It may be hard, but Lord willing, we will have Mercy Day tomorrow,” said Thaddeus.

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