Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2321960-Mercy-From-the-Heavens
by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Supernatural · #2321960
A boy pleads for divine help in a dying kingdom that is close to desolation.
Jared stood atop the hill as he gazed at the blighted, baren wheat fields in the blazing sun. He looked at more people leaving the kingdom a Khrine on foot and horseback. His stomach growled and he sighed.

“Jared, why do you and your family insist on staying in this dying kingdom? You rely on wishful thinking,” said a young female voice behind him.

Jared turned. “It’s called faith. I don’t expect you to understand, Sarah. Like most people, you do not even believe in God.”

“Ah, yes-prayer. And how long have you been praying?”

“It doesn’t matter. God rewards persistence. He will restore the land.”

Sarah shook her head. “Well, my family and I will be leaving tomorrow. I’m going to miss you, Jared.”

Jared could only look down in silence.

Sarah turned and descended the hill on the cobblestone path back to the city houses.

Jared folded his hands and bowed his hands. “Oh, Lord. I know it’s been a long time, but I still believe you can make a miracle. Please save this kingdom.” He stood and walked down the path and eventually to his house.

When he entered, his mother and father were sitting at a wooden table with a bowl of food in front of them each. One other bowl was sitting for Jared to eat.

The food in the bowls was a watery chicken broth with a few pieces of meat.

“I am sorry you two. Another chicken died yesterday. And the ones remaining are getting thinner with each day.”

“Mother, when do you think God will do something? We cannot hold out much longer.”

“The Bible says God takes care of his children. I think it will be soon.”

The three bowed their heads and Jared’s father prayed. “Dear Lord, we give thanks for what we do have. Our very breath is a gift. But we ask for food to sustain us in this dire time for You are faithful. Amen.”

Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Jared’s father Derick answered it and he was met by a bulky guard. “It is time for the food tax.”

Jared’s mother, Lily, stood and got a small sack of grain and went to the man.

“The tax just doubled.”

“But we only have another three sacks of grain left!” she pleaded.

“I only enforce the law, mam.”

Lily looked down and sulked to the cupboard and got out another sack of grain and brought it to the guard.

“His majesty thanks you.” The guard walked away without any care or empathy.

Derick slammed the door. “That blasted fat, oaf of a king!” He took a deep breath and ran a palm down his face. “I’m sorry I should not have made an outburst. It’s just…I’m running out of faith.”

“We understand, darling. I’m sure we all have doubts. As a said to Jared, I truly believe restoration is coming soon.”

“You just have enough faith for all of us, dear.”

Lily went to a small box with a latch on it. She opened it and withdrew three gold coins. “Jared, go to the market and get however much grain you can buy.”

“Yes, mother,” Jared said as he left the house.

Jared walked between the rows of houses. Suddenly, he was grabbed by the neck and pulled into an alley and got slammed against the left wall.

Three older and much bigger teenagers had him pinned with a person holding him from both shoulders with one glaring at him. “Hand over any money you have!”

“Please I need it for food! I am desperate!”

One of the bullies struck Jared in the face.

“Do as I say, kid!”

Jared did the only thing he could do-he prayed a quick silent prayer. Oh, Lord! Please help me!

“Then we will have to beat it out of you!” said one of them.

Jared cringed, expecting another blow to come.

Then a faint squawking came from somewhere nearby.

“What is that sound?” said one with a torn shirt.

“It sounds like crows,” said another teenager.

The sound gradually became louder. Then a murder of six crows came fluttering into the alley and swooped down to claw the three assailants’ heads. They shrieked and flailed their arms, trying to defend against the crows. The birds drove the boys from the alley.

Jared jumped to his feet. The jubilant youth ran out of the alley and made his way to the market. As usual, there were few kiosks with even fewer items to sell and there were only about a large handful people in the market.

He found a vender with a few bags of grain on his counter and approached it. “How much will three coins get me?”

Suddenly there was a shout of a man standing on a wagon. All in the market looked at him.

“Hear me, people of Khrine! The day comes when God will hear the pleading of his faithful. You will have sustenance from the sky. Then the floodgates of heaven will shower the parched crops with water.” Next, the man disappeared in a flash of light.

Everyone gasped and murmured loudly about the man’s message and his supernatural vanishing in a strobe of light.

An angel! It must have been an angel! thought Jared.

“Sorcery! It was sorcery for certain!” said a heavy-set man.

“But what of his message? Did he really promise a true future occurrence?” said another.

Whatever the case was, Jared’s heart raced with exhilaration and his face beamed a bright smile. He ran home, ready to tell his parents about what had happened and he had forgotten to get the grain.

He barged inside, so excited, he was tripping over his words. He told them about the brief but amazing declaration of the old man and how he disappeared into thin air.

“It must be a sign! Oh, I knew something would happen!” said Lily.

“If this is true, I wonder what will happen to the kingdom next. No doubt this occurrence will spread quickly. However, the amount of belief of this mysterious vanishing act, is in question,” said Derick.

“I wonder what the king will think,” said Jared.

Derick looked outside the front window and saw people in the middle of the dirt street in groups with wide eyes and pale faces. Others had angry red expressions. “I think word has gotten around faster than I thought it would. The townsfolk are going crazy,” said Derick.

“I wonder how long it will take for John and his wife Clare to hear the news,” said Jared.

“They will get wind of it by tomorrow I imagine. As you said, son, this…man who said it was because of the prayers of the faithful, it will be because of them too, being believers as well.”

Suddenly, Jared became sleepy and started to dose. “I’m tired. I think I’ll go to bed early.”

“Very well son. Goodnight,” said Lily.

Jared went to his room, collapsed onto his bed and fell asleep. He was jolted awake from a loud knock on the front door. It was in the middle of the night and he left his room and wondered why his parents were not roused as well. He looked out of the front window and none was there. “Strange. A prank and in the middle of the night! How daft!”

Jared rolled his eyes and walked away. Another knock came from the door.

“For the love of…!” he said as he threw open the door. He was scared stiff. Before him stood the odd man who had made the declaration and disappeared. “Hello, Jared, favored of God.”

“It’s you! What do you want!”

“May we speak in the comfort of the brazier?” The man spoke in a calming voice.

Jared looked behind him and stepped outside and walked with the man to a burning brazier at the corner of the street.

“I come bearing a message, given to me by the hand of God Himself.”

Jared was shocked into silence.

“God has ordained you to be a prophet, to convert the kingdom of Khrine so He will have mercy on this land and God will satisfy the people hunger through a great miracle.”

“But…but why me? I am only a youth!”

“Do you not recall that Jeremiah was a youth when he was called to be a prophet?”

“What exactly am I supposed to say?”

The man put his hand on Jared’s head and a surge of thoughts, words and spiritual awareness went through his consciousness.

“Your mind and soul have been awakened. The spirit of the Holy One permeates you.”

“I feel changed and…enlightened somehow. I know what to say.”

“Take my staff. It once belonged to Mosses when he struck Egypt with the plagues.”

Jared took it and man vanished.

It was like Jared had been reborn as though his spirit had quickened. He stayed up the whole night staring outside the window. When the first ray of dawn broke through the clouds, he walked out of the house and made his way to the market square and climbed onto the same wagon and sat.

A few people set up shop, and soon more pilled into the market square. When four hours and passed, he knew it was time to begin his ministry. He stood and bashed the wooden surface with the bottom of the staff. “Citizens of Khrine! Heed my words. The Most High gives you a chance to live in this place. Those who submit to His will and acknowledges His divine Son will be fed with the bread of heaven. Abandon your futile ways and embrace existence and life eternal in the hereafter.”

“Who do you think you are kid! Get down there!” said a man in a long shirt.

Suddenly Jared’s friend Sarah appeared in the crowd. “Jared! What are you doing!”

“This is bigger than both of us, Sarah. We are friends. In the manner of friendship, I ask you to accept my invitation of a plentiful and boundless life here in the kingdom of Khrine and eternal life to come.”

“You know I’m not like you, Jared. It isn’t for me!”

Jared frowned and addressed his attention to the crowd. To the ones who are just willing to consider my offer, raise your hand.”

Nothing happened for several moments. Then one old man stuck his hand up. Three minutes later a middle-aged man did the same. One-by-one hands were raising. Then it stopped with about one-third of the people having their hands up.

“To those who have not submitted, I give you a sign.” Jared raised his staff and dark clouds gathered rapidly. Suddenly a bolt of lighting struck the tip of his staff accompanied by earthquaking thunderclap that made pebbles jump.

“Please! Spare us! We submit ourselves in God!” said a man.

“Yes, we believe your message!” said another.

“You have seen the power of God and have believed. Blessed are you who believed without the prophetic act. Now witness the mercy of God.”

Slowly white seeds, like coriander seeds, fluttered from the sky.

“See, God has given you the bread of angels as the Israelites did.”

Sarah picked up one of the flakes and ate it. “It tastes like sweet bread pieces!”

Within ten minutes, the ground was piled with manna.

The people gathered the manna in baskets and used the manna to make bread. So all were saved from their hunger. Three days later, Jared called for the people to assemble in the market square. “Behold, the Lord gives you rain for your crops.”

Torrential rain fell from the heavens and the people shouted for joy. The days of famine and sparsity had finally passed.

In honor of the revealed Lord who brought the manna and rain, a cathedral was erected in His honor. And so, a new age of peace, prosperity and faith flourished from that time on.

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