A fictional story from the life of Esther
"Are Those Stories Real?"
The sun had set, and with its setting, had come a merciful, if slight, breeze through the open windows. Polished stone floors and thin, almost transparent curtains rustled.
Off to one side of the polished stone chamber that served as a common area, a middle aged Persian official reclined in magnificently weary repose. During the day, this chamber was the scene of palace and regional and empire business.
Except for the breeze, all was still.
The reclining official stared out the window listening to the evening sounds. He mentally rehearsed the business of the day.
He seemed to also be listening for something else.
There. He heard it. The soft pat pat pat patter pat of bare feet on stone. Then a pause.
He smiled to himself.
"Who goes there? Show yourself!" The severity of his voice, low and stern, masked the twinkle in his eyes. He knew full well who it was. "Who dares to roam these halls at this time of the evening unbidden?"
There were a few moments of silence.
Then a most unmistakable giggle from the hall. A mischievous face, a girl's face, peered into the chamber.
"You know you really aren't supposed to be here, Hadassah."
"I know. But here I am." As she said this, the young girl, full of mischief and giggles and laughter, ran into the room, and bounded into her cousin's lap, and smothered his face with kisses in the most undignified manner possible.
Their laughter filled the chamber.
"I am not supposed to do that, either, am I?" her eyes and voice were full of mirth.
"Hadassah..." The severity in her cousin's voice melted as her bright eyes, eyes that he knew had seen too much for her young age, gazed up at him. "For that matter, neither am I."
After a few moments, "Mordecai?"
"Are all those stories true?"
"Stories? Which stories?" Mordecai asked.
"The stories about Moses, and Josiah, and David. Are they true?"
"Do you think they are true, Hadassah?"
There was a pause. The young girl was deep in thought.
"They seem to be true when you tell them."
"Do you think I would tell you lies?"
They sat in silence for a while.
"Will the God of our people ever do the things He did in the stories?"
They sat, gazing out the window, each lost in thought. The stars were beginning to come out.
"Hadassah, you know your name means 'star'".
"The stars were created to give direction. So was your name. So were the stories, the true ones. Let the stories be your map. You will not always have me. But you will have the stories. And you will have God, even though," he sighed, "you must never tell anyone."
"But, cousin, why?"
"Time will reveal the answer to that in God's own time. But for now, go to your chambers. Your maids will be looking for you, Hadassah. Star."