PRINCE Arstol landed his winged chariot at the Citadel of Highland North. He’d just returned home from the Feast of Remembrance at Olde Glassfield.
Yes, Arstol hadn’t waited till the end of Xandur’s great feast. And he’d left after the Solemn Assembly, just before the festivities had begun.
But young Arstol wasn’t happy with the solemn assembly. He wasn’t satisfied with Xandur’s teaching from the Book of Ages.
Yet none of the teachings by other speakers also appealed to the North prince. No, Arstol was all too disappointed with everything.
He was too disappointed he couldn’t wait till the event ended.
Prince Arstol came down from his chariot now. And he sprinted into the giant Citadel. He mounted up the stairs with hasty steps, and headed for the parchment chamber upstairs.
The North prince had got a desperate thirst to quench, a desperate hunger to fill. And he was sure only the Book of Ages had that answer he craved.
Arstol badly wanted to read the golden words from that book. He wanted to rid himself of the contrary philosophies besieging him already.
Now the young prince came to the doors of the parchment chamber, threw them open with both hands, and he stepped a foot inside.
But then he halted for a bit. A different hunger and thirst were welling up from within the young prince’s core.
For just now Arstol wished he could share his experience with a bosom friend… his experience at Olde Glassfield.
He wished to sit down with a friend and chatter about everything.
Everything that happened at Xandur’s Feast of Remembrance. Everything curiously interesting he saw and heard.
But Arstol came off the impulsive desire at once. He snapped the doors shut behind him, and he stepped further into the chamber.
Prince Arstol reached for the Book of Ages on a bookrest where it sat. He carried it in his hands; and then he sat down and gently leafed through its ageless pages.
But then Arstol stopped himself.
‘Do I really need to read this, when I already know what’s here?’ he grumbled to himself. ‘Do you really need to do this, Arstol?’ he repeated.
The next moment the noble prince placed back the old book. And he decided to talk to the Father-of-All.
Right then that desire to chatter with someone about Olde Glassfield… that hunger and thirst over-flooded Arstol’s seat of desire.
Now the young heirsen couldn’t hold that eagerness. And he dearly wished to leave and find a listener for his chatters.
Yet something held Arstol down. And it was his honour once again.
The North prince recalled that many people knew when he arrived, just a while ago.
He also noted that quite a few people saw him, when he entered the parchment chamber and sought to meditate on the hallowed Book.
Arstol pondered awhile.
If I go back outside. If I go out now just to talk to with someone about Olde Glassfield and her prince, then what will the people say?
He reasoned further. Won’t the people talk about the little time their protector spent studying the Book of Ages?
How will I face them? How will I face the people with such a gossip?
And with these worries probing Arstol’s thoughts, the gentle prince decided against going out that soon.
Yet Arstol still wanted to chatter about everything curious he saw in Xandur’s changing city. And so he settled on telling the Father-of-All.
‘Father is a listening friend,’ Arstol said as he braced up in his seat.
‘And even if it isn’t a petition or a word of gratitude I have to say, I know Father listens whenever we call,’ he muttered to himself.
And thus the young heirsen began.
‘Great Father…’ he called. ‘Imagine what the high and mighty Xandur has turned himself to…!’
Arstol jolted up with a sudden interest. He felt cheery and happy. And he went on chattering about everything he could think of.
He went from Xandur with his gold platted glass, onto Xandur’s changing city… and onto his own armour of pure glass. And he mentioned he was only stained on his armour skirt.
The North prince halted midway. He had a rethink.
But Father can’t respond to my chatters. Why do I think I should tell him in the first place? I think I need someone who can relate with this experience.
Arstol got up. He moved to sit the book well on the stand where he’d place it, before leaving for elsewhere.
Right then the leaves started to turned itself a few pages, in a fast and frantic pace. Yet the winds were quiet and still.
Arstol stepped closer to the Heirsens’ Book of Ages, with a curious glare in his eyes. But now the pages of the ancient book were still and open.
They had fallen wide open just at the Writings of Obadyah.
The North prince gazed at the browning parchment of the olden book; and his eyes rested on the eleventh and twelfth verses of Obadyah.
And thus the passage was Obadyah XI – XII… in the hallowed Book of Ages.
Prince Arstol had never seen these parts before. Nor had he been so caught by their profound words.
Arstol bowed and trembled as he silently mumbled the words.
You stood aside on that day
when enemies broke down their gates.
You were as bad as those strangers
who carried off Jerusalem’s wealth
and divided it among themselves.
You should not have gloated
over the misfortune of your brothers in Judah.
You should not have been glad
on the day of their ruin.
You should not have laughed at them
in their distress.
Arstol’s jaw fell open in astonishment. His hands held akimbo all along, dropped down too.
Those words. Those words were to him like a lightning strike. Like a bolt of silvery fire piercing him through.
And right there at the core of his crystal self.
No, only Arstol could feel the aching crack within. That crack this giant hit had wrecked inside him.
Now Prince Arstol knew the Father heard him. He knew the Father heard everything. And he’d answered too.
But this answer to Arstol’s gossip. This answer came hacking him down.
For it crushed his haughtiness and pride. And wrecked his sense of moral superiority.
And the North prince walked out of the chamber, crumpled and humbled.
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© July 2021 Kayode & Tola Olla