Once upon a time in a land with mountains of gold

2014-11-18 07:17

Once upon a time long, long ago in a land, far far away, lived a people made up of all the cultures in the world. They lived in a kingdom that stretched out as far as the eyes could see. With mountains of gold buried in the soil, beasts of every kind, and rivers long and wide. But for as long as they could remember evil reigned over them.

For the past century, the kings from the shadows aimed to build walls among their people. For what seemed to go on for an eternity, these kings breathed terror into the hearts of all. Even foreign worlds were weary of the darkness that overwhelmed this land.

Then, as the tales of the oracles predicted, a prince, born from humble beginnings, with a bloodline dating back to the righteous kings of the past, hidden from the world, emerged from the dust, piercing light into the darkness. Reluctant at first, he soon was called to unite his people, all of the people, to rise up against the evil kings and sit at his rightful throne.

The kings threatened him with the knights of the guard, but he was unafraid. He did not falter. He was a prince. He was destined to become the one true king of this great nation. Made a knight by the uprising which the evil kings did not acknowledge. In an attempt to supress his volcanic voice of reason he was ordered to be chained up in a dungeon beneath the forbidding walls of a fortress on an island off the shore of the most southern city. For 27 years he was banished.

But still he would not relent. Then as the new dawn entered the shadowed lands and swooped the evil away, the prince was freed and the people exclaimed all across the land. “Make him our king.” “He is the rightful king.” And then, just as it was supposed to be, they conquered the evil kings and he took his place on the throne.

There was still a lot of hurt that blew across the bloodstained savannahs, but with the peaceful king at the helm the people started to heal. From the western seas to the northern bushlands and from the southern mountains to the eastern valleys, all cultures started to come together. It was the beginning…All seemed to be changing for this great nation.

But then, without notice, within the king’s ranks emerged a new leader, named Jacob. A ripe knave, he set his eyes on the throne. The king trusted him. And after the King stepped down and repaired to his farmhouse on his ancestral lands, the country fell to an unsettled and fearful successor who would rule for but a for a whisper of time – too often scorning goodwill and friendship. Jacob could not wait his turn, and soon, with a faction of nobleman he had drawn to his banner, he rode on the King… Meeting him at the place whose name would forever be spoken with fear and trepidation – Polokwane. His forerunner sent to a shameful exile from which he would reflect on the opportunities squandered, King Jacob ascended the Protea throne. .

Even though his rise had been met by some angst among the people over King Jacob’s ways, very few predicted the extent of what was to come. The portents of doom started to re-emerge. The new king did everything to contradict what he had been taught by the righteous King. He raised taxes, he stocked the church and the palace with his boon companions. He despised the courts and ruled the land with spite.

With all the gold coins collected, he built a new palace. A palace seen by miles, standing tall and radiant in contrast to its squalor surroundings. In an act of defiance that few had believed possible, he scorned the warnings of the great Oracle Thuli that this presaged a great cataclysm.

The people grew poorer, they grew hungrier, and they grew tired.

Many turned away from the king. Even his trusted jester, Juju.

Jester Juju also manipulated a handful of nobleman and knights and was elected into the country’s chambers. He would entertain the people and say all the right things but nobody took him seriously. The chambers had become a mockery.

Then one day, it seemed the kingdom had once again descended into a nightmare. On a day when all the nobleman and knights congregated to discuss the new palace the king refused to attend. He had his corrupt nobleman propagate his lies. They mocked the Oracle and debased the law.

The handful of noble nobleman detested the lies and refused to accept the king’s findings on his palace. The knights of the guard were called in. Wearing armoured blackened for the occasion, they entered the chambers and with a fierce attack they assaulted the righteous nobleman, chasing them from the chambers, making all the laws protecting this great land dissolve.

Nobody could contest the king. All the powers were in his corner.

The fairy tale this land was promised was brief.

Nobody knows what happened in this lovely land, whether the king was overthrown by somebody good or whether the lies continued as the doomsayers predicted. All that is known is that the people deserved better.

The end.


*Thank you to my dear friend/editor/researcher/sounding board Terence Corrigan for his insights into this piece.

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AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

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