Marilyn Friesen

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wily Snakes and What Else?

Part of the Glass Castle Series

          Six days later Dov and Marconious tiptoed softly towards the King’s throne and waited respectfully until they were beckoned closer. Radiant light flooded the room from the numerous tall, gold framed windows that surrounded them on every side.

          When the King of Love acknowledged them they stepped a little closer and prostrated themselves before His Majestic Presence.
          No audible words were exchanged between them and Him, but a glorious Shekinah filled the whole area, filling them with a peace and a determination to go on this mission to bring Craig, and if possible, others back.
          “I feel so unworthy for this task,” Marconious whispered fifteen minutes later as he buckled on his armor.
          Dov nodded. “We could never do it without His blessing.”

          Soon they were in the lift and willing hands lowered it while blessings were called out to them.
The early dawn mist that had looked so pretty from higher up, crowded around their feet, making it hard to know where to step.
“I didn’t think we would need the lamp in the daylight,” Dov admitted, as he paused to kindle it.
“Yet I am thankful Captain Evans cautioned us to never be without it.”
It provided a pool of light just large enough for them to see where to take their next step.
“If I remember correctly Craig frequently slipped out on days as misty as this,”
Dov nodded, “Foggy days seemed to have a special attraction to him.”
“They do make everything seem beautiful.”

“Yes, everything: even the things that are normally ugly and unattractive are softened but its glow.”
The young men fell silent as they trudged along. “Isn’t that so much like deception,” Marconious remarked. “In the Evil One’s unnatural light everything has its own charm. I’m glad we know better!”
Dov’s dagger flashed and he whacked at a snake that had been about to attack his companion. Soon the venomous creature lay dead at their feet and they kicked it off to the side.
Marconious looked pale and shaken. “I’m glad you were paying attention.”
“Better be more careful, brother. You were brandishing that lamp around rather carelessly and weren’t watching your step.”
Marconious looked properly humbled. “I know, Dov. It is so easy for me to get over confident and think I can see better than I actually can.”
The need for conversation didn’t seem so great as they plodded along, since they were both occupied with their own thoughts. Marconious was wondering how many times people like Craig had taken this path confident that they had sufficient light, but had been unaware of the subtle dangers along the way.
An hour later Dov’s voice broke the comfortable silence.
“There’s the cistern that we saw Craig get a drink from the other day.”
They stopped and stared at it in amazement.
Marconious expressed the thought that was on both of their minds.
“From up above the bricks looked so dingy and the water algae covered, and we wondered how anyone would stoop to drinking from it, but from this viewpoint it shines like a mirror!”
“Deception,” Dov muttered. “I am thirsty though. I wonder what it would taste like!”
“Don’t tempt yourself!”
“Oh a little sip won’t hurt. It would help us to understand why Craig fell, better.”
Dov suppressed a grin when he saw Marconious’ horrified look.
“I was just testing you.” Then his look sobered. “But that’s how people who are lead astray, reason.”
“Aye, it is so important to ‘tread softly’ and stay humble.”
“I’m so glad we brought our own water along!” Dov took out his flask and took a long thirsty swallow. “It may seem a little lukewarm by now but we know it’s wholesome.”
“From the pure, refreshing stream,” Marconious agreed as he drank thirstily from his own bottle that somehow never ran dry.
Dov poked around with the tip of his dagger to see if there were any poisonous snakes or big, nasty spiders lurking nearby, He squashed an ugly bug beneath his foot.

“Well, there’s the castle. Look the draw bridge is up! They must have seen us coming! They don’t want any help!”
The two soldiers gazed disappointingly at the strong-appearing structure.
“To think they would bar up at the sight of two mere striplings such as we are.”
“Is there any other ‘threats’ nearby?”
“Nay, yonder city is swarming with activity. And people are going in and coming out by the back way. It is only this gate that is barred.”

“Should we try the back way?”
Dov thought carefully before responding.
“We’d be going out on our own. Let us return and receive further directions before perusing this mission.”
“Sounds good to me.” They had started to leave but Marconious turned and carefully scanned the windows that were facing them. “Oh if only Craig or someone would call out, “Hey, wait for me! We’d gladly wait all day if needs be!”
Dov agreed, then added. “We had better stop to eat and hurry on. It will be long past nighttime as it is before we get back to our own Castle Haven. Did you bring plenty of oil?”
“Aye, aye, sir.”
“Well, why don’t you replenish the oil and trim the lamp while I prepare victuals.”
“But it’s broad daylight!”
“There are shadows enough along the forest trail, and remember the light around us is not the same as Heavenly Light. We don’t need to be fearful, just careful.”
Marconious knew their countrymen  thought they were peculiar to care a light around with them at all times and sometimes he had been embarrassed to let it shine, but this trip with Dov had been a great encouragement to him. He sure didn’t want to be bitten by any wily snakes or face hidden dangers without a Light.