Marilyn Friesen

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White Flag of Victory

Eventually Daniel was called to service in a different area, and although he more or less lost touch with Fiona and Kelsey, he frequently sent prayer darts their way and trusted that the King would see it to that at least some of them would reach their mark.

            One day Kelsey chanced to meet a young man who looked vaguely familiar and he took an instant liking to him. It didn’t take long before he realized that they had never actually met, but that James had an inner serenity that radiated from within just like Daniel did. Because they both knew Daniel, it was easy to strike up a conversation. Kelsey soon learned that Daniel was serving on a distant island very close to the Edge of the World where the enemy had much power. That touched Kelsey’s heart. He really must be filled with compassion if he is willing to serve in such a lonely and difficult sphere.

            James and his young wife, Marissa, sometimes invited their new found friends to do things together with them, and in the process of time, Kelsey and Fiona found themselves gazing more often at that splendid castle on the Hill.

            It seems so lofty and difficult to reach,” Fiona murmured one day.

            “It’s really not as hard as it appears,” Marissa countered. “There are always guards on duty that will roll out rope ladders whenever a sincere seeker wants to enter.”
            “Why don’t they keep the ladders down at all times?” Fiona asked.

            James and Marissa exchanged glances.

            “Haven’t you noticed?” Kelsey asked. “The cliff is swarming with enemy soldiers who are constantly striving to get in.”

            Fiona’s face fell, and the embroidery that her hands were occupied with went limp.

            Marissa gave her husband a questioning look. What is Fiona concerned about.

            “Enemies are constantly bombarding the fortress,” James explained, soberly. “It’s all in a day’s work. “

            “Aren’t their terrible losses?” Fiona asked in a hushed voice.

            “There are losses, yes, but mostly when someone goes out feeling over confident and doesn’t follow the King’s instructions or neglects to wear every piece of the armor that he has been commanded to put on.”

            “They don’t always die, though,” Marissa added quickly. “Sometimes they are rescued in time and recuperate in the infirmary.” She was relieved to see Fiona’s tense features relax. 

            Marissa stiffened, “Look, James, look over there. Is that not Gilbert? “
            “Gilbert? Gilbert who?”

            “Don’t you remember Gilbert? He’s the one that left---“

            “With Arthur! “ James snatched up his dart gun and shot a prayer over to the plodding traveler. He grabbed his binoculars while Kelsey and Fiona watched fascinated.

            Gilbert’s hand reached up to his chest. He sighed. What wouldn’t I give to be back in the Castle once again? There I knew security and peace. I have wandered for many a day and chased many mirages but none have satisfied like the life I used to know in that beautiful castle.

            Arthur is long gone. It wasn’t long, before we got in a fight and parted ways. Who knows where he might be by now.

            In an instant James was at his side with the others joining them shortly.

            “Why, Hello, Gilbert! Fancy meeting you here!”

            “Long time no see!” Why can’t I remember the fella’s name? I’m sure we have met somewhere.

            Gilbert, meet my wife Marissa and some friends of ours, Kelsey and Fiona.”

            Gilbert tried hard to hide his bewilderment with smooth, socially correct phrases, but simply could not place the guy.  Marissa sensed his confusion, so decided to drop a hint,

“James, didn’t you and Gilbert go to school together at the Castle back in ’84 and there abouts? “
      “We sure did. “ James clapped his hand on Gilbert’s shoulder and with moist eyes continued; “We have sure missed you, Gilbert. Wouldn’t you like to come back?”

            They seemed to have forgotten that Kelsey and Fiona were there, observing.

            Gilbert hung his head.

            “The King has sent out many messengers searching for you,” Marissa added softly.

            “I know,” His voice was almost inaudible.

            Fiona bit her lip and wondered why her eyes were so wet. Kelsey reached for her hand and clasped it as they backed slowly away from the intensely private moment.

            “That is where we belong,” Fiona murmured lifting her eyes to the glass castle radiant with an inner beauty.

            “I know,” Kelsey declared. Gladly would he be purged from his old ways so he could be fit to fight for a King who ruled with such tremendous wisdom and compassion.

            As they drew closer to the cliff walls many unsavory hands reached out to pull them back, both human, and Other Worldly, but they were determined. They saw a window fling open as a friend Fiona hadn’t seen in years called out to them. In the next instant a ladder was unfurled and as they scrambled upwards, the efforts to pull them away from the glorious fortress became more frantic. As they drew nearer, the gates to the Castle were flung wide open and light poured forth.

            Later as they knelt as the portal to receive an anointing, a bugle’s lovely notes floated clearly over the surrounding district. High from the tower’s pinnacle, a white flag of victory fluttered, causing the enemy to gnash their teeth in frustration.

            “This is where we belong,” Fiona said once again as they were ushered into the throne room of the King.”

            “And this is where we will remain,” Kelsey declared, as they knelt in adoration before the majestic ruler of the Kingdom of Love.

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