HOPE OF BERKSHIRE
(Written by Alfred Benjamin King)
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Once upon a time in a land far far away – a land somewhat medieval in a nature. A ruthless King sought to forcefully rule the world. He was called King Julius the Conqueror, and he would stop at nothing to fulfil his dream of world domination.
On one cold unforgettable night, he invaded the village of Urin. Nothing anyone could do could stop his army. The villagers fled, only a few stayed and fought. One of them was Timothy, the brave hero who had successfully defended the village in times past. He sent his wife ahead of him to flee to Berkshire, promising to meet her there. His wife was pregnant with their only child – a child he would never get to meet for he was killed that day by the sword of King Julius himself.
Timothy’s wife Sarah was to flee onwards to Berkshire. He heard her husband’s last scream. It was a scream common in war. They called it the “cry of death.” They say whenever you hear it, the person it came form is a split second away from death.
Hearing that cry conveyed by her husband’s voice, sent shivers through her spine. She knew her husband was gone. She would never see him again. All she had now was the child growing in her womb – her child – their child.
She found herself wandering through the desert walking for miles and miles. The scorching sun and burning sand beneath her feet could not burn any more than the red hot hatred that now dwelt in her heart for King Julius. It was because of his conquest that her husband was killed. It was because of him that she was walking aimlessly through the desert and may not make it. It was because of him that she may never get to see her baby and her baby might never get to see its first light of day.
Time wore on and she grew faint. Weak. Tired. She couldn’t walk any futher. As she lay on the burning hot sand with her right hand on her belly, she was about to close her eyes and wait for death to come.
All hope was lost. Just then she noticed someone standing above her – some THING. It had ..., wings? She squinted to get a better view against the blinding and maybe deceiving sun rays.
She was still seeing a man with wings. Wait! It was an angel. It had to be but ...
“Don’t be afraid,” the angel said. “You shall not die today. For the child you carry in your womb shall be great. She shall bring an end to the tyranny of the evil King Julius.
She should be called hope. For she would be the hope of this present time.
Don’t try to force her into the path that you think is right for her. For she is to find her own path. Do not worry if no one understands her. Don’t try to change her.
Move a little further and you would find a group of travellers, they are on their way to Berkshire. They would give you food and water. They would let you travel to Berkshire with them.”
With that the angel disappeared.
Sarah looked around her. Was it real? Is the desert playing tricks on her? Was it all just a hallucination. And that stuff about travellers being ahead of her but not far from where she lay. Is that true? Well what did she have to lose? She mustered up her last reserve of strength and staggered forward.
It turned out as the angel had said. There were travellers in that desert too. They tok care of her and let her travel with them.
Months later, when the child was born, she named her hope. It was an unusual name for a child back then, but nothing could change Sarah’s choice for her daughter’s name after her experience in the desert.
Besides if hope didn’t turn out to be the Hope of the world after all. She was still the hope that lit up Sarah’s life when everything seemed so dark and seemed it would remain that way forever.
Generally, life in Berkshire was tough for Hope and Sarah. Then again because of the never ending conquests of King Julius, life was tough for everyone, but the hard times made Hope much stronger and smarter. Her love for knowledge and God’s word, accelerated her intelligence.
In those days, men where viewed as higher than women. Women didn’t care to disagree. They accepted it to be true. They didn’t know it was a lie.
However, Hope didn’t believe the lie. By the time she was twelve, she was better than any boy she knew, in medieval mathematics. Other girls wouldn’t even care to pick up a book. They believed their duties were in the kitchen and only cared about cooking. They were encouraged by their mums that one day they would get married and their duty would be to cook him good food and be the best medieval housewife they can be.
Such talk disgusted Hope. She had dreams, dreams of being a somebody but she didn’t know who that somebody would be. She just knew she would be but didn’t know what she would be great for. She just knew greatness and an opportunity to mean something to the world can’t be found in a kitchen.
Sarah couldn’t discourage Hope’s tomboy – nature, but she didn’t encourage it either. She never told Hope about her experience in the desert – the message from an angel of God.
Hope officially became really weird when at age 19, she became the greatest hunter in all of Berkshire. A position no one ever imagined a woman would ever hold. They never even expected a woman to hold the position of worst hunter in all of Berkshire because they never even expected to see a woman hunt. Women just didn’t do such things.
Obviously, Hope was different – she thought differently, and she didn’t care about what people taught of her. She would be true to herself.
One thing that Hope’s mum always did was complain about King Julius. About how he was responsible for Hope’s father’s death. This created resentment in Hope’s heart for King Julius.
King Julius was not a bit old but he was still conquering everything and everywhere he could.
His only son, Prince Casper was the same age with Hope. Word about how handsome Prince Casper was was quite legendary throughout all the lands his father had conquered or still planned to conquer. Prince Casper was every lady’s dream boat – the perfect knight in shining armour – tall, strong, and drop dead gorgeous.
Prince Casper’s political interests conflicted with those of his father and anytime the best of them were in the same room, it was just a matter of time before a loud argument ensued.
Prince Casper had led so many successful conquests so far that those outside the castle, - the people, taught he was a chip off the old block but to those living inside the castle, they knew Prince Casper led those conquests against his will.
As time went on, Hope found herself the leader of a group of 230 warriors she founded. There was so must injustice and violence in those days. Hope’s group of highly skilled warriors fought for order, stopping: chariot robberies, forced child labour, murders, and other acts of injustice. She and her group where something of a crossing between vigilantes and a police department in a world with no law - just King Julius.
One morning King Julius decided to issue a decree throughout all the land had conquered. That everyone everywhere in the world – in the lands he had conquered and in the lands he had yet to conquer, where all to sign their lives and all they owned to him. They were to pledge an undying devotion to him and worship him as God. Not responding at all within 3 weeks will result in being beheaded. Responding negatively would yield the same result.
Some people taught it was a joke until he beheaded 12 royal advisors, a few royal servants and one quarter of his own army.
Everyone was afraid, everywhere in the world. This was the world’s darkest moment.
All of Hope’s life she had listened to her mother blame King Julius for her father’s death and not King Julius has issued this type of decree, it was the last draw. She was going to kill King Julius.
Hope called up 6 of her most elite group members. The hit was going to be steathly. There could be no mistakes.
Prince Caper was sitting alone in his private chamber. He had just finished arguing with his Dad about how wrong what he was doing is. He had argued and argued and argued, but there was not getting his father to change him mind. How could his father be so cruel? How could his father be so evil? ... EVIL? Wow! That’s the first time he had taught of him as many things: sturbbon, mean, ruthless, unloving .. but not EVIL!
EVIL? If his Dad was evil and he was his son and had his Dad’s back, then that makes him evil too.
Prince Casper closed his eyes in pain. He had to choose a side.
“CASPER!, we have a problem,” Bruno said as he burst into Prince Casper’s private chamber. Bruno was Prince Casper’s best friend and a master at getting information from all sorts of places, that either the King or the Prince should never hear.
Meanwhile, King Julius sat alone in the royal garden. He loved the serenity of the place. Only he and his son were allowed entrance to that garden. It had been designed by his late wife.
The King was just dreaming about the whole world worshiping him when he felt a sharp knock on the back of his head. He was in pain and managed to look up but was pinned down by a sharp sword. Hope and the 6 elite members of her group had performed a most daring feat. The had snuck into the royal castle to assassinate King Julius. All Hope had to do was move her just a little bit and everything would be over. All the madness would be over. She would finally get her revenge.
This was it.
But she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t kill him. She had never killed anyone before sure we had fought with lots of times but that was while protecting the innocent, even at that she had never killed the oppressors. As much as King Julius deserved to be killed, she still couldn’t do it.
“Do it! What are you waiting for?” one of her men hollered.
She still couldn’t do it. She didn’t want revenge. She didn’t want to kill someone, no matter the reason. She just wanted the madness to end. “No! I won’t kill him. But his rampage must end.”
Hope’s men had never questioned her judgement but this time was different. Not only were they wasting time, they had to do what they had to do quickly but those this mean that King Julius would end up being worshipped, and them? - hanged because that is exactly what would happen if they didn’t do what they came to do.
Hope finally understood now that killing King Julius is not what she wanted. It was not what God wanted.
One of her men withdrew his sword and lunged at King Julius but Hope quickly intercepted him. No one was going to kill King Julius.
Just then they were all surrounded by soldiers. Prince Casper’s friend had gotten wind of the hit and had told Prince Casper. So Prince Casper was in the garden the whole time. He had soldiers hidden in the garden the whole time. His Dad the King didn’t know. Essentially he had used his Dad as bait. If Hope tried to kill him she would have been shot by the many hidden archers. King Julius’ life was never at any risk at all.
As the soldiers wanted to start apprehending Hope and her men, Casper commanded them to stop. Casper was impressed by Hope. Hope didn’t want to kill his father. Hope was right.
Casper challenged the King but this time wasn’t like other times. Besides the King had put himself in a situation where nobody liked him. Lets just say that at the end of that day Prince Casper became King Casper and his confined his father under house arrest in the castle. He was stripped of all his power and was at best a guest in his own home.
King Casper assigned Hope the position of the head of his kingdom’s military and did all that he could do to make up for all the wrongs his father had done. He also got converted to Christianity after Hope preached the Gospel to him.
Hope achieved what no woman had ever achieved at that time and thanks to her the world was saved.
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PRAYER OF SALVATION:
If you’ve been touched by what you just read and you’ve never given your heart to Jesus and would love to become a Christian, please say this prayer and mean it with all your heart :
“Oh Lord God, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. Your word says, ‘… whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved’ ( Acts 2:21 )
I ask Jesus to come into my heart to be the lord of my life. I receive eternal life into my spirit and according to Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, “I declare that I am saved; I am born – again; I am a child of God! I now have Christ dwelling in me, and greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world! ( 1 John 4:4 ). I now walk in the consciousness of my new life in Christ Jesus. Hallelujah!”
PRAYER TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT:
“Oh Father, I thank you now for making me born again. For making me you child.
I ask that you give me your Holy Spirit to live in me and with me. For your word says that you would freely give the Holy Spirit to all those who ask. I open my heart and receive and I know by faith that you have given me your Holy Spirit. Thank you Father. In Jesus name. Amen.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE NOW A CHILD OF GOD. WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alfred Benjamin King is a full time writer and illustrator. He is one of the leading Christ – Minded writers in both fiction and non-fiction today.
His literally works and special projects have gone spiral on the web; wheeling in thousands of page views per post.
Alfred Benjamin King is the founder and General Overseer of the “Disciples of Jesus”.
He currently lives in the city of Port – Harcourt in Nigeria, Africa.