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TITLE: The King's Son
By Sarah Negroni
05/15/08
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“Mommy, when is he coming back?” the little boy asked as his mother tucked the blanket up under his chin. Years in the disease-invested ghetto outside the city had been hard on her. She was dirty; always dirty. Food was scarce and what little there was had to be hoarded for fear some other starving wretch would steal it. She had done her share of stealing before he came. Now, all she could think about was him.

“I don’t know, Honey, but we must be ready.” She often talked to her son about him.

“Will you tell me the story again, Mommy?” Although it hurt her to speak of the Great Rebellion, he needed to know.

“The King did everything he could for us. When we were hungry, he fed us. When we were thirsty, he gave us water. But we were stubborn. We wanted more. Like a spoiled child, we rebelled against the commands he set forth. Not because they were too hard to follow, but because we didn’t want to be ruled. Now look at us. Look at the mess we have made! We thought the King forgot about us … until he came.” The hope she felt in her heart made her face almost glow when she thought of him, the King’s very own son. She looked down at her own son who had fallen asleep. He looked so peaceful. At that moment she realized just how much the King cared for her people.

As she lay down on her own dirty straw mat she remembered the day she met him. He looked just like everyone else, but he spoke with such authority; and the things he did right in front of her very eyes! He told them that the King always cared about them; that he knew everything that ever went on inside and outside the city walls. He told them that if they would just trust the King, he would give them what they needed. There was no need to fight or be dishonest.

She didn’t really understand why they wanted him dead. But they killed him, slowly and painfully. Tears streamed down as she saw his bloody face in her mind. So terrible… But he could not be contained by death! He rose from the grave and met with those who loved him. He said that he would come back and then, even though they were dirty and smelly and had diseases of all kinds, he was going to let them back in the city, where they would be cleaned whiter than snow! And she believed him! Because he rose from the dead, she realized that there was no power in the city, the ghetto, or anywhere else that could stop his plan from coming to pass.

As she drifted off to sleep, she thought of his promise. Then this dirty, disease-ridden woman lying on an old worn-out mat … smiled.
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