Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
TITLE: THE NEVER-ENDING STORY
By Rose Spagnola
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Their parents were hard-working shoemakers who made shoes for the townspeople. Their father cut and stretched the leather while their mother stitched and glued until a pair of fine shoes were completed. Each day Nageed and Seta went to school and then came home and helped their parents make shoes. It was a hard life but all the time, Nageed and Seta’s parents would talk of the Never-Ending story…and that they were born royal.
Nageed and Seta did NOT believe they were really royalty because they saw their mother and father work so hard every day. Sometimes, Seta would see how tired her mother looked. Other times, Nageed would notice how sore his father’s hands looked. Seta and Nageed thought that being royalty meant you were rich and lived in a fine castle on a hill.
Time passed and Nageed and Seta grew up and became adults. There was a war going on not far from their town and Nageed decided to join the military. Seta decided that she would help with the battle too so she became a nurse and worked every day in the hospital helping the soldiers.
Later that year, Seta died while saving a soldier during a tornado in her town. The following year, Nageed died in a great battle in the countryside.
When Nageed woke up, he immediately knew he was in heaven. It was such a wonderful place, full of sparkling gems, fine mansions and exquisite streets. Many people came out to greet Nageed and they all bowed when they saw him. Four servants came to him and quickly washed his feet and put fine shoes on him. Another two servants took Nageed’s tattered soldier’s uniform and clothed him in finely made robes with jewels sewn in all about. Then they placed an even fancier crown upon his head. Still another set of servants lifted Nageed into a beautiful carriage and drove him down the streets of gold to the palace of the Never-Ending Story.
“It must be the king’s palace,” Nageed thought to himself, as he noticed how absolutely grand the huge magnificent building was, how fancy the gardens were, how many horses and servants this king had. Nageed’s carriage slowly stopped in front of these gigantic doors but it wasn’t the size of the doors that caught Nageed’s attention. It was the dark red paint dripping from the top. Nageed looked closer and then realized it wasn’t paint. IT was blood. The huge doors had blood dripping down from two big metal nails pounded in the center of each door.
Slowly the doors opened and out stepped the most brilliant being Nageed had ever seen. His robes shone like the sun and his hair looked like fine strands of gold draped around his forehead. Oh, but his eyes, Nageed saw something in his eyes that looked familiar. While Nageed was trying to figure out why the king’s eyes looked so familiar, the grand king walked up to Nageed and took Nageed in his huge arms and hugged him.
“My son, how I’ve longed to hold you and see you face-to-face! Come into the palace this day. I have prepared a special feast to you, your sister and family.”
Nageed was stunned. Nageed could see how much the king loved him, so much that the king’s eyes were weeping with joy. Then Nageed began to remember the Never-Ending story from his childhood, the story his parents had told him and his sister about belonging to a king who gave his blood so they might live.
While Nageed was pondering all these things, he was ushered into a huge banquet hall. Inside the hall was the biggest feast of food and friends he had ever seen. At the table sat the King along with Seta, their parents and many other people that Nageed knew. Above the King’s head on the wall was a large piece of torn and aged paper. Nageed squinted to read it. The paper read “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
(Nageed means “prince” in Hebrew. Seta means “princess” in Portuguese.)
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