Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)
TITLE: My Babylonian Empire
By Karri Compton
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My surroundings are but a surreal dream. I have fought long and hard for my immense power, and though my intellect and instinct rival those of any human, I had no idea such events would come to pass. How could I, President Saddam Hussein, be sitting in a rotten infidel jail? It is treason. No, worse, for I am supreme ruler of my country and intend to be back there in short order.
I have accomplished so much for my name. It appears everywhere in my Babylonian kingdom etched into my fortified walls. My mind’s eye can still see the beloved bricks, built above Nebuchadnezzar’s original ones, which say: "In the era of Saddam Hussein, protector of Iraq, who rebuilt civilization and rebuilt Babylon."
Already constructed stand more than one temple, an amphitheater and several walls of the Procession Street. The new Ishtar Gate displays beautiful blue tiles and images of Marduk. What I long for most is my elegant four-story palace on a hill overlooking the Euphrates. There, the masses may gaze at my magnificence. Ancient Babylon, with its Hanging Gardens, has seen nothing compared to the glory of my empire.
It was said that I could not build over the ancient ruins, but I did just that, asserting my supremacy, as I deserved to. Of course a king like myself in the tradition of Nebuchadnezzar would erect a kingdom better than that of his predecessors, graced with unparalleled architecture, vast lakes, gardens and orchards. Where else but in the cradle of civilization can a dynasty rise from the dust and become the envy of all nations?
Yes, in time, I will return as ruler and resume the rebuilding of the modern-day Babylon. Those who dare stop me will pay dearly, as many already have. The land will no longer be made waste. Instead, it will be a luxurious garden, a testament to its all but immortal leader, and I will again sit on the throne of Iraq, an oasis for the Middle East.
On the day the Lord gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended! (Isaiah 14:3-4)
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