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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)

By Kenneth Heath


Fancy wrappings

“Lady”, wore a beautiful Venetian mask adorned with gold leaf, expensive cloth and gold bells. It was porcelain white with a jester’s hat that jingled as she walked. In the shimmering sunlight adorned with all her finery, her shadow made soft gentle pools of silver against the backdrop of the forest floor. She sang a soft sorrowful song as she accompanied the sweet calls of the nightingale’s singing in the branches overhead. Her beautiful voice cut through the air in sorrowful refrain as she tried to block out the heaviness of her spirit. Looking into her hazel eyes you could see, the hurt and sadness that engulfed her very soul. How she longed for the beautiful golden fields of her youth before Prince Charming had arrived and swept her off her feet. Those early years are recorded in fairytales, perfect and happy as she progressed from a young girl to womanhood.

Behind his mask of silver and black, adorned with ostrich plumes, Charming strode boldly forward scattering all before him. As a businessman he was ruthless, devouring everyone in his path. In the sunlit meadows where the sweet roses bloom, he gaily sang his victory song. He was a mans-man with wealth and power at his fingertips. However, if you stole a glance into his pitch black eyes, you could see the lies, deception and turmoil that lay just beneath the surface. A ruthless troubled man, handsome and charming, he knew just which mask to use in each circumstance that arose.

Joy skipped and danced as she made her way through the Forrest. Her mask was exquisitely decorated with blue and gold ostrich plumes and sequins. It had a long pointed nose and a frosted smile. Her song competed with the babbling brook as it washed through the Forrest. Her blue eyes however told a different story. In their smoky depths, there was resignation of one who had ceased to look for coming gladness.

Jester took a short cut through the long grass. A kaleidoscope of colors graced his mask, each vivid hue highlighting the raised forehead and prominent cheekbones. He was on the way to see his King and his rich baritone reverberated through the valley causing busy squirrels to raise their heads from their tasks. His cold grey eyes veiled the waves of despair within. Life is death, he thought as he waved to Joy on the path.

Hope reluctantly climbed the fence and joined the others. The green and gold of his mask were highlighted by black ravens feathers. He was singing a rap song complete with actions that gave the impression of break dancing. Two steps forward and one-step back, a twirl around the old oak tree and a shuffle through the leaves. Startled larks scattered from their woody vantage points as he went on by. His light blue eyes hid the sad fact that he could rejoice with those who rejoiced but was unable to weep with those who weep.

Faith a radiant beauty skipped and danced singing a sweet refrain causing robins to cease from their happy melody. Burgundy and pink were her masks colors, offsetting the crimson hues of her dress and complimenting the radiant beauty of the summer morning. Dull were her chestnut eyes, eyes that had given in to sorrow and hopelessness.

Clothed in all their finery they met at the crest of the hill, in full view of the King’s castle.

Then along came Simon. He had no mask, his clothes were plain and his shoes were worn. He was singing a new tune, one, they had never heard before. Each note rising in cadence into a crescendo and then retreating in diminuendo as it echoed throughout the Forrest. The song was beautiful, as were his clear blue eyes. The life in his eyes spoke of faith, love, compassion, joy and sorrow, eyes that had seen and endured many hardships and tragedies. He walked with a limp and his hands were gnarled and calloused; even so his head was raised high and his shoulders were pulled back. Burden free, he was going to see his King, the author and finisher of his faith.

The others shrank back as he limped past and as the hot sun beat down upon them, an icy chill ran through them as they realized that they had taken the heavenly gifts of the King and turned them into heavy baggage, disguising them with colourful wrappings and masks.

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This article has been read 522 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw08/21/08
Oh wow, incredible take on the topic and beautiful imagery.
Jan Ackerson 08/21/08
An interesting allegory, rich in description.

I'd have liked less on the allegorical characters and more on Simon--he was the most interesting character in the story, the only non-allegorical one, and I wanted to know his "back" story better.

Some errors in spelling and punctuation mildly distracted at times.

This is a very visual piece!