Tall and majestic, he stood atop a soft green hill. He gazed at the squirrels that wrestled in the grass, at the kingfisher turning in a ballet with a wondrous sky-blue silken waistcoat glimmering in the friendly summer. He looked at the pond, he looked at the sky, he looked at the meadow. And he looked at the prison. The most beautiful creature in all creation was trapped within those concrete walls.
She had to be. She had broken faith with him, turned to the life of an adulteress. Drawn by the seducer into bondage. Yet as he gazed, hawk-eyed, through the wrought iron bars on the tiny window to a tiny room, sorrow welled up within him. She deserved the fate. An adulteress—adulteresses were to be stoned. It was his law. The law that formed the foundation of his throne. Against it stood his selfless love.
He imagined their being together. Dancing on this hill, unaware of the dragonflies that darted around them, the butterflies that fluttered on the playful gusts of wind, the birds and the animals, because they were enough for each other. He imagined their dancing through the water beneath the gentle moon, circling each other gently as they swam, hand holding hand, eye holding eye, jubilant because they were one.
He imagined his love as she should have been, but could not be. She had torn through his law unmindful of the consequences. She knew, but did not care. She had the power to hold firm, but had let herself be seduced. Therefore he could never make an exception to the law that he had made. He was the prince, responsible for this land. If his heart was to control him the entire system would dissolve into disorder. Justice was strong.
But justice should never be the cause for cruelty. It was the seducer who deserved punishment. It was not his heart's true love who needed to be cast away as corrupted and worthless. In spite of her prostitution. In spite of her putting all that was theirs on display, lying at night with whoever was willing to pay the most, the pure part of her still survived its filthy, infectious surroundings. He could not leave her in that despicable cell to die and to decay. He remembered yet again the warmth of their love, the heat of their passion. He knew it still. She would know it again, though she shivered now in the cell of her icy, shunning punishment. She would know it again.
He marched down to the prison. As he marched he began to sing:
Warmth of Love and cold grey Law
Have fought their unrelenting war.
Warmth of Love and icy Law.
Battle to own a soul so poor.
By strength this cold grey Law,
Has her leashed behind that door.
But warmth of love defeated Law.
I go now to redeem her.
He reached the prison gates certain of what he would do. His bride would be reunited with him. They would dance in the springtime once again. They would abandon that wretched building of heartless stone. It would be a derelict ruin forever more.
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