Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FINISH (05/26/16)
TITLE: The Abdication
By Belinda Peoples
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Prince Simon, however, felt increasingly unsure about stepping into shoes of such royal responsibility. As Coronation Day drew closer, he had become agitated and restless. Now that the important occasion was finally here, the young man’s anxiety threatened to overwhelm him.
Feeling unable to confess his fears to his father and with no stomach for breakfast, Simon sought refuge in the palace garden. Not even the radiant morning sunshine would relieve his nervous shiver. As he contemplated the best method of escape, he heard the dainty footsteps of his mother approaching.
“Simon, my son, we missed you at breakfast this morning. Are you unwell?”
Simon turned towards his mother. He considered her sweet eyes as one of the most powerful assets of his father’s kingdom. Their beauty could disarm opponents in an instant and elicit honesty from the craftiest conman. They now betrayed her concern for her beloved child.
“No Mother, I am merely anxious for the day ahead,” Simon admitted.
“Your father wishes to speak to you. He is in the Great Hall,” the Queen informed him, her tone of voice implying that Simon should not delay.
“Yes, Mother.” Simon kissed his mother’s cheek and turned to go.
“Be honest with your father. He will understand.”
“I will be, Mother.”
Simon strode quickly to the Great Hall, deciding his mother was right. It was time for him to tell his father the truth that the kingdom was sure to suffer if left to the mercy of his unfortunate inadequacies.
King George was in the Great Hall, seated calmly on the royal throne. Simon approached, greeting him with a respectful bow.
“My son,” said the wise old ruler, “I can see you are greatly troubled on a day that should be full of joy and celebration!”
Simon paced back and forth, worried about how to reveal the anxious thoughts tumbling around inside his head. The King waited patiently for Simon to respond.
“Father,” Simon began, “I can’t be the king you expect me to be.”
“And what kind of king am I expecting?” King George enquired.
“A king respected and loved by the people for his wisdom… a king with the ability to lead his people well into the future. A king like you, Father,” Simon confessed, as he continued to pace. “I fear I will fail you, Father. I don’t possess the qualities that have made you so successful for so long.”
“Is that so? Well then…you must abdicate.” George quietly stated.
The prince stopped in his fretful tracks and spun to face his father. He had hoped for encouragement and was shocked at the King’s harsh conclusion. Resignedly, the prince hung his head, too ashamed to see the disappointment he imagined would be evident on the old man’s face. His only heir had failed him.
“Of course, Father,” the boy replied, deflated. “Who will you have take the throne instead?”
“You will be, my son!”
Simon raised his eyes again, confused.
“I’m sorry, Father, I don’t understand…You still want me to take your throne?”
“No, Simon,” George chuckled, revelling in the opportunity to see the fullness of the new king’s most important lesson. “It’s not my throne to give away. The seat I am on belongs to your heavenly Father. I am merely his kingdom’s caretaker. I sit confidently in this chair knowing the security of his domain does not depend on my strengths and abilities. Christ has won all the battles this kingdom will ever face. There is no power greater than His.”
Simon allowed the heavenly Father’s words to wash through his heart and soul. His worry slipped away as he recognised the meaning of true kingship for the first time.
“Come, take my seat.” George lifted himself slowly from the throne, making way for Simon. “Son, my time as King has ended. Your surprise revealed your true feelings. You will be a wonderful king, if you are prepared to take the crown from your own head and place it on Christ’s, so that you may glorify Him. Will you do this?”
“Yes, Father,” his son humbly replied, now with hopeful
determination, “I will.”
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