Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: YOUTH (04/04/19)
TITLE: Paradise Regained
By David Butler
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I shake my head every time we remember the horror and chaos of the Dark Years.
I was too young to understand, let alone take sides at Armageddon, thankfully!
It was horrible beyond words! The King and His Redemption Army won easily, of course, but…. well, I don’t want to talk about it.
But those who weren’t killed – mainly us kids – were terrified at first. We were bracing ourselves for the inevitable repercussions – you know, the sort we got under “Numero Uno” (“N1”) when we didn’t tow the line. We believed all his lies about the “Alien Invasion” and the “New Tyranny” of the Kingdom, because tyranny was all we’d known anyway. Ol’ N1 bled us all dry to get his resources for the “Defence”. I think he had a scorched-earth policy, knowing he’d lose anyway.
On top of that, his propagandists had convinced us that all Christians were just a bunch of judgemental and bigoted hypocrites, out to spoil our fun. (Not that we got any of that either, with our economies falling apart.)
But nothing could be further from the truth!
Admittedly, the Ruling Saints were scary at first, what with the aura of their glorification and their amazing, youthful beauty. Then there was their angelic attachment. Not the fluffy cherubs we’d heard about, but big, powerful warriors – more awesome than those computer-generated hologram soldiers we used to battle with before the Power Failures.
But the Saints themselves came to reassure us that we were now safe. I mean – safe!
They gathered all the hidden food stores and fed us until an agrarian economy could be started up again.
I should have known that old uncle John would be one of them. He didn’t fit the Christian stereotype. He was kind, telling me about Jesus, His Saviour and coming king. John was murdered in the end, and I was told he deserved it.
But then he turned up after the Battle, totally transformed, looking better than he did at 25, joy on his face. He knew where I was hiding, and picked me up just like he used to, carrying me off like a trophy. I call him Lord John, not merely because it’s his title. He doesn’t tolerate any stupidity, but he’s better than the father I never knew.
I live at his mansion, now, with Jenny, my wife.
I haven’t seen the King Himself yet, though I got a glimpse of Him when the physical sky was torn open. That’s the best way I can describe it. We all saw Him, somehow. We didn’t know whether to run and hide or to stand and gawk at His magnificence.
I’ll never forget it!
You wouldn’t recognize the Earth now, as compared to the Dark Years. The atmosphere and all the water systems are pristine. Trees and colourful flowers and herbs have sprung up where refuse heaps and smoky, polluted factories used to be. Crops of grains, fruit and vegetables, all in integrated systems, are richer and more delicious than ever before.
Yes, it took a lot of work (heaps!) and we were all expected to participate. The Ruling Saints did the bulk of it, though.
As soon as ol’ N1 had been dealt with, it seemed like the whole of Nature heaved a sigh of relief. A change came over the whole biosphere, the atmosphere – and everything else! No more hurricanes, just invigorating gusts of wind occasionally. Volcanoes stopped blowing up. They settled down into being efficient geothermal systems. No earthquakes. (They’d been getting quite frequent before the final battle.)
The rains only fell after sundown (just like in “Camelot”) and only as much as necessary.
Weeds and pests started dwindling. With all the planting and sorting that we all did, the whole earth was becoming another Garden of Eden, like the days of her youth.
I hope it stays that way!
The animals are another striking example of the Restoration. Predators (including us humans) became gentle herbivores, just as we were before the Flood.
Remember that bit about the “lion shall lie down with the lamb”? It happened right at our front door!
I think the Second Law of Thermodynamics is on pause, somehow. Put it this way: nothing living deteriorates like it used to.
The best example, though, is Jenny and me. She, of course, looks stunning. Even after 100 years, and 5 children, she looks 18.
She says I’m looking pretty good, too.
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