Your Time Is Come
“Ah, young Willow.” Judah stood and walked toward her. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him for several moments before stepping back and looking up into his face.
“I was not sure I was going to want to see you again,” she said, “but indeed I am happy to see you and Galeal here. It has been an adventurous time without you.”
“You did well, young Willow,” Judah said. “And, after you and young Poppy have had time to catch up and share some bread together, we will talk more deeply about what faces you on this journey.”
She paused a moment before turning to join Poppy at the edge of the lake. “Though, I was never truly without you, was I?”
“Not entirely,” he told her. She nodded her head and went to meet Poppy, who was dipping her feet in the water as she waited.
“It is almost like a holiday,” Willow said to her, causing Poppy to laugh.
“If we do not take into account the attacks on you by the angels of darkness, I dare say we might consider this a holiday indeed.”
The two friends hugged tightly and Willow found that she had to hold her breath to keep from sobbing into her friend’s shoulder at the idea that they were united once more. Carefully, she pulled off her boots and put her weary feet into the water, gasping at the coldness of it and causing Poppy to laugh again.
“The shock wears off and the coolness becomes almost a balm,” Poppy said.
“How long have you been here?” Willow asked.
“Since yesterday afternoon. Judah and I were here and Galeal was back in the forest area watching over you and Sentiary.”
“You know his name?”
“Galeal learned it when he found him in the forest after the dark angel left him tied there. Galeal started him the fire and then awaited your arrival in the forest,” Willow told her.
“I guess we did not truly understand what we were planning when we first determined to rewrite our destinies and leave our villages,” Willow said. She stared at the incredible sight before her, the smooth surface of the lake that seemed to absorb the stillness from the sky and the mountains that surrounded it. The beauty was like nothing Willow had seen to this point in her life.
“I suppose not,” Poppy agreed. “What do you think about what you are expected to do?”
This time it was Willow who laughed. “Of that I am not certain. In the two times I have faced one such angel of darkness I have not felt prepared nor did I fare very well on either occasion.”
“Judah believes you have done well,” Poppy said.
“I look forward to my opportunity to speak with him when at last he is ready and we have had time to talk,” said Willow.
“And to eat,” Poppy added.
“Indeed!” Willow pulled the food packets that Sentiary had given her before they parted company earlier. “Have you had these berries, yet, Poppy?”
Poppy’s eyes grew wide at the sight and she smiled. “I have not. May I?”
The two shared the collection of berries until they were gone and then they moved on to the grilled meat and green vegetable that Galeal had provided for breakfast, it’s flavor remaining as rich and succulent upon Willow’s tongue as every meal that Galeal had made and shared with her. She was amazed at what he was able to do out here in the land, catching and preparing food that would be fit for a feast back in the village.
“Sentiary told me that I must make this journey alone,” Willow said. “Does that mean that Galeal and Judah will no longer make the journey with us? After all, it was Judah himself who told me that once we left the villages we could never return and that once we departed from him we would see him no longer.”
“He has not spoken of the journey that takes place from this point,” Poppy said.
“Has he told you why you must be protected?”
“He has offered me some of what he knows, but he has requested that I not share that with you until after you and he have talked about the journey and your role in it,” Poppy said.
“Was it mentioned when we were atop the hillside? Or was it referenced to you the night at the bridge?” Willow asked.
“A little each time.”
“How did you know where to leave the book where I would find it?”
“It was not I who left it,” Poppy told her. “Judah requested that specific book and Galeal was charged with making certain that it ended up with you for your journey.”
“A curious choice Judah chose, Beyond the Legend,” Willow said.
“Perhaps you will find it less so after you speak with him,” Poppy said, and she nodded toward where Judah approached.
“Young Willow, let us take a stroll around the water that we may discuss your journey and your destiny,” said Judah. “Your time is come.”
“I have so many questions,” Willow began.
“And we will address them within our time, but allow me first to begin with a time before you and Poppy and even before me,” Judah told her. He walked slowly and spoke with no haste, his eyes looking out over the horizon as they made their way around the small lake. Willow found his words and his voice as mesmerizing as the scenery that surrounded them, and as he talked she became lost in the world he created for her with his words.
There have not always been angels of darkness in the land. Legend has it that long ago there was beauty and goodness and light throughout the land, but that one of the angels of light became tired of his role and wished for more; he wished to rule. There was but one Ruler over all the land and as the lore has told, the Ruler’s throne sits only one above all the others. It mattered not to this single angel that he was like all the angels and that none were like the Ruler. He wanted to be the Ruler even if it meant that he had to do battle with the Ruler. His only desire was the throne, the control, becoming Master of the land and of the angels.
There was much magic necessary to create all that the land holds, the waters, the trees, the mountains, the meadows. And the angels. The Ruler took great care in forming the angels of this entire realm and providing them knowledge and understanding of the ways of light and beauty and goodness and they were sent out into the land and made guardians of all that was there, eventually including all of the creatures who now make their home in the various places of these lands. But as the worlds expanded and the creatures gained greater favor with the Ruler, the one angel began to plot against all that was good and all that was light and all that was beautiful. Every painting of the sky with the sun, every dew drop that glistened in the evening gray, every rustling of every leaf that combined to create music and beauty drove this one angel into madness, seeking to undo all that the Ruler had done.
Although there were angels who protected the throne and the others who protected the source of all goodness and light, the one angel wormed his way into the confidences of angels who he convinced that they were not receiving as much of an audience with the Ruler as those angels who protected the throne and those that protected the source of goodness and light. As his words settled into the minds of these other angels, he began to gather them into his plan to steal the source of light and goodness and to take over the throne and oppose the Ruler.
When he had at last gathered as many angels to his thinking as he could he positioned himself with the power for which he longed and led these new enemies of the Ruler into an all out battle against the Ruler and his angels for the throne and the source of all that was created. Although the Ruler was a powerful force, his goodness was overcome when the one angel managed to make his way into the innermost space where the Source was kept under guard by the Ruler’s angels. According to legend, the one angel all but destroyed the angels assigned to protect the throne, the source and the Ruler.
Because of the deep magic of the land, the Ruler lives still, but he has been forced into battle with the one angel, now the Dark Angel and his angels of darkness, a battle that rages every day throughout the realm and throughout the land and its creatures. There remains beauty and goodness and light, but now there also exists fear and doubt and darkness. What the Dark Angel fears is the Defender of Truth, the Warrior of Light, for the Warrior is the one who can restore the source and return the throne to the Ruler.
Here Judah paused in his story and stopped walking so that he could look at Willow. Willow took a few extra steps even though she knew he expected her to stop beside him but she was unable to focus through the tears that rimmed her eyes.
“Young Willow,” Judah said behind her, “You are the one and your time of destiny is come.”
Willow turned around and blinked away her tears and stared back at Judah. “What happens to all of this legend if I choose not to accept my destiny?”
“Your destiny is something that relies not on your acceptance of it, but on the choices that you make. It is your choices that have led you to this place for such a time as this, young Willow. You are not the legend, young Willow, you are…”
“Beyond the Legend,” Willow said, more to herself than to Judah, but he nodded, having seen the understanding seep into her eyes.
(Day 12 word count: 1709 for a total of 22,588/50,000)