The Madness of the King

herod-and-the-magi copy

The old astrologer won't leave me alone.

Every night I start, gasping, from sleep, sure that he stands beside me; dull eyes staring, lentils in his beard, wheezing voice in my ear.

But he isn't there.

If I catch him, I will kill him.

When I walk the balconies, his raspy mutterings follow me like an old wife.

I killed a village of peasant children to silence it.

Yet I hear him in every quiet place, repeating words just-read:

“But you, Bethlehem, out of you will come one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from ancient times.”

This is my effort in the annual Advent Ghosts 100 Word Storytelling put on by my friend Loren Eaton at I Saw Lightning Fall. See other entries there. Thanks, Loren!