Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Madness of the King

herod-and-the-magi copy


The Madness of the King


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!


9 comments:

  1. dankulp7:08 AM

    well done. Haunting and "adventy"

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  2. I've grown to hate Hared more and more lately. This is a good picture. Thanks for joining the Advent Ghost Storytelling

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  3. Thanks, Dan. I thought if ever there was a villan who was driven by the 'haunting' of greed and guilty conscience, it would be Herod. Glad you liked it!

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  4. Philip, I know what you mean. He has always creeped me out. But shortly after writing this I read Russ Ramsey's chapter on Herod in Behold the Lamb of God (day 17, I think); it was a real sympathy for the devil moment. He was horrible - and the product of horrible situations.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you like it! Merry (belated) Christmas!

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  5. Ha! I absolutely love it. Very well done, James. You know, the tale of Herod and the Magi was the very first one of these stories that I ever wrote.

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  6. Whoops. No, I didn't realize.

    Thanks for saying you like it anyway!

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  7. No whoops to it at all! It's really well done.

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  8. Well thank you, again, then! You're very kind, and I appreciate hearing it. :-)

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  9. Ah yes . . . I see our kindred minds at work between this piece and "For Later." I just learned of a saying about the Torah, "Turn it over and over, for all is in it." That is how I feel about the Christmas story, too.

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