As soon as I knew the prince was dead, I felt like my own heart had died with his. A horrible pang of intense grief swept over me like the mighty waves of a sea. Forgetting myself, I collapsed on the bed near the prince’s body, silent tears slipping down my cheeks.
God was so unfair, so unjust, I could not even think of the last few days — which I considered to be complete treachery on God’s part — without gnashing my teeth.
A clatter of footsteps in the hallway, startled me. I got off the bed and ran to open the door, but before I could open it, it was flung open and the queen rushed in.
The queen’s face was pale, except for paths of red where many tears had rolled down her cheeks. Her eyes looked at the still figure on the bed and then looked at me. I looked down respectfully as I had been taught, but she saw how troubled I was and guessed the truth.
“My son! My son!” The queen screeched, ripping at her neckline, she rushed towards the bed and fell into a heap at it’s side. She reached for her son’s hand and clutched it tight, watering it with her tears.
The queen continued to cry and I looked around bewilderedly.
The king came in then, seeing his wife in hysterics, he immediately surmised what had happened. I saw his lip tremble for just a moment, but he controlled himself and walked over to his mourning wife.
“He is dead then?” The king asked, but it wasn’t really a question. It was simply an acknowledgment of what had occurred.
“Yes!” The queen screamed. “And it was that prophet who did it!”
“The prophet?” King Jeroboam asked, his eyebrows raised. “What did he say?”
“He told me to go home and that my son would die when my feet entered the city.” The queen began to cry harder. “And I came running into the city, hoping to see my son before he died, but he was already gone.”
God had known the exact time the prince was going to die — His prophet had foretold it. God had even known that the queen would try to hurry so that she could see her son one last time, but had not allowed her that comfort.
I did not care what became, I would not worship a God who mistreated His own followers. I could not dishonor the prince’s memory by following the God who had taken his life for no reason!
“God is just.” The last words of the prince hauntingly echoed through my brain.
I ran from the room, out of the palace and kept right on running as fast as I could. I didn’t know where I was going and I didn’t care. I had to get outside away from the prince’s words that continued to run through my emotionally drained mind. I ran out into an open field and started to scream. When I stopped, I heard the prince’s voice no more.
My head numb with pain, I slowly collapsed in the field, full of fatigue and grief.
~ ~ ~
All Israel mourned for the prince. The funeral procession was headed by the coffin carried by six of the best soldiers. The coffin was covered with flowers and women lamenting stood all around the casket. Crowds followed, both rich and poor, mourning the death of the would-be king.
The king and queen stood in the middle of the company, surrounded by their guards. The king was silent, but the queen wailed incessantly.
As people watched the procession go by, I could see them stop what they were doing and watch sadly as the procession continued past.
As soon as the funeral was over, I packed what little I had into a small bag. I was going home. I knew my mother might protest, but I would show her I was a man now. I would start working our farm, forget the palace, and all my painful memories.
© 2012 by Sharon Rose Books.
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