The great skies flashed crimson and its roar ascended a crescendo with the beating of his heart. He knew this day would come. Now he couldn’t escape.
It looked like a normal storm that arrived once a year, typical monsoon weather. The lighting crashed in the horizon, colliding with the old ruined church- for the tenth time since it was built- that was burnt up further after every monsoon.
God have mercy! He chanted, his fingers crisscrossed in prayer, he tightly held his hands to his chest trying to control the beat of his heart. It was a mere mistake. Forgive your child!
His bare feet squelched in the mud as he strode off to the sea shore near the burnt church that just had its front gates left with it for show. The rubies nudged between the gold plating on his vest glimmered as the tear drops of heaven washed over it. The weight of the ornaments he’d worn proudly since the day he was born due to the privilege of being a royal kin was nothing compared to the weight in his heart and they looked dull under the violet glare of the sky. Sea gulls croaked above his head, trying to fly against the strong winds that paced towards the sea. It was the battle of the living with the unknown. Though only he believed the unknown always existed.
This day was the consequence of the time he messed with the unknown. That filthy old saint covered in ashes with no clothing on his body except for the one piece of cloth hiding his dignity warned him of this day. He told him he knew what he did and months ago claimed to have made a prophecy which directed to the end of all the King’s luxuries. He pushed the saint aside then, thinking if he could ignore all the warnings he’ll worry less about his dark future. He was aware he did wrong. And he knew there was only one punishment.
Only one thing was left to do so he could get away with it like he always did by being able to manipulate all the laws in his Kingdom as he pleased. But the world wasn’t his Kingdom and his punishment wasn’t his job to decide. It was something that only heaven manipulated.
He gulped hard, his throat getting dry by each second under the pouring rain. Long stretches of the sea shore looked like marshes which tried to gulp his body whole. No, his soul.
He knew this was his only chance.
The giant King battled his way through the winds, his feet dragged his shaking body towards the sea. If he didn’t rush then she might come and take everything away from him like she did before he knew everything that mattered in his life didn’t die. There was still something left, something he didn’t know about until today when he visited the filthy saint again who revealed all the truth he should’ve known before. Still, it wasn’t too late.
Every inch of his body was aching, every muscle pleading him to stop when he struggled to walk on the marsh-like surface which sunk his feet at every step. He was tired, he was thirsty. The rain drops weren’t enough to quench his thirst and the burning need to move faster. Without realising, he reached the sea, its waves rolled and crashed against his feet in turmoil. The salty smell of the water didn’t feel as pleasant as it always felt to him. It smelt pungent and filthy like a thousand creatures had died in the chaos it was in today.
He knelt down, his weight splashing the water all around him, the sound a mere whisper under the howls of the winds and the sky, as his invaluable clothes drenched in the salt water. He took off the heavy gold crown above his head and let it fall in the sea with a splash. Nothing was important. Nothing had more value at that moment than time.
And my blood. He thought.
The glint of a dagger peeked out of his waistband which he pulled out and, with all the strength left in him, slit open his wrist in one motion.
“A death for a life,” he recalled the ash covered vagabond saint’s words the moment before he ran away for his life. Or his death.
Yanking off the precious ornament from his neck, he quickly smeared it in his blood, the violet stone which sat in the middle of the silver necklace slowly glowed, its purple light filtered through the thick blood to give off a maroon glimmer. He threw it in the sea as far away as his tired soul could.
Immediately, the water illuminated like a thousand stars were dipped into the sea, giving out a purple sheen, the most beautiful sight he had ever witnessed. God was with him, he was fully aware.
Suddenly, the winds dropped, the thundering mute and everything went silent as if nothing had ever happened. Then the moment he was about to close his eyes in prayer, a tiny ball of light shone in the dark heaven. It was too small but somehow it illuminated the whole sky, reflecting the purple waters beneath. It felt like a dream only that it was reality, too beautiful to be easily accepted as real. The tiny globe softly descended down into the horizon like feather, trailing a path of darkness behind it.
He had never felt such delightful warmth in his heart before. His blood was safe and that’s what mattered now. His death wouldn’t go waste. A death for a life.
His eyes rolled back and his palms opened up to heaven in a prayer. Thank you Lord, thank you to spare me the few precious seconds.
Finally, there was a squeal of wicked laughter behind him.
He smiled and surrendered.