Receiving a Name

I was a scoundrel, lurking through the dirty streets, stealing contemptuous glances at all the passersby. I stole bread from the windowsill, stuffed my face ungraciously, and thanklessly moped about the dark shadows. The city streets choked with dogs and poor alike. The wet streets suffocated me. The heavy stench of pride clung to everything.

Slinking along into an alley, I heard a message, mummers from within a circle of townspeople. “I hear he is coming!” said one short woman, her back bent with years of hard labor, yet with gleaming eager eyes. “Of course not! After all these years…” Another woman scoffed at the news, yet her breath faltered, betraying her hope. The others nodded or looked aside. “Foolish old women gossiping about nothing.” I spat and hurried away.

I quickly turned right around a corner, and a stunning wind caught my breath. My face turned up, the brisk cold air bringing tears to my eyes. The tall tenements loomed ominously over me, darkening the litter strewn streets. An unusual silence weighed all down with tension and anticipation. Something was different. My ear twinges as it catches a new sound. Warm and golden, the cutting wind softened by the sound of trumpets.

I looked again. There was a procession advancing towards me. The wind grew stronger, spurred by the fiery trumpet blast. Cheers began to echo down the stony street, bouncing from window to door like a million little happy nymphs. “Hail the king! Hail the king!” The terrible banners went before it, overtaking the fleeing darkness.

I was dumbfounded. Astonished by his splendor. Here the king stood before me. All strength left my legs and I fell before him. His countenance was dignified, even terrifying. His happy cheeks warmed with blood and vigor. The procession came to a halt before me.

A powerful hand took hold of my shoulder, lifting me from the stony pavement. My face was lifted, and the king, the king! He looked upon me. “And who might you be?” I stammered. “no…no one.” “Hmm…well then.” A smile rose up in his eyes. “Come with me, Sir Richardson! Welcome to my court! You shall receive a bath and enjoy my feast. You shall be great in my kingdom”

I bowed low to the ground before him, my whole being shaken with terrible delight. “My Lord…”

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