The Arena

Ah, where was the battlefield? The two stood in the arena. The king removed her distractions, placed her  with his other soldiers and asked that she finish the battle here first. Each day in his service was different, but each day was good.  Motivated by her love for him she committed herself to the other soldiers. This was the arena.. It was filled with comradeship, but an arena no less. They would fight, even in this short time.  To work as a team was difficult. It was so much easier to fight against others. The king gave the description of the enemy. He was in not found in her team, though at times the did hurt one another.

She paused for a moment and looked around. It was cloudy. The hear remained.. The dirt at her feet was dry and loose. The arena was large and circular. Many filled the stands. She stood with the soldiers in the center and looked around. Those in the stands were all of the court. There were a few of the crowd from the outside, either outside the walls or even from the enemy’s side. Many filled the stands. His whispers cheered her on, cheered her team on. It was a different kind of battle. They were committed to finish.

The girl looked up. It was clear and warm, but not without feeling some cold inside, in her fingertips. Her heart was on such fire that it made her stomach hurt. She looked up and caught the gaze of her king as he sat in the stands. His queen was beside him. She was beautiful. She looked like a queen. There was a simple string of pearls around her head that came to a “v” on her forehead, fit for a queen.

The girl had worn similar pearls once. The were an indulgent gift from her loving king.

The battle in the arena was cutting deeper into her. The soldiers were meant to fight as a team, but occasionally someone would make a mistake or miss a signal from another soldier. In the intensity of it all they might lay out insults to each other rather than focusing on standing together against the common enemy. Although there were clear advantages to fighting here, being in the arena made them feel claustrophobic and stuck when the fight grew late into the day.   She neglected her duties yet, she was quicker to notice their squabbles against each other. The team was so deep into this battle, it was hard to correct recent or ongoing mistakes, but she had to. They would win, they must. The enemy raged. He shouted and screamed, but could not approach them until the king waved his hand for them to continue to battle. She saw his hand waved. In it lay the wound.

That wound. As she saw it waved, the girl saw the horror and torment he endured for her. She saw the agony, humiliations he suffered for her. That wound: whose blood she longed to catch from falling, that wound.

She would not be beaten. It was the sight of the wound that gave her courage. This was not a child’s love. This was the bloody reality that is love. His true presence remained with her. Her heart was caught up and burned in his fiery spirit. She drew her sword and stood waiting for the enemy.

“Remember that wound,” she heard, “remember, and draw on.”

As they fought the girl saw her king dressed in robes with a crown. She saw his glory and his love radiating. For the first time the girl really saw his face, both noble and full of suffering. The girl took him into her heart. She felt her heart pierced with love.

Even though the king was in the stands and the girl was in the arena, they were not too far apart. He was still looking over her, controlling the battle, allowing it to go and to stop. She pushed herself to remember his presence. Even though she could no longer feel his touch, she felt assured of his love. Before the battle of separation could even begin to rage, he gave her strength.

As the day wore on the stands emptied out. She stood with her fellow soldiers, her family, and waited. The King remained, smiling at their service, gave them a moment’s rest, and waved his hand. The fight continued. There were few were watching now. There remained only the court of the king and the court of the enemy. All other bystanders, as the king wished, were dismissed. That may be how every battle ended, without witnesses, only a girl, her fellow soldiers and the king  who protected them, against the enemy.

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