RM who was sharing author Ava D Dohn at fawnsfall.wordpress.com

p. 15- FH- Sacrifice For Loyal Reward


“Remember, my Dear, there is a reward beyond this life for those who remain loyal to Yehowah.  You must be willing to sacrifice all things for it.”

Ishtar could hear her uncle’s words echo in her head over and over again.  Each time they did, her pain would ease, freeing her mind to think.

“Yes, Uncle, I know. But I need no reward.  I love my God.  I will serve him without reward.”  How many times had that statement crossed her lips?  Was that really so, or had she only said it to impress others?

4-088, Glows 3

There was a sudden rustling near her.  Ishtar’s eyes popped open in fright.  The dim, golden glow from a light filled the cell.  Who was there?  Was Perk returned to ravish her again?  The girl’s heart pounded from her rising panic.  She squeezed her eyes shut, afraid of seeing Perk’s garish grin.  Nothing…  No foul voice or brutish hands mauling her flesh…  Nothing.  All remained silent.

Eventually, the girl’s curiosity overcame her fears.  She needed to know what was happening.  Her heart needed to know what fate was to befall it, should it explode within her chest.  Cautiously and ever so slowly she pushed up and back onto her knees.  Still nothing.  Gathering her courage, she opened her eyes.  Nothing.  No shadows or sounds… just a comforting, golden glow filling the room.

‘Strange…’  Ishtar could see no lamp or torch.  In fact, the light source seemed to be everywhere and nowhere.  She rubbed her eyes, thinking herself dreaming.  The light remained, still illuminating the room.  But where was it coming from?  Seeing no sign of its source only made the girl more determined to find what was making the light.  Ishtar struggled to stand, moaning as she did.

The golden light shone out from her cell into the darkness of the prison, but from where?  Ignoring her pain, the girl began to explore for the source of the light, searching the nooks and crannies everywhere in the little cell.  She was stooped down in a far corner when the sound of a gentle footfall echoed in her ear.  Sucking in her breath and then crying aloud in fright, Ishtar spun around, terrified of who she might see.  Words cannot describe the shock she felt.

4-089, Glow through prison- Darla

A young woman appearing no older than her stood just outside the prison cell.  A smiling, gentle face crowned with dark hair was pressed to the bars.  The light revealed her ivory-colored silky-smooth skin wrapped in a white satin sleeveless gown, pinned at the shoulders by two silver brooches. Twinkling, emerald-green eyes of almost hypnotic brilliance were peering at her.

Ishtar stared in disbelief and surprise.  The woman did not move, nor did she speak.  Who was this person?  Was this only a vision or a dream?  Was the girl dead and gone to her promised glory?  Was this her soul looking back at her as it prepared to leave for other worlds?  The girl began to drift toward the haunting enchantress, extending her hand as if it were leading her along.

Slowly she drew near until her face nearly touched the woman’s.  Ishtar knew not whether it was seconds or an eternity that the two remained there, eye to eye, frozen in time.  A spell held the girl in its grip, refusing to give her release.  All the while she could feel some kind of energy flowing into her beaten body, soothing her heart and mind.

The woman finally broke the spell.  In a musical voice and talking just above a whisper, she spoke to the girl.  “ Ishtar, I must have a word with you.”

Startled, Ishtar stepped back.  The woman quietly opened the cell door and stepped in.  Ishtar marveled with awe at watching this person.  The grace and beauty of the woman entering was beyond description.  The fluidity of her movements could not be described as walking, but more like a drifting swan on a summer breeze.  And her beauty was so great the girl’s heart started to burn with such a passion she feared it might burst.  She stood transfixed, unable to remove hers eyes from this magnificent goddess.

The woman reached out a hand, touching Ishtar’s shoulder and, with two fingers, let it drift down to the girl’s elbow.  A raging fire and a freezing cold raced through Ishtar, starting at her shoulder and spreading like a tidal wave across the girl’s flesh.  The woman’s fingers continued down the girl’s arm, stopping at her open palm.  She then reached out with her other hand and cupped the girl’s between hers.

An ecstasy of emotion erupted in Ishtar’s head, and her heart filled with joyous passion the likes of which the girl had never experienced.  Was this feeling the same as a woman enraptured in the arms of her lover?  It was but a fleeting thought as Ishtar was swept along in this surge of intoxicating joy.  The rush of emotion crested with the girl’s cry of delight and then slowly ebbed, leaving her feeling satisfied and refreshed.

Gone were the earlier terrors of the night, having drifted away like some nearly forgotten dream.  Perk’s evil was little more than a memory, horrid and chilling… but still only a memory.  She felt clean.  ‘The peace that excels all thought…’ – those were the only words she could think of – ‘The peace that excels all thought.’  She then glanced down and received another shock.  The child was clean, cleaner than if she had bathed.

The woman held up a gown, similar to hers.  “Here, my lovely one, take this.  Put it on and come with me.”

With the woman’s assistance, Ishtar managed to dress.  The gown’s fabric was iridescent and shimmered with rich hues of blue, green and gold. It also had two silver brooches that glittered in the golden light.  The woman then drew out two golden sandals like her own and slipped them over Ishtar’s feet.

She grinned with delight. “There!  You’re now ready for our stroll.”  She gently pulled Ishtar from the cell.

As she walked along the passages, Ishtar noticed how quiet it was.  Everyone, even the guard, was fast asleep.  But what was even more spectacular was that the golden light remained in their company, illuminating the rooms and hallways they passed.  No person barred their path. Even the heavy iron door was swung fully open.  The two gingerly stepped over one of the sleeping guards as they exited onto the foggy street.

The woman glanced around, lifting her head up as if smelling the breeze.  Her voice filled with urgency.  “Come along… quickly!  This fleeting hour will soon pass.  Much there is to do and so little time to do it.”  She pulled Ishtar along, and both disappeared into the fog.

4-090, Night Moon 2

The fog was so thick, Ishtar could not tell how far they had traveled, nor did she know how long a time they walked until coming out of it.  When it broke, she saw they were standing on a little hill overlooking a broad, moonlit valley, filled with the smells and delights of a warm spring evening.

The woman permitted the girl little time to luxuriate in the tapestries of the delights surrounding them.  She squeezed her hand. “Ishtar, my sweet one, we must talk.”  Ishtar was so caught up in the moment, the woman had to repeat herself twice more before getting the girl’s attention.

Reluctantly, Ishtar pulled herself away from this enchanting dream world.  “I’m sorry, but I have never seen such…”  She was stunned into silence.  The light that was accompanying them was now emanating from the woman.  Her skin and clothing radiated with a golden glow, lighting the area around them.  “Wha…  Wha…  Your…  Who ar…”  Ishtar stared into the woman’s emerald green eyes, reedy pools of green so deep.  She felt another universe must be hidden within those eyes.

Ishtar was becoming aware that she was standing in the presence of a creature not of her kind.  As the realization filled her mind, she grew fearful for her life.  Should this person truly be a messenger of God, how could she survive?  She fell to her knees, clasping her hands together and raising them high, crying, “My Lord, forgive me for my insolence.  Forgive me… please… for looking upon the face of God!”

4-091b, God's Sky

“Ishtar, stand up.”  A gentle, but firm voice responded.  “I am not God, just an ordinary servant of His house.  Now, please, my Sister, there is much to be done.  I have no time for this.  Please, stand.”

She pulled Ishtar up.  “Child… I am not from your world, that is true… but I am still your sister.  Are we not all children of God?”

Ishtar was nearly beside herself with anxiety.  The woman wiped the tears from the girl’s eyes and held her shaking hands.  “My child, blessed you are among women.  Had you not been found delightful to God, he would not have bothered with you.  You have nothing to fear from me… but there is reason to fear.”

That statement caught the girl’s attention.  The woman smiled.  “My Child, I have been sent to offer you a choice.”  She swept her left hand in the direction of the hills.  “Look please, to see your future. There are two roads being offered to you.  Each contains a blessing and a price, but one may be greater.  You choose.”

The woman opened her hand, revealing a tooled leather pouch.  Ishtar gazed down at its opening.  The purse was filled with silver and gold monies, a king’s ransom.

“Here…”  The woman placed the purse in Ishtar’s hand.

The girl gasped.  A person could live a lifetime and never acquire such wealth.  “What is this all about?”  She asked, not able to take her eyes off the money.

The answer came quickly.  “You may take this money and go.  Travel north, then east, continuing on until the roaring sea faces you.  There you will find peace for the rest of your many days in this realm.  A husband of valor and kindness will be waiting for you at the end of your journey.  He will fall in love with you and refuse to leave your side.  Never will cruelty and suffering befall you again.  Your womb will become fat with children, and your breasts will swell with the sweet milk of life.  No enemy will enter your gate, nor will famine or thirst find you.  That is the gift of the first road.”

A sweet smile crept across the girl’s face.  She imagined what her life would be like, her husband of valor, the many fat and happy children she would nurse.  And then the smiled faded as she considered the cost.  She slowly closed her hand around the money as if fondling a dream.  The girl frowned.  “What is the price?  What is the price of that road?  What does it cost me?”

The woman closed her hands around the girl’s, hiding the money from view.  “For you…?”  She looked away.  “Being a good wife and mother will not always be easy.”

4-092b, Road One 5

Ishtar was not satisfied with the woman’s answer.  She could see her skirting the question. Once more she asked, “What is the price of that road, and what of the other?  You do not tell me yet what the second road is.  How shall I choose wisely if you do not tell me?”

The woman was surprised.  “Is the first road not good enough for you?  Why must I tell you of the other?  Enjoy your gifts.  You have earned them.  They are a reward for all your sacrifice.”

Ishtar was becoming impatient.  “What is the second road from which I may choose, and what is the price demanded for taking it?”

Slowly shaking her head, the woman sighed, “So much like your uncle you are…  Little knowledge is a dangerous tool.”

Ishtar pressed her for an answer.

The woman surrendered to Ishtar’s will.  “All right, I will tell you…  Your Lord said that some of his servants would speak before kings and governors.  They would stand in front of crowds in defense of his God.  They would prove his enemy a liar.  That is the blessing of your second road.”

The woman grasped Ishtar by the arms and stared into her eyes.  Great sadness grew on her face and a tear rolled down her cheek.  “Take the monies and go.  Unsung is the hero who succeeds in secret, but a hero that person is nonetheless.  Yet to fail while attempting the sublime will only bring one shame and humiliation.   You have run your race to the full.  Enjoy your reward.”

Ishtar was quick with her reply, and her tongue sharp and scolding.  “You offered me two roads.  It is my choosing as to which one I take, not yours.  Now, please, it is your turn to confess to me what the fate of the second road is.  It is my right to know.”

“Yes…  Yes, I did.” The woman softly replied.  She could not look the child in the face.  “The tiller man is not kind when the tempest descends upon the sea.  He exacts a high wage to deliver one to safe harbor.  There is no safe harbor to be found on this second path.  Only the black abyss of death awaits the sojourner…  There is no escape from that destiny.”  She looked up into the girl’s eyes.  “So why trouble the spirits with such a fatal choice?  Enjoy the blessings already offered you.”

Ishtar was not swagged.  “I have a right to know!  I choose my own fate, not you!  You offered me two roads.  Must I barter with you… or is mine a free choice?”

A warning filled with indignation crossed the woman’s lips.  “Shall a child rebuke its father and not be chastised?  Dare you show God’s servant such disrespect and not fear retribution?!”

4-093b, A Choice of 2 Roads

The reproof was not wasted on the child.  She humbly begged forgiveness, apologizing for her flagrant disrespect.  Still, she pressed the issue, pointing out that she had been offered a choice.

“Yes, my little one, you have been offered a choice.”  The woman thought a moment, adding,  “It is sometimes better to not know the price until it has to be delivered up.  Would you be able to see it through if you did know?”

Ishtar was more respectful, but still firm in her resolve.  “The tiller man cannot exact a thief’s price if his charge knows the journey’s route.  I will not travel the road blindly when knowledge can light up the dangers I must face.”

The woman shrugged, resigning herself to telling Ishtar everything.  “All right…  The price that is to be paid is not yours alone.  It will be demanded from both you and your uncle… and it is high.  He will be tested to betray his love for his God, to preserve your life.  If he remains loyal, you…”  She shook her head.  “You will die a most horrible death in the arena… torn apart by beasts.  Should he fail in his test, your death by wild beasts will be delayed but for a day… so that vile men may have their way with you.”

Ishtar groaned in dismay.  “So that is my test…?  The price I must pay to take the second road?”

“No…” the woman answered.  “You, for your part, will have no control regarding the outcome in this coming test.  It is your uncle’s to decide.  Your test will come sooner.  The finality will be the same, should you fail or succeed, but it will either be death in victory…or defeat.”

Ishtar silently pondered the matter, finally asking, “What of my test, then?  If I am to die, do I not deserve to know what it will be?”

“You ask a question I cannot answer.”  The woman softly replied.  “It is great, because your enemy will continue to offer you a way out.  If your heart is not complete toward your God, you will not succeed.  Easy it is to fool the heart when a door of escape is opened for you.  And gentle speech may well hide a deceitful tongue.”

She closed Ishtar’s finger around the purse.  “Here.  Take the money I give and leave.  Enjoy your blessing to the full.” . . .

Also enjoy pages:

Section One- Destiny’s Road, p. 02, 03, 04

Section Two- Of Councils Great and Small, p. 06, 07, 08

Section Three- Legend’s Heroes, p. 10, 11, 12

Section Four- The Forges of Hell, p. 14, 15, 16

Section Five- The Silent Tombs

 

Enjoy other posts: 

 Prologue,

Destiny’s Road 1-0011-0021-0031-004, 1-0051-0061-0071-0081-009,

1-0211-022, 1-0231-024 & 1-025

Of Councils Great and Small 2-0262-0272-0282-0292-0302-031,

2-0322-0332-0342-0352-0362-0372-0382-0392-0402-0412-042,

2-0432-0442-0452-0462-0472-0482-049 & 2-050

Legend’s Heroes 3-0513-0523-0533-0543-0553-0563-0573-058,

3-0593-0603-0613-0623-0633-0643-0653-0663-0673-0683-069,

3-0703-0713-0723-0733-074 & 3-075

Forges of Hell 4-0764-0774-0784-0794-0804-0814-0824-0834-084,

4-0854-0864-0874-0884-0894-0904-0914-0924-0934-0944-095,

4-0964-0974-0984-099 & 4-100

Or find your own book at:

Amazon.comSmashwords.com;

Diesel-Ebooks.comBN.comebookstore.sony.com

BUY NOW!

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