Threads of Silver: Chapter 2 ©

Now the kingdom in which Adala and Jinx lived was called Eben and it was ruled by a vain, arrogant man named King Dempsey. He was pale, short, very round and had a pinched sort of face with a pointy little nose. He had an insatiable desire to be admired and his bitter jealousy burned towards anyone that he saw as being more knowledgeable, talented, or handsome than he was. Each night he tossed and turned, fretting about what people thought of him, which of course made his face appear even more pinched than it naturally was. However, this was not the worst to be said about King Dempsey. Nearly twenty years ago he had been married to an exquisitely beautiful Spanish princess named Isadora, whom he was sure would make him the envy all of his peers. The princess, who became his queen, was not only lovely but kind and possessed many talents. She was an exquisite dancer, enchanting singer and spent much of her time among the people, listening to their problems and doing what she could to help. The queen also had very special book that she simply called The Book of Wisdom. It was an account of the Great King of creation who made himself human to save the world from a terrible curse. He was the essence of true love, ultimate sacrifice and the wisdom that gives life to all things. This she read to the people on her visits throughout the kingdom. As she spoke the words of the story, her silvery voice would carry it like a song straight into the hearts of all who would listen and before long the entire realm began to pulse with a sense of life like it had never known before. Of course this did not please King Dempsey at all. He had wanted Isadora as a beautiful ornament to adorn himself with, but instead he got a queen who completely outshined him in every way. He felt discarded by his subjects, which caused jealousy to seethe inside of him until he could stand it no longer and he began plotting to get rid of her. However, before he had the chance to carry out his evil plans, the Queen became pregnant and soon gave birth to twins; a boy and a girl. At first the King was happy and for a time his jealousy towards Isadora softened.

Years passed and the twins grew to be as enchanting and lovely as their mother, which meant the King’s jealousy once again burned towards his family. Sadly this time he would succeed in his efforts to get rid of them. On a dark, moonless night King Dempsey sent assassins to kill Isadora. The Queen tried to escape and got as far as the outskirts of the forest before she was finally caught. No one knows what happened to the children, not even the king, for their bodies were never found. Some say that they must have been drowned in the river; others say they remain locked in some forgotten chamber of the dungeons but in truth, no one really knows for sure. Even the queen’s precious Book of Wisdom mysteriously vanished. Of course, King Dempsey claimed it was all the work of criminals and even put on an impressive display of mourning to obtain sympathetic attention, but everyone in the kingdom knew that he was the reason for their disappearance. When the King did not get the admiration he had anticipated, his temperament became darker. Everyone was forced to continue on with their duties as though nothing had happened but the feeling that all the light in world had been snuffed loomed over the kingdom like a cloud of suffocating smoke. The village festivals slowly disappeared and even small celebrations seemed to have lost their warmth; the gardeners could no longer hear nature’s sweet songs and their tasks felt like the purest drudgery; the artisans lost their sense of purpose and most of their work was completely devoid of creativity. Thus the kingdom became a very sad place indeed. But in the quaint little town where there was a magic weaver and an old dwarf, a whisper of life still existed and it wouldn’t take long for the King to find it.

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