She walks with humble steps but prides her posture in confidence. Her wings touch the clouds, her heart the stars. She was once the empty heart of a beggar. Grown in the slums of Niddle Wick. A town of harsh souls and even worse weather.
But her ever persistent heart to be more, always presented her a smile. A reason to be swelled in hope though her father be a vagabond of the streets. She loved him though he was resistaned to hope. His heart weighed heavy from his past.
He was clouded in the aftermaths of his hell. Allowing the roots of his regrets and fear to tangle his soul in the frozen hold of his thoughts. His eyes, weak, bitter, his skin tattered from the elements. He holds obsessively to his weapon of war, his sword.
The only thing left of his dreadful heart. A sword clasped in pride so heavy, it weighs upon his bones. But he would rather waste to the cracks in the streets than be without his weapon. Time and time again she would converse with him in hopes her love would set him free.
But deaf are the ears of his heart. He hears only the echoes of the past and the memories of his wife as she speaks. Quivering in the presence of his daughter, he weeps, longing for the passing of himself. Showing no care, no love for her, or himself.
They were a family of opposition, but she dared not step to the cruel resentment of shadows. Many days did she entertain the thought. Like passing insects she would watch as darkness fluttered by with alluring speech.
Forsake him she could, be set free of his misery and be welcomed a new life. But she dare not give up, for she knew there was life in him. But she too could feel the wear that he brought. The slow causing of poison to the soul.
But as they suffered together, she still smiled. Even in the gloom of winter she smiled. In the rain, in the snow, in the blazing kiss of the sun. In hunger, in thirst, in illness and pain. No matter, she found reason to smile, to praise her day.
But in her grim and challenging life, something great came. Something unexpected came to change it all. All in the name of her persistence to love, to be, to show that a rising sun, another day, is reason enough to be.
So in the coldest winter of ages of Niddle Wick, a carriage of three was passing through. Each carriage had two thunderous horses pulling them. Gold locks dangled from their head, as their hair of bronze shimmered in the distant light of the fading sun.
Each carriage was decorated in silver. Lined at every edge, the doors of mahogany and the wheels of a black wood. It was unlike anything Niddle Wick had ever seen. Guards dressed in armored suits of black marched along side the carriages, four per carriage.
As it passed through, she stood next to her father, embracing him to keep him warm as he begged from his knees for change. As she held him, she looked to the carriages without shame, she grabbed the cup from which her father held in his hands and placed it behind them.
Her father, shivering from the cold could not resist his daughters actions. So he mumbled in anger beneath his chattering teeth. She then held to him to keep him warm the best she could. As she did, she remained looking to the carriages but held a smile on her face.
She was in awe of the beauty she was seeing before her. Her deep eyes watched, looking at every detail that was held upon the sight before her. Just as she was about to look away and gather her father to return inside their desolate cottage. Which was barred with no windows or doors.
The carriages stopped. The horses heeled and stood proper. They remained still and as everything ceased. One of the carriage doors opened and from it stepped a young man dressed in a royal gown.
He stepped from the carriage, looked at the girl and her father. He then approached them calmly. Slowly he reached his hands out as he approached. He bowed before them and asked them to take his hand.
There was slight hesitation as both the father and daughter were confused. But when they did, he helped them both to their feet. He could see her father wore no pants but an old tattered rob. The daughter wore an old night grown that looked to have been pulled from sewage.
He then asked why she and her father are out her in the cold living in the slums. She replied with a short back story of her fathers struggles and the death of her mother. The man responded with grief and felt heavy in his heart.
He then asked why she smiles but her father does not. She opened her heart and told him of how she wished for better, for her and her father. That each day she wakes there must be a reason she still breathes. She spoke how each night she works in the back of the town bar caring to the dishes.
Working till she has enough for them to leave for a better place. The man smiled and then asked,
"Do you not resent me for what I carry? Gold, silver, the clothes upon my back?"
The girl appeared confused. She did not know how to responded at first. She then let go of the mans hand and looked to him with slight confusion. He could see she was gathering her thoughts. She then grabbed her father by the shoulders and held to him and said.
"I know nothing of you and what I found in myself, is what I need is right here." She hugged her father and smiled kindly to the man.
The man then smiled back, carefully released her fathers hand and waved over at his carriage. Another man plopped from the carriage, a stout pudgy man. He wore glasses that appeared one size too big for his face. He walked over and in his hand were clothes.
Once in arms length, the man in the royal gown presented the clothes to the father and girl.
"Here take these, for I wish you to be warm. You have shown no resentment or cruel tone toward me as many do in towns such as this. I wish you not to feel lesser than I for doing such a thing, but I only wish for kindness upon you and your father. May I ask you your name?" He leans over and hands the clothes off.
She looks to the man as a tear escapes her eye as she grabs the clothes. "My name is Ethel."
The man bows, "Nice to meet you Ethel, my name is Eper, King of Thelt."
Ethel had never heard of such a place nor any other place of that matter. Her literacy goes no further than this town. Eper then raised himself from his bow and stared to the father and Ethel. As he did, he looked to Ethel's father and looked him in the eyes.
He could see the desolation and the suffering that harps at his heart. He then said,
"I know this look dear sir, for my father was the same. I wish you no such burden."
Ethel stood with a grieving heart as he spoke. She started to weep, it was the first time any one had ever said anything kind to her father. Eper then asked something Ethel never expected.
Eper took the clothes from her and gave them to her father. Her father held them in his quivering arms, lost in his pain, still mumbling beneath his teeth.
"Ethel, I want to ask you something, you can say no and I will be on my way, with no feelings to be scarred. I would like to ask if you...Would you care to join me to my home? But before you speak, I must say, your father is unsightly and in much suffering. I can bring no such burden unless he wishes to help himself. I ask the same of you. For what I have now is not from begging, but from sacrifice."
Ethel stepped back for a moment, then grabbed her father and turned him around and looked to him as her heart wept she asked him, "Father, did you hear what he said, (He shook his head yes) Father, this is what I have been working toward, do you want to do this?"
Her father, stood shaking in the cold, his legs quivering like a baby deer. Ethel waited for a response, a she did, tears started to fall from her fathers eyes. In the meager state that he was in, he shook his head yes.
Ethel smiled and embraced her father. Eper smiled as well, he helped them to the carriage. After a few days of travel, they made it to Thelt. Eper then showed them his kingdom and people within it. He gave both Ethel and her father trades to earn their way in the kingdom. One year later, from the day they all met, Ethel was dawned the queen of Thelt, and her father became the most known educator in the land.
Do you think a smile can change your world?
More uplifitng stories in, A Man's Traveled Heartcoming soon, The Bleeding of Words
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