Chapter 25: The Sudden Change
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it
when it’s in your power to help them.
PROVERBS 3:27 NLT
Asaph strolled along the corridor, the picture of serenity, but Kester couldn’t keep up. Every little ways, his steps would falter as some new question presented itself. Finally, he blurted, “What will we do?”
“Obey the king.”
“But …! But we cannot live with a human!” Hurrying to catch up to Asaph, Kester whispered, “He will notice.”
His mentor hummed. “What do you expect him to notice?”
“We do not eat. We do not sleep. We are not human.” Kester felt silly pointing out the obvious. “Your hair is blue.”
Asaph calmly pointed out, “We can eat. We can dream. And unless God Most High opens the young prince’s eyes, he won’t notice any little differences.”
Little differences. Kester knew Asaph’s hair could—and would—remain black, but he didn’t like the necessity. Asaph continued along the passage to their quarters, and Kester jogged after him. “The room is small. And there is no bed.”
“We have a niche, and the captain offered to bring what’s needed to make it comfortable.”
When they reached the familiar door, Kester rushed in first and stood beside his desk. Could Solomon be serious about putting a prince in such cramped quarters? The low sleeping platform on the far wall was piled with scrolls, notes, and an assortment of writing implements. Kester asked, “Will this be his bed?”
“His and yours,” Asaph replied, a hint of a smile lurking in eyes gone green. “My apprentices will have to share.”
“But …!” Kester clutched the front of his robes. If Lemuel moves in, we can no longer dress in raiment. Would their singing end? Already his furled wings ached to unfurl. And what if there was no more manna to eat? Kester’s dismay culminated in a hiccupping sob.
Asaph was at his side in a moment. “Did you eat something you shouldn’t have?”
Kester’s chin wobbled. “The king gave me a confection. I could not determine its provenance.”
Drawing him into a loose embrace, his mentor smoothed a hand over rumpled curls. “Why are you afraid, child of light?”
He hid his face and mumbled, “I am still learning your ways. I am not prepared to change.”
“I cannot ever remember feeling ready for the changes I have known.”
Kester hiccupped again. “Do they come often?”
Asaph chuckled. “You are the most recent of many.”
Quickly looking up, Kester asked, “Am I an intrusion?”
“Is that what you think of Prince Lemuel?”
He paused to examine his thoughts, then offered a small nod. “This room is ours.”
With a sleepy smile, Asaph said, “Who would have believed that angels would be called upon to offer hospitality to humanity?”
Another hiccup, and Kester tightened his hold, clinging miserably. “I will obey. I will be faithful.”
“Naturally.” Asaph continued to rearrange Kester’s curls. “Listen well, player of pipes and plucker of harpstrings. When you turned up, I was surprised, but pleasantly so.”
“You are glad?”
“My days have taken on new shape since you arrived.” Asaph asked, “How could I withhold my heart from such joy?”
Kester searched his mentor’s face. “Even though your hair must remain black, and we cannot sing through the watches?”
“Does the color of my hair concern you that much?”
Asaph chuckled. “We will adjust, and God will carry out His plans. Besides, my friend is counting on us.”
“ … to offer hospitality to his son?”
“I believe Solomon wants Lemuel to learn from you.”
Kester noticed that the hiccups had left off. He breathed deeply and relaxed against his mentor. But he was still at a loss. “What can I teach a prince?”
“How not to fear a king.”
♦ Can you sympathize with Kester?
♦ How are you with sudden changes?
♦ Have you ever thought of life’s little surprises—good or bad—as God at work?
Author’s Note: This story is a prequel to Christa Kinde’s Threshold Series [Zonderkidz] and updates on Thursdays. More information can be found on the Sage and Song index page. Sage and Song, © Copyright 2015 Christa Kinde, all rights reserved. If you want to receive an email whenever my stories update, subscribe to this blog. You can also watch for notifications on Twitter.