A Prologue from my novel “Nathaniel.”
“Azeem, Azeem! Come quickly…Azeem!”
“Coming, lord,” Azeem cried as he came running into the room out of breath.
He looked around frantically and found his master standing at the rail on the balcony staring at the night sky.
“I’m here, my lord. What’s troubling you?”
“Troubling me? Troubling me?” Balthazar turned around quickly and embraced his servant, letting out a deep belly laugh as he hugged his servant and picked him up off the ground and spun in a circle. “Troubling me? You wonderful servant, you wonderful friend!”
Balthazar put him down and pulled him closer to the rail, so quickly Azeem feared he might fall over. Balthazar pointed to the starry heavens and said, “Do you see that? Azeem, do you see that?”
Azeem looked up and saw a magnificent star. A star like he had never seen before. It was so beautiful and he was quite sure he would have remembered this star, yet he had never seen it before.
“Master it is wonderful,” Azeem muttered as he stared in amazement. Both men stared for several minutes, marveling at it’s splendor and beauty. It was unlike anything they had seen before.
Balthazar urgently spoke in a whisper, “Azeem.”
“Yes, my lord?” Azeem responded quietly as they both stood still, mesmerized by the spectacle in the sky.
Balthazar turned towards Azeem and grabbed his shoulders, looking at him with an intensity Azeem had only seen before a battle. With the excitement fading from his voice he spoke with a sense of urgency, he spoke with the authority of a king.
“I need you to do something for me. Something more important than anything you have ever done before.”
“Of course my lord, anything. You need only to say the word,” Azeem responded respectfully.
“By now, Gaspar and Melchoir have seen the star. I need you to go to the stables and get our fastest steed and ride like the wind, ride all night and bring them both. Repeat to them exactly what I tell you and nothing else. Do you understand?”
“Of course, master,” Azeem said with a puzzled look on his face.
“Tell them these words from the holy text, ‘A star will come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel.’ They will understand these words and will gather their things for the journey. Tell them to bring gifts for a king. Tell them to bring some frankincense and gold,” Balthazar raised his voice as Azeem was heading across the massive palace courtyard towards a large door leading towards the garden and stables.
“Go now quickly, there is a great distance to travel. When you return with them, the three of us will begin our journey. Hurry, go quickly, something wonderful has happened tonight.”
“Yes, master!” Azeem shouted as he ran from the room.
Balthazar smiled as he watched Azeem run across the courtyard towards the stables, the cool breeze blowing away the dust trail that followed him. He looked back towards the heavens and was once again filled with amazement and for a moment felt like a child again.
“God had returned to his people.
A king is born this very night.
A king that will save the world.”