Part 1 of a longer story (potentially)
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves already.
Before the girl was born, before anyone knew her name, she was the subject of debate in the Spiritual Realm. The King was rightly proud of all his beautiful creation, especially his children. This day he was excited, and spoke in a melodic voice, that may have even been a song. “See, my beloved children, and all who hear my voice, how beautiful this little one is now, and is to be. She too will shine brightly for my kingdom in the Earthly Realm, and beyond. Celebrate with me, with rejoicing and singing.”
The Enemy, always within earshot, scoffed as he swept into the throne room. “O great King,” he began, with sarcasm and scorn dripping from every syllable, “could it possibly be that your love for your subjects exceeds your great wisdom? How could it be that this little one could shine so brightly? She has the mark, as you surely know, and it will only grow darker and stronger.”
“Yes, she has the mark,” the King replied, “as do all my beloved in the Earthly Realm, as you well know,” (here the enemy didn’t attempt to stifle a sinister chuckle), “but the price has been paid for it, and it cannot consume her. She will shine brightly.”
“Perhaps, O King. Yet I have designed that the mark will be strong on this one. Have you not allowed me to do so?”
“Yes, I allow it, until your time has ended. Nevertheless, the light on this one will shine brightly through whatever darkness you may devise. Tell us, what is your design for the mark on this beautiful child?”
The Enemy drew himself up and affixed a triumphant smile, eager to score a victory in the debate, and announced: “The Nettle!” Immediately those in the throne room, and all within hearing, released an involuntary gasp. A murmur rose up as many began to despair for the princess, who was still within her mother’s womb.
“Hush, my beloved. Do not fear. So it will be, but be not without hope. I have marked her with light that is stronger than the darkness, but she herself must experience both.” The King was confident, yet there was a tinge of sadness in his voice. As the enemy quickly departed, those closest to the King saw tears gathering in the corners of his eyes.