• It was a day like any other day. I lived in an average house, not big, but not small. I worked hard each day to keep what I had. I didn’t have anyone to call a family, but I was happy. But these were bad times, and I lived in a place under the rule of a corrupt tyrant. This tyrant cheated the people and stole many things. He would also find any excuse to have someone locked up or tortured for his amusement. I just happened to be his next victim.
    “Send him in next. His taxes are long overdue,” Ordered the tyrant.
    “At once sir,” a record keeper brought him in.
    “Your taxes have gone unpaid for a month; do you have anything you could give up to act as payment?” The king asked.
    “Sir, I have nothing, but you still tax me?” He asked.
    “The kingdom needs money and that money comes from the people, all of the people.” The king replied.
    “I cannot pay you.” He said.
    “Guards, have him locked up for life!” The tyrant bellowed.
    I overheard this conversation and was scared why the king had summoned me. He wanted to build on my land. I asked what I would get in return and I was thrown in prison also. I was a short man, a pale face, messy brown hair and clothed in the garbs of a prisoner. My shoes were worn. Months passed, but there seemed to be no hope.
    “We will get out of here one day,” he said.
    I hadn’t noticed that we were in the same cell until now. I believed myself to be alone and isolated in this cold place. It’s barred windows letting in only a depressing strand of light. The walls made of cold stone and the bars of some sort of metal.
    His voice was so enthusiastic and charismatic that, even if only for a short while, I actually believed him. To be free of this place, that was a dream worth living for.
    Later, I finally built up the courage to ask, “How will we?”
    We were in the most heavily guarded part of this evil place.
    “We will wait. I have contacts on the other side, and they will give us a sign when the time is right.”
    “I don’t know how you can say all this so calmly, but it’s kind of starting to make sense. I think I understand now.” I lied here. I didn’t get it, but I didn’t want to hurt him. Now details didn’t matter, and all I knew was that I would finally be free.
    “Everything makes sense. You just have to view it logically,” he retorted.
    “What about phrases like, the sky is green?”
    “In a situation like that, look at the problem in a different way. For example, if clouds of spores from groups of mushrooms covered the sky, an ancient civilization couldn’t possibly know that, and they would simply see the sky as green. The spores would infect people and the people would die. They would conclude that a green sky brought sickness and death.”
    “You see things in ways that any normal person couldn’t? What are you?” I asked.
    “I am.” He replied in an odd tone I had never heard before. This puzzled me.
    Only a few days had passed since we had this conversation. Today was the day; he said that he got the signal. The signal must have just been subtle enough for me not to notice. I saw the metal bars of the window melt before my eyes. We climbed out and I thought it would be easy from here on out. I was wrong. There were guards everywhere. I hoped and prayed that the cover of night would be enough to ease our escape.
    “Stop!” Shouted the guards as we raced through the rows of crates, boxes, and other obstacles. We had to get away. My mind was racing. Should we go left or right?
    A shot was fired. Panic rushed through my entire body. What should I do? Could I get away? We took a sharp turn to avoid capture.
    Another shot. Now fear took over. It was a trap! I smelled oil, but was too afraid to mention it. I was too late. Fires raged around us forming giant impenetrable walls and destructive pillars. He wouldn’t give up yet; he knew what to do. We continued running away, desperate to find a way out of the fiery inferno that was created. We were surrounded now, by both people and a wall of fire. He ran. Through the fire, he screamed as he looked for a way out. I followed, hoping he knew what he was doing. We ran so quickly that the fire went out. More guards came. We were chased to the end of the dock. I couldn’t swim. With a quick glance out of the corner of his eye, he snickered and fell back.
    He whispered, “Fall.”
    I followed orders and let myself fall off the dock. We landed on a boat. Perhaps this was his outside contact. The man on the boat was completely silent. He told me that the man was mute. I asked how they communicated, but he couldn’t explain it to me. He said we were going to a new land that he saw in a dream. He said that he knew it had to be real.
    We sailed for hours with no luck, but a few hours later, we saw the land. It was a lush, green island that stretched as far as the eye could see. We landed and began our new lives here, making friends with the natives of the island. We went into the green forests, where we found many fruits which we enjoyed. Many years passed, the town grew and developed and it had become a very powerful kingdom which was ruled by him. He was a kind and just king, unlike the corrupt scum of my old life. Through the many years he never seemed to age.
    That day, he ordered that two trees be completely burned down. He specifically said not to eat of the fruit of that tree. A rumor spread that it was these trees that made him look so young and when they went to destroy the trees, they all ate the fruits. After they ate the fruits, they burned the trees, as ordered. Because they took the fruits out of their selfish desire, the fruits had adverse effects and they perished. News quickly spread to him and he wept. He felt guilty because now he felt as though he should have gone and destroyed it himself. He called on me to tell me of his plans. I was old in age by this time.
    “You will take the throne of your homeland before you die,” he whispered.
    “How will I? I am old and worn. I couldn’t even survive the trip there,” I said.
    “You always did question me,” he chuckled.
    “How do you know that I will not die?” I asked.
    His mood was serious now. “I had a vision and in this vision there were two trees; one represented youth, the other immortality; Two traits that are both blessings and curses. In the vision, I was inside the tree of youth, and you were in the tree of immortality.”
    “This explains a lot about you, but should an immortal age?” I questioned.
    “This is the problem; you can only be affected by the first fruit that you ate. I will look young forever, but I will die, and you will live on, though your body turns to ash.” He explained.
    “Did your vision show any signs of a cure?” I begged for an answer.
    “No, I’m sorry,” he sighed.
    “Then I will unite all the lands under one rule while I still can!” I exclaimed.
    I took no rash military actions; instead I created reasonable agreements with all of the kingdoms and united them under common rule. Rule under him and all of his successors. I did take the throne as ruler for a while, but I stepped down, not wanting the life of a ruler. And there were one hundred years of peace to follow. My body died, but my spirit floats about on the winds, and I record the stories of these lands. I gained great wisdom over the ages and I act as a guardian of his kingdom. For one who lived such a short life as his, I still can’t figure out how he was so wise. His planning skills were greater than the most elite tacticians and his faith in things yet to happen was unmatched. His logic and reasoning still beat mine today, and I have had much time to improve. I still wonder what he really was to this day. Was he a psychic? He had many visions. Perhaps he was a great telepath; he was able to communicate with a mute man without signs. I will leave my theories behind and let you decide, your guess is as good as mine.
    The End