Red King's Command
The evening after releasing the elf girls…
And I thought I didn’t know where to start last time. “What would dare to cross over?” indeed…
Ooooh, Lord, there are far, far too many things crossing over. Last time I refused to touch the topics of Mom and Zachary, but now… I’m not so sure I can ignore them any longer.
I’ll start with the easy one first, though. Mom.
Why did she never tell me about any of this? Magic, Esserea, Elves… that she’s an elf… and thus so, in part, am I. She seems to have gone out of her way to make sure I’d never find out. In the books and movies, I’d learn about all this, and I’d grow bitter and angry with her for “lying” to me all my life.
…All I can do is hear her saying my name. Ethelywyn. Or Ettelewen. And Honestel. She always said she chose Ethelwyn because AoaQN cited it as meaning “Home-joy.” And Honestel because of what it meant to her. What did Llewelyn say “Ettelewyn” and “Honestel” meant? Heh, for some reason I actually remember – “Foreign-maiden” and “Heart’s Hope.” Those names… those names say what I meant to her. Those names say how much she treasured and loved me. The tone of her voice every time she said them, said that she treasured and loved me.
So I can’t be angry. If there was something she didn’t tell me, it was because she had a reason for me not to know. And that reason took her love for me into account. Who ever said love had an obligation to tell everything, or the beloved to know everything? Did she keep from me anything I needed or had a right to know? Well… perhaps some would say yes. I say… I love her, and I trust her reasons. At least until I have a chance to ask her to her face about her silence, I choose to believe that she did not wrong me with it.
Zachary, however, is not so easy.
Let’s face it: I knew already there was something wrong. I knew already that he’d abandoned me, left without a word or any way of contacting him. But… I think I’ve been hoping all this time that there were reasons… like I say of Mom. Hoping that somehow, someday – soon – he’d come back and explain everything. That the explanations would make everything clear and show that things weren’t really what they looked like… even his presence on the side of the road that day. That everything would be okay again. Even though… I knew, Lord. I knew from the very beginning, even long before the crash, that everything wasn’t okay.
When I realized he tested me like Llewelyn did, that… well, it just confirmed everything I already knew, didn’t it? But still, I never imagined… that he would’ve tried to kill me. Why is it such a shock? If he really was there on the side of the road that day, he left me in a crashed car in a coma. But if he wanted me dead… why did he leave me alive in the first place? Why only if I was exposed to magic or got to Esserea? Why would it matter more then than otherwise? I mean… I guess it would ensure that if I ever went looking for Mom – presuming whoever has her is a magic user, though I suppose from what I can tell it seems likely – that I wouldn’t get very far. Oooh, I don’t know.
One thing it does show for sure, though: he never truly loved me. I know, I know, many would say, “You’re only now figuring that out?” But until this, there was room for me to think I might’ve been mistaken, that his actions might not have been as bad as they seemed. But… if he would try to kill me? No, I need to let the idea go.
I didn’t realize how much it would break my heart to write that. But let it go, Ellie, let it go.
Think about something else. Something better.
Oooh, Lord, You’re amazing.
In the midst of all this, lost in all these things that I hardly know how to face or handle… You still give me reminders that You’re there, that You’re working. You give me encouragement to hold onto. Like Llewelyn’s story… You actually RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD. It’s nothing new to You; You’ve done it before, and I’ve read about it many times. But to read about it… it’s so different from hearing someone say they’ve actually seen it happen… and that they were the one raised! So thank You. With everything that’s happening, it’s so good to hear the stories of someone who follows You and has seen You work. Heh… not to mention the fact that he saved my life from Zach’s attempt to kill me. Thank You for letting him be there. Of course, thank You for the others, too. And thank You for being with me.
It does seem there was one other thing… one of those things that have “dared to cross over.” I can do magic? I healed those burns? It almost sounds… blasphemous. But then, I’m used to healing as a miracle – something coming from You and only from You. And I’m not used to magic being… well, being. And certainly not being something that one who belongs to You is supposed to try doing. And yet… I know it can be. But where is the distinction? What makes them different? It wasn’t even something I realized I was doing, but… what makes it okay? Oh, Lord, please make this clear to me. It’s… well and away time I was asleep, so I won’t tangle with this more, but… please give me insight on what to do with this. I know I already told Llewelyn I’d be interested in learning how to use it, but… is that what You want me doing? Where should I be going from here?
Heh. So the above questions were still chasing themselves in my mind, and I couldn’t fall asleep. But I did remember something – something that helped – and I wanted to write it down before I forget. Maybe then I’ll be able to sleep.
I remember back in high school having a conversation with Mom about fantasy. Someone had made some comment to me about how it was mostly evil because you have people using magic and God’s forbidden magic. Or some-such thing. And I disagreed, but I hadn’t quite worked out words for why. So I asked her, and in her characteristic form, she turned the question around and asked me what I thought, first. And of course, because I was talking with her, I actually could think, and I said the reason magic was a problem in our world was that God didn’t make it with magic, so if someone was using magic-like powers in our world – and they weren’t doing miracles through God – then they were probably getting their powers from demons, which would of course be bad. But if God had made a world with magic – a magic that people were, through the way He made them, able to access in some way – then there would be no problem with it. It would just be like using any other ability – you could use it right, or you could use it wrong, but the ability itself wasn’t the problem. And I saw no reason God couldn’t have made such a world if He wanted; it’s just that He didn’t. But I also saw no reason why people shouldn’t take the imaginative step of, “What if He did?”
Looking back, I can see why Mom smiled kind of funny the way she did. Heh, wow. But I also remember what she answered (at least generally, just as I do the rest of the conversation): “You have a good head on your shoulders, my Ettelewen,” she said with that funny smile. “But here, since it’s okay to ask the question: What if God did make the world with magic? Take it another step – what if you always thought He didn’t, but He actually did?”
I answered that I thought the Bible kind of said He didn’t, because of the commands against witchcraft and the like.
“Yes… but we’re taking the imaginative step, remember? We’re asking ‘What if?’ Let’s say those verses refer to the sourcing of power through demons, like you said. What if you one day found you could do magic… that it just happened, and you’d done nothing to make it happen. What then?”
“Well… if it was an ability God made me with…?”
“Yes. Like your ability to see and hear, or perhaps more like your ability to figure out craft projects and play music.”
“Then He made me with it, and there would be nothing wrong with using it. Or rather, the right or wrong of it wouldn’t be in the using it as such, but in how I used it. Just like the abilities you just named, or like any others.”
Mom gave me one of her smiling nods – the kind where I always knew it meant she liked how I’d put something. “Just so.” Then she added with a more playful smile, “And what would you want to do? If you could choose anything to find you had the ability for, what would it be?”
“Ummm… grow wings and fly?”
I think we bantered about fun fantasy things to do from there on out. The conversation never gave me too much pause at the time; it was just the kind of thing Mom would do, getting me to think out a hypothetical or even an impossible scenario, “just to give your brain a stretch,” as she’d say. She was doing more than that, though, wasn’t she? Was she preparing me for something like this? I’ll have to ask her.
Lord please let us find her so I can.