Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TRAVELER (01/28/16)
TITLE: The Cameleer's Journey
By Ellen Carr
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It's my first time away from Nishapur and I am honored to be here, serving my master on this important journey. We sleep by day and travel at night. The other servants mutter about the strangeness of our journey and the dangers of travelling through the darkness. I listen and say little, for this is my first cameleering venture and I am amongst seasoned cameleers, men twice my age.
By sunset we have the camels saddled, laden and ready to go. Our masters lead off, pointing us towards the star; the star is always there in front of us, moving imperceptibly across the inky sky. We are a long train; there is a lot to carry. We are heading west and none of us know when we will return.
Excitement is high. We have skirted around mountains, found our way across rivers and crossed dry plains but now we are close to our destination. A whisper passes around the camp; the masters say we're almost at Jerusalem. We talk of what we know, of rumors of King Herod's buildings, of the great temple of the God of the Jews. At sunset we will move on as usual, perhaps to the very place where the new king resides. My master has called for the beard-trimmer. He has a sparkle in his eyes and he is choosing which robe to have readied.
The nearby town is Jericho but we're not going there. We press on, on the uphill climb towards Jerusalem, so close yet still not there.
At last we see it. We round a hill and there are its sparkling lights and its great gray walls. A cheer goes up as our masters bring us to a halt with a raising of their hands. We will camp outside the walls until daybreak, for surely the new king is within. The Roman guards keep watch, clearly curious. Doubtless they have informed their superiors of our presence. They salute our masters, aware that they are men of great status.
What a journey this has been. Tonight we drink and laugh together lying on the rough ground, raising our glasses to the new king.
The sun rises slowly and we are up early, yawning in the chilly air, unused to early mornings and tired from our celebrations. We are a curiosity and the locals stare as they pass. We guess that all of Jerusalem knows of our presence. Today our masters will meet the new king, the one they have come to see, the new King of the Jews.
We're moving on, and so is the star. The new king was not here in Jerusalem but our masters know where to go. It was prophesied that the king would be born in Bethlehem so that's where we're heading. It's just six miles to the south. Imagine that; the new king has not been born in the palace of the great capital. He is in a tiny village.
We reach the town with hours to wait before sunset. The whole town comes out to stare at us. What a spectacle we must be. Our clothing is different to theirs; they wear no turbans or bright colours. We have time to sit and play our games, and wait. Our masters are waiting for the night sky and the star. They must be sure this time. The star will guide them to the chosen one.
The towns-people hurry in through the gates as the sky darkens to blacker than any night before, except for the star; it sends a clear beam down. Tonight there will be no mistake; the baby king will be found. A hush falls over our party as the masters prepare to enter the town gates. We ready the gifts and they walk through the gates, heads high, bearing the gold, frankincense and myrrh.
No one parties tonight. We sit in reverent silence waiting for the news. And at last they are back, faces aglow, needing to tell us all. So we sit at their feet as they tell of a young man and woman, and a tiny boy. This, they tell us, is the whole purpose of our long journey, their worship of the new born king. His name is Jesus.
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