Golden Land

The holy man came out of the orchard, a golden apple cradled against his chest.

“See what has finally sprung up from this hallowed earth. The trees have long known what lies in the depths beneath us. Their roots have grown deep and they have found the salvation we were promised.”

Onlookers were in awe, enraptured by the apple’s otherwordly incandescence. The holy man’s words seeped into their souls.

A sudden shout broke the spell. “We must dig! We must find that which gives such power to these trees!” For the trees grew amidst a barren land.

“Yes! We must take it from this place and hold it where we can keep it safe, where none might steal or threaten it.”

“We should take it to the mountains, and build it a fortress, so that none deemed unworthy might approach.”

One after the other proclaimed a new idea to take this miraculous power. Fortifications, weapons, rules, rituals, a new society, whatever it would take to ensure that the gift would be safe from destruction or abuse by any potential enemy.

These people had faced much hardship in their lives. Fear fuled their anxiety, and a promise of new fortunes, of the power to take control of their destinies and shape the land and people around them for generations to come filled their imagination.

The holy man cleared his throat, cutting through the endless milieu of the crowd. Silence fell. Naught could be heard but the rustle of leaves, chirps of birds, and buzzing of insects. The shade of a cloud passed over the group, a chill running up the spine of everyone.

“The power is in the earth itself. It cannot be moved. It is not in one place, but everyplace. Try and pick it out, and you will find nothing. It will be as if it was never there. We shall make our home here. We cannot defend it, and so we shall not try, nor turn away any stranger. But should any threaten us, we shall leave this land to them, and it will defeat them for us, for none who are unworthy will be able to hold it, and if they destroy that which we hold dear, we shall be no poorer than we are now, but in fact enriched by the time we had in this land.”

The crowd stared at the seer, and contemplated their fears, desires, and hopes.

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