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The Lone Rider

The Lone Rider

2 mins 266 2 mins 266

The miles stretch before him, unforgiving, merciless

Leagues of jungles, enemy bastions and treacherous terrain

Days of uncertainty and fatigue 

Why is he doing this?

Why is he risking his life for a single piece of paper, hidden in his satchel?

The yellow lantern illuminates the desolate landscape

Like a glow-worm in a dark room.

His sturdy brown horse lets out an indignant neigh but gallops on, 

The clippety-clop of its hooves never pausing.

The messenger’s mind goes back to the solitary letter in his satchel,

Wondering what his master had written in it.

What devious, yet ingenious strategies had he outlined in it?

Would it make him the most powerful king around?

Or would it raze his empire to the ground?

He had seen many a kingdom rise

In their golden splendour,

Their kings no less than earthly deities,

Their great family trees swelling over generations,

Only to be chopped down and started afresh. 

Ambition, greed and the lust for power,

That was what drove kingships

Not the lives of its citizens.

A tide of emotion washes over him,

What of his family?

His wife and children huddling around the fire in uneasy ignorance, 

Not knowing whether he would return home or not.

Dusk descended surely,

Creating ominous shadows on the land,

Beckoning the night to follow 

And uncover her jet-black face to him,

Determined to evaporate his courage,

Determined to destroy his focus.

His fading lantern casts a wispy glow on the path ahead.

The ground is wet with his sweat

Blood, toil, tears, he has given it all,

He suppresses these thoughts and rides on,

Loyalty overcoming his fears.

At last, he sees the towering palace,

Resplendent in all its glory,

Golden light bounces off its walls

Silver peacocks adorn the entrance,

Solemn guards roam the grounds, spears in hand.

As the galloping of his faithful steed slows to a diminuendo,

A sense of completion and relief washes over him as he reaches the gates.

The Gods in heaven smiled down at him,

Applauding his devotion,

And Mother Earth herself bows down before her worthy son.

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