Seven Sins ~ Pride

Will your lustful butterfly spread its wings for anyone?

Fire from the skies, fallen on the western shores of the Dead Sea. It was another time, another world...

High on the throne, King Bera looked down at the stranger kneeling in the center of his court with great skepticism. The ministers seated on the two sides were passing loud whispers in each other's ears and looking at the stranger with scorn; before long, a young man at the head of the council stood up. He was tall and well built with a stern but youthful face, his eyes were of an emerald green while his hair shone like gold; that was why his father named him Hymoar, which meant star in the night in their native tongue.

"My lord, it is time we put an end to this absurdity. There is no reason to listen to the lies of such a madman any further."

The king turned to look at the stranger who still had his head bowed low humbly without moving once when Hymoar spoke. "Be seated," he said quietly. "But father...!" the young man began to speak again but Bera ignored him completely this time and said to the stranger instead, "I would rather prefer to hear your intentions. Hymoar has a right to question why we have been gathered here to listen to the absurd tales of a clown."

The stranger lifted his head and looked up, a little smile formed around his lips. "What Prince Hymoar questions in this matter is rather inconsequential. The only thing that matters is what your majesty thinks of my tale," he said calmly.

The king laughed although his eyes remained cold, "did you really expect me to believe that the forces of Amraphel, Arioch, Chedorlaomer and Tidal would all join against me? Great kings who have been our friends, allies for decades and more... It is time you tell us your real purpose behind those poisoning slanderous tales you told."

The stranger was still smiling, and with a dramatic sigh, he said, "Oh what treacherous plot could your majesty possibly suspect from a jester like myself. I am only a poor and helpless clown seeking shelter in your court if my tale proved to be true. All I have asked for... was wait three days."

"And we are at the end of the third day," the king said coldly. Just then, the gates to the palace swung open as a courier covered in blood and mud stumbled in.

"My lords! The armies of Shinar, Ellasar, Elam and the League of Nations have risen and are marching towards us from the four sides, over land and water...! They have overtook our first and second line of watchmen completely by surprise and will arrive at the city gates within five da..." he never finished what he was saying.

Watching the chaos the court was suddenly thrown into, the strange jester still kneeling at center floor smiled slightly in disdain, and then quickly collected himself to bowed down humbly again. Hymoar walked up to the body of the courier expressionlessly and bent down examining it.

"He was shot from the back," he finally said. "His wound is at least three days old."

The king slowly stood up from his throne as a silence fell over the room. He looked up thoughtfully while no one dared to take a deep breath, and suddenly a high, shrill laughter pierced through the air.

"Even when all the forces in the world are gathered at my gates, none will ever return alive. For I am Bera, King of Sodom!"

Once on a certain street by the dead sea... I did a meaningless experiment.

"Strange jester, your word has proven true. You may remain at my court, for you may prove to have further uses. What is your name?"

"your excellency," the jester bowed. "This poor clown will forever be at your service. I am Belial... but they call me... the Mad Hatter."