Oscar strolled barefoot along the cool street. Its surface of polished metal reflected his image back. The brilliant sights and wonderful smells of the city surrounded him like a familiar friend, but his mind was somewhere else. The adrenaline was still thick in his blood from the meeting he had just had. It was an honor to be called to court with the High King, but to be personally assigned a station by him was an unforgettable experience.
“We can’t wait to hear about your visit to the mountain, Oscar,” a neighbor called as he passed. Oscar waved at the man; a friend he knew well.
“I’d never hear the end of it from my household, if they’re not the first to hear the tale.” Oscar said smiling. The neighbor laughed as he continued on his way.
He received numerous warm greetings from others who were eager to hear about his adventure. He kindly deflected, knowing that the word would spread soon enough. He would be the talk of town, but it was not proper for a man to brag.
In this neighborhood they all knew his name. Who would have imagined that a school teacher from First Earth could come so far, he thought. A giggle escaped his lips as he climbed the steps to his house. He didn’t let the thought bloom into pride but instead quickly gave thanks to the King for his generous appointment.
The King’s words were still ringing in his ears as the automatic door spread wide for his entrance. As soon as he was through the door he was surrounded. His entourage of attendants and estate managers were eager to hear the news. His household staff waited as Oscar entered the enormous doorway. He was staring at the floor.
“What news from the Court of the High King?” one of his attendants begged. Oscar let the moment become pregnant with anticipation. He looked to each of them as he prepared to relay the news.
“The King has appointed his humble servant, as Regent of Newearth,” Oscar said. He had no need to hide the joy in his voice. The small audience erupted with a wave of congratulations. Oscar allowed them to enjoy the moment.
Newearth had been a mystery for centuries. The last of the ancient prophecies from First Earth would be fulfilled there, but no one knew how or when that would happen. Oscar could see the joy of this new revelation in his staff. He was filled with the same feelings of grandeur and was happy to have these closest of friends to share it with.
“The High King’s great plan will move forward. We have wondered for many years what will come to pass on Newearth. It seems that we will soon know. All of the Great City will celebrate this day,” Oscar said.
His friends hugged and congratulated him further. After a few moments the chief manager of the house announced, “A celebration is in order, for the master of the house has once again been rewarded for his faithfulness to the King.”
All of the staff agreed and began to usher their leader into the greatest of the banquet halls. No expense was spared. The chief sent out invitations to all of Oscar’s friends. The entire neighborhood was in the house before an hour had passed. There was music and dancing. More wine than normal was consumed that evening.
After the party was well under way, the attendants began to call for the master of the house to give a speech. After much persuasion he reluctantly climbed the pedestal at the front of the banquet hall. His words echoed the longing that everyone felt to look into the deep mysteries of the High King.
“My dear friends, you have not come here to honor me, but the King.” The crowd exploded with applause. Shouts of praise in worship of the King sounded all over the room. Clapping and impromptu singing rose from the banquet attendees. After a long few minutes the crowd quieted back down and allowed Oscar to continue.
“I do not know what lies ahead but I am filled with anticipation for the days to come. Thank you all for your kind celebration.” Oscar paused and let the moment grow fat with a rich weighty silence before he continued. “Newearth will finally have human life.”
The audience did not breath a word. They were entranced with utter rapture at Oscar’s speech. They were thirsty for more information, although that was almost the entirety of what Oscar knew. He stretched his arms wide and smiled as he increased his volume.
“My home is your home. Stay and celebrate as long as you like. As for me, the High King has called me to Newearth, which is where I am off to now. Thank you, friends.”
As soon as he finished speaking, he physically vanished before their eyes. The flash of blue light that marked his space-time jump illuminated the room for a split second. The crowd exploded with applause in praise of the High King, along with admiration for Oscar’s faithfulness. Most of them stayed and celebrated for many hours.
The cool wind of Newearth blew across Oscar’s skin. He looked around at the wild place he had landed and said to himself, “Let’s get to work.”