Three To Bethlehem

My sweetheart and I are profoundly exhausted from the festivities of yesterday (themselves a culmination of bustle over the last week).

Over the week, I’ve been thinking of a Christmas fanfic. This is a small treatment of it:

Herod‘s seers warn him of the rise of the new king, born in Bethlehem who will supplant him and eventually rend asunder the entirety of Roman civilization. Herod is frightened of such a portent of turmoil, and is tempted to send an army to raze the town outright. But as a king, he seeks also to be wise and cautious, and stays his own hand. Instead he summons three of his most trusted lieutenants, Balthasar, Melchior and Gaspar, master hunters and ruthless killers, all three. Herod sends these men to track down this new king and annihilate him in the cradle that the world would never know the storm he would wreak.

And so the assassins journey out. They travel by the stars following the constellations to the meager village of Bethlehem. The people there are not too suspicious, and happily divulge what they know. Sometimes news of infants and expecting mothers had been forgotten. But a few coins seemed to jog the memory. And when that failed, the edge of a knife would not. Step by step, they learn of the woman with child accompanied by a man and a donkey. They track their quarry to an inn, and from there to the manger. Their target had already been born.

But when Melchior looks upon the infant, he is taken with the baby’s innocence and cuteness, and finds in himself no strength to murder the boy.

This is not the son of a rich man, he argues to his colleagues. A child of the earth is not bound to destiny the way a king’s son might be. If we were to smite this babe, the fate that Herod has seen would only fall to another. Herod’s own doom remains unchanged by killing this boy.

With little deliberation, Balthasar and Gaspar realize the infant boy is too adorable to slay. They concur.

King Herod will not be patient, Melchior says to Joseph. we will not return to our liege nor tell him what transpired here, but Herod will grow impatient and send an army to do what we would not.

Joseph, nodded. Melchior said Muster as soon as you can, and travel from here, far and away. Teach the child to toil and never to interfere with the affairs of kings and rabbis, and then he will live a long and fruitful life.

The three men gave what valuables they could to help, and as they left, they called on local shepherds to provide comfort and aid to the family. Mary and Joseph would soon leave Bethlehem for Egypt.

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