~ He was running for his life.
The Sun was falling and he had to get to the Ocean before he was engulfed in Its Flames.
Just as he reached the shore...
He woke up.
Ninevas sat up on his cot and spoke to the Dream:
"Mercy! I hear your command yet know not how to comply..."
He waited for confirmation...
No voice, no evidentiary animal sound, no alteration in his humble surroundings...
"Bedevilment! I am cursed..."
Ninevas was scared to shivering.
I did not wish that Dream... I do not want that Dream...
After he rose from his cot, he took the Sacred Stone from his pack and said:
"I hear you Sun Benthos.
"I hear but do not comprehend.
"May I be led to Your Wisdom."
He returned the Stone to his pack, slipped on his robe and sandals, slung his pack to his shoulder, and splashed his face with what remained in his cup from the last evening's drinking bout.
"The wine's dream it is...
"I am not worthy to dream of Sun Benthos..."
He had the last of dawn to roam the foothills before he began his work for Stenrus.
He left his tent and walked softly past the others' dwellings.
Why should I have this Dream?
None will believe me, none will help me unravel its meaning...
The Chronicles had it that, when the Sun Benthos returned to Earth and sought Its rest in the Ocean, the World would end.
Ninevas was not of the Priests, nor the Masters.
Ninevas was extremely distressed and wishing with all his might to be rid of the Dream.
A scribe does not dream of the gods!
He wove his way through the struggling bush, retraced his steps past his tent, and headed to the magnificent adobe home of the Masters.
Removing his sandals at the entrance, he met Bilbras, the Masters' cook.
"Bilbras, have you a short time for a query?"
"I have no time, there is no time, I have an impossible task."
"You are the Masters' cook. No person of mid-rank excels you in creativity."
"It has nothing to do with my abilities. I am to prepare a Feast for a Visitor and there are no extra supplies.
Do I ask the gods for grain? Do I pray for rain to water the dying crops? The Masters will thrash me when they have less to eat..."
"Dear Bilbras, I leave you to your challenge. Is Anthrase in the dwelling?"
"He is.", said Bilbras as he strode away.
Ninevas regretted his plight but Anthrase was the only possible soul who could understand...
He will not speak to me and if he does he will report me to the Masters...
Ninevas was in a well of depression--surging with frenzied feelings.
He scoffed at the idea of approaching Anthrase and went to Stenrus' rooms.
Stenrus was surprised to see Ninevas arrive early but gave a crooked smile as he said:
"Ninevas, you may earn your keep today. Sit and write."
Ninevas snatched his papyrus and pen and sat.
"The salutation shall be, Oh, Worthy Milkas, we greet your arrival with anticipation of your showering us with your Wisdom."
Milkas was a Master from the coast region of the Sea of Abjuration.
He was loathed by Stenrus but had lands, not so ravaged; and animals, not so skinny; plus, solid gold.
Ninevas recorded the missive and copied it for the Masters' Book of Affirmations.
Stenrus applied his seal to the papyrus, summoned a runner, and instructed him:
"You shall carry this at speed to the approaching Personage of Milkas. Meet him at the village of Silras or be hanged!"
Stenrus turned to Ninevas as the runner departed:
"Stay in the dwelling. Partake of a small portion of food. Return here at mid-day."
Ninevas sat in the kitchen munching on a flat cake.
Bilbras entered in a rush, arms full of small sacks--the reward of his earnest begging at every dwelling.
"Bilbras, have you heard who it is you will feed today?"
"I have no need to know. I have work and I have embarrassment--begging food for the Masters! What is the world coming to?"
"The world is--"
"Yes? You are saying?"
"Good. Stay out of my way."
When Ninevas returned to Stenrus' rooms, he sat in his place and pondered while waiting for the Master to return.
Things are bad to worse...
The Masters demanding Bilbras obtain food from the people--robbing them of what the Masters allocated for their nourishment...
Perhaps Milkas can offer help...
The Feast had finished and Stenrus had returned with Milkas.
The Masters' discussion was aiming towards conclusion, Ninevas recording every word; though, his impression of Milkas made it hard to concentrate; and,
Stenrus' lack of manners toward a guest were dismaying him.
After Stenrus indicated Ninevas' immediate job was done, instructing him to make a copy before sunrise, Milkas addressed him:
"Ninevas, I require your services for a turning of the glass, no longer than that."
Ninevas felt an unaccountable thrill in his heart.
Stenrus bid them away to the common room.
As soon as they were seated, Milkas said:
"Your Dream is Truth, Ninevas."
"I am Revealing Myself to you, Ninevas. You will record My Words."
Ninevas felt a strength filling his agonized frame--he had no true awareness--he wrote uncomprehendingly.
A timeless time later he heard Milkas say:
"Please, read what you have written."
"Hear me, oh people.
"I am the One you long for, the One who fills your dreams and the Dreams of your ancestors.
"I bring you what you most need.
"I offer you Truth.
"Your Masters are ill-equipped to aid you--they live from stealing your birthright--they are palpably misguided.
Ninevas read to the end then fell into a swoon.
He woke to Milkas' ministrations, supping a liquid of heavenly sweetness, gathering his wayward limbs into a sitting posture.
"Ninevas, who do you judge me to be?"
He heard himself say:
"Thou art Sun Benthos."
"Yes, I am the True Sun, the Fire that quenches the Sea of false knowledge; and, you are the first to believe in Me.
"You feel not worthy yet I heard your prayer:
"'I hear you Sun Benthos.
'I hear but do not comprehend.
'May I be led to Your Wisdom.'
"Be happy, Ninevas. Today you shall serve Me well and gain infinite blessing."
Ninevas swooned again.
The sun was approaching its setting as Ninevas woke.
He had no doubt, no fear.
His Dream had become Reality and he had a Mission.
He felt the Prescence of Milkas though His body had departed.
He went from dwelling to dwelling, reading out the Words of Sun Benthos.
Some believed, most thought him insane, one rushed to the dwelling of the Masters.
"You dare to usurp our rule !!
"You repeat the words of a raving lunatic and bring iniquitous shame on yourself !!!
Stenrus struck Ninevas in the face with such force that he slide across the floor.
"You shall be burned alive."
The fire roared around him.
His flesh bubbled and his bones snapped.
His mind was clear and his heart joyous.
He greeted the Sun of Truth in His Holy Dwelling--far beyond the cares of the earth...