Thursday, January 31, 2013

"The Young Novice" Part 2

Continued from last week. 

"The Young Novice" by Faith Grubb
copyright 2008

“Come in,” came the voice from inside.
Eliana had never met or even set eyes on her master, yet she felt she’d known him all along and he her. As he spoke his voice was so smooth and sweet.
“This is her, Your Majesty,” Paul said as they stopped at the door, Eliana feeling terrified!
“Come my child.”
She came forward and bowed very low before him.
“So you cooked my scones did you?”
“Yes, your majesty.”
“Ah. Maria tells me you’ve worked here sometime, have you not?”
“Yes, your majesty.”
“Good. Now I am sure you did not mean to prepare the scones in such a manner. No earthly person would lest they had a quarrel with me.”
Eliana looked up at him, her eyes on fire.
“Silence! Eliana, you must not get angry at anyone.”
Her face flushed white.
“Now, girl, you are to go and continue your duties. Paul, show her the way back.”
“Your Majesty.”
Paul bowed as Eliana curtsied and turned to go.
“If you wish to continue work here, I must ask you to respect me more.”
The King looked at her pityingly as she only looked over her shoulder at him.
Over the next few weeks, work wasn’t hard as she recalls— never hard, it was only the simple things she couldn’t bring herself to do.

“His Majesty wishes Eliana.” Paul came in one afternoon, his white wig perfectly befitting his old head. Eliana looked up, why was he wanting her again? Maria looked up from her half sleeping position, leaning against the wall. ‘Now here it comes. Let’s see if he doesn’t send her away immediately!’ She thought with a smirk.
“Very well, dear.”
Mrs. Chester smoothed her apprentice’s apron.
“Be polite this time, not so hot headed…” only to Eliana, “… Paul got on to me for your ill behavior!”
Every other maid or manservant in the room had their eyes fixed on Eliana. Was the King favoring her or would he now denounce her?  They all wondered. “Eliana, apprentice to Mrs. Chester, Your Majesty,” Paul announced her.
“Come forth, child.”
‘Why is it,' she thought, 'that every time he speaks to me, my title becomes lower and lower; first ‘Eliana’, then ‘girl’ and now ‘child’?  I wonder, does he believe now that I did not do it?' She stepped forward only four paces.
“Here,” he said, “In front of me. Yes, that’s right.”
For the first time she was in a position to look at his face closely but she dare not. He studied her carefully.
“You are what, 16?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
She curtsied.
“I will not send you away, no, I wished to become acquainted with you better. Seeing I’d like to take you as my …” He stopped, Eliana still not daring to look up at him.
“Now, you say you know Maria is somehow part of the scones affair?”
Not able to hold it in any longer, she looked up at him and screamed,
“Yes, she hates me! She’s jealous because Mrs. Chester likes me and dotes on me —I the youngest servant in thy Majesty’s court. She’s rotten because of it and evil to me in every way, and to you, in order to hurt me!”
She was standing tall and defiant, her shoulders back and head high. Then like a wave of darkness her shame came over her in an instant. Hot tears began to slide down her round cheeks. She pressed her lips shut knowing her tongue to be the worst weapon and enemy she owned.
The King cleared his throat, “I see. Well, Eliana, let us speak on equal terms, shall we?  I am acquainted with this wicked world, that you only now have met a member of. This world is full of billions of Marias. You must beware for, I fear, you’ve been wasting your breath for nothing. I knew you didn’t hurt my scones and, therefore, I allowed you to stay. And, yes, as I recall it, you wasted your breath that day too. My dear…” he paused, watching her tears continually fall.
(His kindness awed her as she realized that now he called her his ‘dear’ and before ‘Eliana’!)
“ are no better than her. You have shown yourself to be just as foolish as she. It is childish, Eliana, for you to waste your time on vengeance. I am Maria’s overseer, not you. Your anger towards her has caused you to become bitter and distracted.  Her opinion of you is not your concern, only that you are to please me.
This world is full of Marias ready to cause you to stumble. Now, dearest, look at me.”
He reached out and, cupping her chin in his hand, he wiped away her tears with such care as she had never experienced before. He smiled, his dark eyes radiant, “Would you consider coming to live with me here in the palace, not as my servant’s apprentice but as my own... daughter?”
She gasped, her surprise too great. She caught his gaze and fainted into his arms.
“Poor creature. I pray she’ll consent.”


This story portrays the King as the Lord and Eliana as myself. I encounter many Marias in my life and Christ’s advise is my only help.
I pray you were blessed by my writing and feel free to contact me about this story or anything else.
I would appreciate any prayers from you all that I continue to write for My King’s glory alone. As well thank you to Mama for editing this for me.
~Faith E. G.~  (written back in 2008 for our His Wonders magazine)

“Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
Romans 12:19

“...that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God...”
1 Thess. 4:1

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Tim. 2:4

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Short Story by Faith "The Young Novice"

This is a short story I wrote when I was 16, for our former magazine His Wonders. If you'd like check out the site for back issues.

"The Young Novice" by Faith Grubb
copyright 2008

His kingdom was the most superb in the world. He had as many servants as he wished but his lowest, an uncommon and not-so-fair maiden of the many 16 year-olds, worked as the housekeeper’s apprentice.

It was cool still, before the sun had rose to turn the grey sky golden, and Eliana had already scrubbed the floor and was throwing out the water although her King nor the cook, Mrs. Chester, were even up- as far as she knew.
And up in that royal room His Majesty’s scarlet robe was lying on the amour near his bed, as usual, and his crown was up on the mantelpiece. His guard was clumsily sleeping near the door and the end bed curtains were still closed but his Majesty was not there! …A man, with a black cloak and hood, stood near the edge of the highest castle wall. His hood’s shadow covered his keen eyes but anyone fool could see he was there without leave. Just then one of the King’s archers came ‘round the bend of the Castle wall, coming up behind the man. Suddenly as the guard drew upon him the man quickly spun around…

     “Eliana!” Back down in the servant's area the young novice looked up, hearing her name softly whispered. It was Gabriel, the stable ‘boy’ coming up to her as she was about to go back in. She blushed in the greyness and thanked heaven it was still very dark out. He was older than she and he was very handsome too. Eliana knew it was wrong of her to think of him romantically. She knew also her hormonal feelings and desires were God given. But still God’s desire of her was that she surrendered these precious emotions to him first, her heavenly Husband. “You won’t guess who I saw up on the Castle wall.”
“What are you up so early for?”
“Eliana, if it is only to be awake, as you get up this early, would you care?” He suddenly became serious and looked into her hazy eyes.
“Gabriel, how dare you! If you mean anything further than what you said straight out you’d better say it… I can’t waste m’ time ‘ciphering every word I hear!”
“Well, Eliana, will you marry me? You’re young I know but I’m Nineteen and you can keep a house. My work will pay for what we’ll eat and we could raise a big family on my pay alone…”
He stopped seeing her choke back her tears.
“I’m so sorry Eliana, what did I do?”

“Eliana,” the older woman called, later that morning.
“Yes, Mrs. Chester?” She came to her, at once, as was her habit.
“Come, my dear, here is a test for you. You must bake the scones for His Majesty's tea while I start on all the delicacies for tonight’s banquet.”
“Yes, Mrs. Chester,” she curtsied.
“Here’s the recipe and you must be quick. Tea time is in half an hour!”
The older woman bustled off, her large skirts bouncing with each step. Eliana looked blankly at the card given her. She had no earthly idea how to read and Mrs. Chester knew that.
Soon with the help of Betsy, the scullery maid, Eliana found where everything was and soon the scones were in their place- cooking in the oven.
Mrs. Chester soon came by, flying about the kitchen, hardly noticing the thin creature she passed more than forty times, Eliana was sure.  The tops of the scones were soon brown and Eliana, after asking Betsy if it were time, removed them from the hot stone's oven.
“Eliana!” Mrs. Chester called, “you must set those scones on the tray for Maria, but in the finest silver bowl…”
Maria, hired only for the purpose of serving the scones every mourning, came and watched Eliana, with arms crossed. Eliana slowly and carefully placed them one by one into the silver bowl, careful not to bruise nary a one.
“You slow dunce!” Maria scolded as she grabbed the tray, leaving Eliana but then she dumped the butter, preserves and jam on top. Smashing down the scones so they were crumbs and then she turned to leave the kitchen.
Just then Mrs. Chester came with instruction, “Now, Eliana, you sweep this horrid kitchen.”
Reaching for the broom Eliana turned to Mrs. Chester one last time before she began her chore.
“Mrs. Chester, did I keep them too long in the oven? Surely I did for as I put them in the bowl they seemed to lay upon each other without even crumbling.”
“Oh Eliana that is exactly as they are to be! Thank you so much!”
And Mrs. Chester lightly kissed her apprentice’s cheek and hurried to her own chores, as Eliana began to sweep. Only half an hour had passed since Maria had gone to serve the scones but she quickly ran in, all out of breath.
“Mrs. Chester! Oh, Mrs. Chester! I told you Eliana wouldn’t amount to much!” she said as she threw a cold glance at Eliana.
“What is it child?” the lady inquired.
“Mrs. Chester, she smashed all His Majesty’s scones in the bowl!”
Every servant glanced at Eliana.
“Yes, Mrs. Chester! When the King noticed they were so, he looked at me so severely as it were my fault!
“Oh, Mrs. Chester! I do not see how this could happen!” Eliana was horrified, “I made sure to do them slowly, one by one, so as not to smash any! How on earth they turned to be so I can’t understand!”
Just then, old Paul, the head butler and King’s favored servant, came in also out of breath.
“Mrs. Chester, who cooked those scones? This Maria says it was your apprentice, is this true?”
“Yes, sir.”
“His Majesty will see the creature. Which is she?”
He looked about the kitchen so full of girls 16 years that he could not possibly begin to find her.
Maria spoke up at once but was cut short by the old man.
Just then a small voice was heard.
“I am she.”
Eliana stepped forward.  Mrs. Chester was too surprised to answer and looked angrily at Maria knowing she had started it.
“Is it she?” Paul inquired.
“Yes!” Maria sneered.
Slowly, as the two neared the king’s quarters, Eliana began to feel angry in her embarrassment. She knew for certain Maria had done something and would get her wish— to send Eliana away.

To Be Continued.  Coming back for part two on the 31st next week!