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Diamonds in the Rough

Being in love was an adventure. To Miika and Zeus, it was more than that. It was a way of life.

For them, being in love was like eating dessert first, or like losing a penny and finding a quarter, or expecting rain and getting sunshine. Her muse, the handsome Zeus, was almost her perfect other half. They were made for each other. Every day, they would meet in the dazzling field between the borders of their respective countries, and hide in the tall grass. They would laugh, talk, and and frolic in the fronds for as long as they could, until their parents called them back to their homes. They wanted to get married. They wanted the world to know how wonderful love could be. And it seemed their passion would never be quenched.

But all good things must come to an end. A colossal, deafening, firey end.

War had come to the countries.

Zeus's father, the Grand Duke of the country of Eceerg, and Miika's mother, the Crown Princess of her country, Napaj, were found dead. Both poisoned, inside the Castle of Napaj, where the Grand Duke had come to meet with his good friend, the Crown Princess. The countries were outraged over this scandal. For thousands of years, the two domains had lived in peace and harmony, never flinching in their determination to keep their land, and their people, safe from total war. Whispers of treachery began. Whispers turned into rumors. Rumors turned into protests. And protests turned into riots. Each side blamed the other for the death of their monarch.

Both Zeus and Miika were devastated. With the death of their respective parent, they were suddenly the ones in the spotlight. Their relationship was riddiculed by their citizens that just the day before had been tossing flowers at them as they ran down the paths toward the glowing field. The populations of each country wanted the other to pay for what they had done. And who were they to deny their people this simple pleasure, when they themselves could feel the fire burning in their numb souls.

And still their love prevailed.

The people of Eceerg wanted Zeus to invade Napaj. They wanted to burn the cornfields the Napajians cultivated so lovingly. They were desperate to get revenge on the country that had killed their Duke. Their minds burned with fury, and deep inside their souls they felt unrest. They would not cease their anger until Napaj was properly punished, burned, ransacked, and torched until their was nothing left. There was no fury on Earth that would match their anger.

Except for the people of Napaj. Their Crown Princess had been kind, loving, and excited to run her beautiful country. Now that her life had been forcibly ripped from her breast, the people wanted to destroy the hopes of the Eceergs just as had been done to them. They wanted to poison their flowing rivers. They wanted to set fire to their monuments. They wanted to rip out the soul of the country that had so cruelly taken their blossom of hope from them.

And still their love prevailed.

They did not want to declare war on the other, as they knew a bloody battle would not only destroy their countries, but their relationship and their hopes for the future as well. But the rage and burning fury of their people was so great, that they felt they had no choice.

So war came to the countries. And burn it did. The breathtaking cornfields of Napaj were torched to the cold, hard dirt. Their houses were smashed with sticks and stones, and their paths were scarred with the sounds of the invisible tracks of the troops that had passed over them on their journey to nowhere. Still, they fought on.

In Eceerg, the war had also taken a painful toll. Their once beautiful ponds that had sang sweet melodies of ponds, lakes, and creation screamed out in pain. Their waters had been turned a dark gray, and any man or woman careless enough to take a sip from their blood-soaked banks received not thirst quenching water, but the dull, sour taste of war that would stay in their mouths for much longer than they cared to recall. Yet, the war raged on.

It went on like this, for many, many years. Zeus and Miika could barely hold on to their promise of love, the one that they had made to each other so long ago. Better people then them had long since been corrupted by the spoils, blood, and glory of war.

And so it came to pass that the final battle would be fought amongst the two countries. The generals rallied their troops. They shouted songs of death and bravery to them. And the soldiers resounded. They were ready to fight the final battle. The stage was set. Each army stood leering at each other from the opposite sides of the long field between their countries. The only place, it seemed, that the earth had not been violated by human violence. The very same field where Miika and Zeus fell in love.

All the generals needed was the word from their leaders.If they received the order to attack, it was very likely the deciding battle would be fought the next time the sun peeked over the horizon. But the two lovers were nowhere to be found, until two page girls found them where no one else had thought to look.

They were lying in the center of their field, looking up at the stars that had just begin to smile down on the last surviving place in their domains that wasn't destroyed. Their hands were interlocked, tears streaming down their grimy cheeks, smiles animatedly on their faces.

And they were singing. They sang of forgiveness, and hope. They sang of the lives that had been destroyed, the lives that had been torn apart, the lives that would never be. They sang of peace, and the will to keep moving. They sang of better times, decent times, and times that no one wished to remember. And as the stars bid the moon adieu, and the sun crept over the brightening horizon, the two countries that had hated each other for so long began singing as well, for they knew, that deep inside themselves, there was something even better than revenge. Something that could fill them up like ice cream on a summers day, or like a kiss on a scab from their mother. And that was love.

Moral: Revenge is fleeting. Love is forever.



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