The Innocents

King Herod paced. “They should have returned by now.” He grabbed the nearest servant. “Why haven’t they returned by now?”

“I am unsure, Your Majesty.”

‘You are unsure. Pah! You are useless to me.” He released him with a shove. “I want an answer. Someone give me an answer!”

The servant cleared his throat. “Perhaps they chose not to return.”

Herod glared at him. “I told them to return. I told them that I wanted to venerate this child that they sought. Oh. Ahh. Ahh! I see. They don’t want me to find this child. This newborn king of theirs.”

Madness swirled in his eyes. “They wish to supplant me. They can’t. I am King! This is my land. This is my throne. None shall ever take it from me. It’s rightfully mine. This crown. This throne. This land. It’s all mine. None shall take it from me. Not those three men. Not even this unknown child whose star led those men here. I will live beyond the lifetime of the Pharaohs. I will live forever.”

He looked at his reflection in the mirror and readjusted his crown. “I will be king forever.”

Herod turned to his royal guards. “Go to Bethlehem and kill all male children two years old and younger. I think that will be sufficient to remove this thorn, this potential usurper to my throne.”

The leader of his guards spoke up, “Your Majesty, I don’t think—”

Herod slapped him across the face. “I gave you an order. And you will obey me. Kill them all.”

The leader bowed stiffly. “Yes, Your Majesty.”



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