Samuel paced back and forth in the hall of his great castle. The empire he’d built from the ground up was hinging on this very moment. He was praised in his kingdom for all he had
accomplished, but now someone was threatening his reign.             
     Andrew was new to the kingdom, but he was known throughout the land for his bravery and courage in the face of danger. He had come to take the throne, not because Samuel wasn’t a great leader, for he was the best the land had ever seen. This was a matter of pride.
    Samuel had brought order to his people. Before he himself founded any sort of establishment, the people here would simply run about, doing whatever they pleased, until there was disagreement. These disputes often ended with someone leaving the country, preferably before they were pushed off of the nearest structure. Samuel built his castle on the north side of the land, on top of the hill to oversee his people. He settled arguments with little more than the look in his eye. Samuel gave just rule to everyone who dwelt in his land, his playground, his empire. They called him Samuel the Fair.
    Andrew, on the other hand, believed he could do better. He quickly made peace with all of the residents, making sure each of them knew he was on their side. He would settle street level quarrels not by letting the people take what they wanted in turn, but by giving them the opportunity to take it in stride, together at the same time. Samuel saw this as nothing more than a facade: he could see behind the cover of kindness and into Andrew’s eyes, where he saw
nothing but deception and deceit. 
    Andrew waited patiently in the commons, until the next day, as he approached the castle where Samuel the Fair watch over his kingdom. His plan was to trick Samuel into meeting him in the the sand hills, where they would duel. Andrew would emerge victorious and take the
crown.
    Samuel had seen it coming. He was under the suspicion that Andrew was coming to take his reign, his kingdom. But how? He paced as he tried to piece what he knew together into some sort of tangible solution. He had an option.  Either he would banish Andrew and convince the people of his treachery, or he would defeat Andrew in battle and remain king of his land. He had to decide quickly. Andrew was knocking at the door.
    Andrew stood at the door, doing his best to maintain his innocent appearance. He could barely suppress the excitement that he felt. The double doors opened slowly, and for a moment, Samuel looked as if he stood so large, he would not fit through them. Andrew blinked once, and the illusion was gone.
    Samuel glared into the eyes of his foe. In a matter of seconds, both of them had abandoned their preconceived plans. Simultaneously, they unsheathed their swords. 
    Andrew lunged forward, swinging his weapon hoping to make an impact. Samuel was quick to block, and the air filled with the dull “thud” of sword on sword. The warriors began to grow weary after several minutes of combat.
    Samuel raised his sword high above his head, and in one final swing, brought it down upon his opponent. Andrew fell backwards, and began to tumble uncontrollably down the hill. Samuel turned and entered his castle, closing the door behind him. Victory tasted so sweet.
    Andrew would never again return. Samuel reveled in his victory, when the walls of his castle began to lift off of the ground. It was too soon! He needed more time to explain to his people the treachery he had just defeated! His glorious home had been lifted into the sky, and placed on its side several feet away.
    “Alright, Sam. It’s time for your nap.” A pair of hands slid under his arms, pulling him, too, into the sky. They may as well have been the hands of God. As he was being carried away, Samuel looked back toward his domain, and saw Andrew being lifted by a woman, perhaps his mother. She wiped his tears and kissed the bump on his head where Sam had hit him. He didn’t feel sorry. In fact, he felt sleepy. He found comfort in his father’s arms that embraced him. Samuel leaned his head over the shoulder in front of him and let his dreams take him into his fantasy once more.
 


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