By Wakefield Mahon
Every day he helped his mother take care of his little brothers and sisters in a house like so many others in the village. He helped his father in the shop, learning the trade so he could earn a living when he grew up. Father was not a rich man, but he was honest and well known for his dedication to quality products and services. Mother was a good woman as well, but at night, she stared at the stars as if something was troubling her heart.
In the morning, he ran around with the other village children and Mother scolded him for getting his outfit dirty. In the afternoon, he skipped rocks across the lake with his friends but never did any harm. He was a good little boy. Each night, he read the texts and the prophecy.
He knew the texts by heart and understood what they meant - no child asked more questions of the teachers and priests. Still it was hard to believe that he would have to leave it all behind, that these friends and family would someday turn their backs on him. He would find new friends, impress the crowds with his skills and knowledge but in the end, they would turn on him too. One bleak day he would walk alone, though surrounded by strangers, up a long and dusty road, dragging a cross up the hill to die for someone else's crime, to fulfill those prophecies he knew and loved so well.