Once upon a time in prison there was a beautiful warrior named Ruth. Ruth was known for being hard-nosed and perseverant, she kept up with all the boys in sports, she was well-spoken and not afraid to give her two cents. She spoke her mind and made no apologies for who she was or what she was doing. Over time this earned her a reputation and other warriors came to her for help and advice for how to become a great warrior too. This was just what she was known for, inside she felt much different.

Ruth was loud about some things and silent on others, namely, her heart. What gave Ruth, in her estimation, her strength was her ability to ignore her heart and its foolish desires. She had heard of a biblical figure named Samson who had long hair that gave him his strength and Ruth thought to herself “I must get my strength from my ignoring my heart, but I’m not strong like Samson”. Ruth thought herself mostly weak and that’s the real reason she tried so hard to be perfect. What others seen as perseverance was only her attempt at not making any mistakes. So to protect her secret she told not a soul which meant nobody could get close to her lest they find out she was a fraud.

Ruth’s icy disposition frustrated a few but for the most part it just made her seem mysterious. This new mystery created a challenge for suitors across the land and before long Ruth was in battle’s of wit against some of the fiercest competitors in the land all attempting to win her heart and rule her kingdom. They tried all kinds of tactics even sharing tips with one another before battle to win her over and Ruth revelled in the games because she always won, always. While their goal was to win her heart and her kingdom her goal was to keep climbing higher into the sky, so high she aimed to touch outer space and that was far too high for any of them. She could climb faster than any of them, her body had become accustomed to the altitude. While their bodies always gasped for air and grew weak hers remained strong.

This went on for years. Finally, Ruth came to a point where most suitors gave up and there was no higher she could climb, nothing left for her to achieve, so she invented new challenges to defeat. What other’s said was impossible, she set out to conquer. She won the hearts of Kings and Queens in all the lands, she received every medal 2 and 3 times over becoming more decorated than any warrior before her, she created her own speaking platform and stood on it telling all her secrets in plain language hoping someone would take her literally and join her because in all her achieving Ruth was unable to sate the one thing she desired most, to not be alone.

Once Ruth was on top of the kingdom and had done all these things she began to realize she was just like she was before she was on top, alone. While she was prized as a warrior she was not prized as a woman. She could be a warrior to be conquered, possessor of knowledge to be had, repossessed and ruled, a mentor, a guide, and a figure but she was not seen as the one thing she secretly wanted to be seen as, a good woman to marry. Instead, she was weaponized and seen as a holder of a position that others wanted, a roadblock to destroy or get around. But no one in the land wanted her for her.

Desperate to find love she consulted the lands mightiest Sorcerers, the wisest of the wise, and they told her of strange things she must face to reach her newest goal and warned her of the journey’s treacherous nature and that it would be like nothing she’s faced thus far. Not one to back down from a challenge Ruth took that battle on head first, confident she could win. The Sorcerer’s all told her to do one simple thing that they warned was not so simple, take off her armor, stop battling and show people her heart.

While Ruth understood most of what they wanted, simple enough to not battle and exist without armor, she did not fear anyone or anything, but she did not understand how to show her heart. So she asked people how to show her heart and everyone replied with the same answer “You must have one to show first!” The people scoffed at her inquiry.

Ruth didn’t mind being rejected by people, but she did mind looking foolish and having felt deceived by the Sorcerer’s she set her mind to their destruction. As all the people laughed at her thinking she was up to another trick to best them she did what she always did, she prepared for battle once more.

She marched through the town square toward the distant caves of the Sorcerers, her mind set on the destruction of their protective mountain and all that resides within. The people looked on and wished her farewell as she confidently strode once again into battle. Along the way a woman in a cloak was standing on the side of the path and Ruth seen she was wearing the Ring of the Royals, a sign she was not only far from home but someone to respect.

“Good day Madam,” Ruth began with a bow “I see you are wearing the Ring of the Royals and you are clearly far from home, do you require assistance?”

The woman lifted her head and stared into Ruth’s eyes and she instantly recognized her, she was the Mistress of Sorcery to the King and Queen, the Chief Sorceress in all the land as far as the body could travel. She replied with a serious look “No my child, I am not lost, clearly I am well. I am not here by chance but to tell you the folly of your ways and to tell you of your undoing.”

To be continued…