The Winning of Lady Wisdom Part 8 (Conclusion)
Sarah Dixon Young’s columns for June and July feature a serial short story excerpted from her work in progress The Winning of Lady Wisdom. In the story, Hyperon finds fulfilling work and acceptance when he comes to the city of Opportunity. When trouble arises, he must determine what is true and whether he loves Folly or Wisdom. If you have interest in being a beta reader for this work, you can email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the top of the stair, behind her, Wisdom turned a latch and a door opened. Hyperon could hear birds singing and smell the flavorful aroma of roasted meat and baking bread beyond it. The pleasant memories that had before made him miserable now strengthened him. The smell of green grass, the wind in his hair, the girl’s story book all called to him from beyond the door. How could such beauty be here right in the midst of the turbulent, harried city?
“Come with me, Hyperon, and be persuaded,” she said with a smile. “Don’t just eat of my food and drink of my wine. Know me. Talk with me. Play with me. Love me. Those who love me, I will love. Those who seek me, I will find.”
“Ask her the cost, Hyperon!” commanded Specter.
Hyperon looked up at the Lady and stepped toward her. The hunger he felt for all that she offered far outweighed any desire he had had for Folly before. “What is the cost?” he asked, hoping that she would say it would cost him nothing to be with her.
“Everything,” she replied stepping down toward him, “My dear Hyperon, I will cost you your life, but what is that to you if you lose this life and gain your soul?”
Hyperon believed her. His life lay motionless, dead beside her vibrant beauty.
“Don’t tell me you believe words you can’t even hear,” Adam called to Hyperon. “Sounds like a fairy tale to me.”
Folly laughed loudly from across the street. “Hyperon,” she called, “you can’t afford her price. You’re nothing but a half-breed foreigner. She doesn’t really want anything to do with you.”
Wisdom never wavered in her smile or her outstretched hand. “I know who and what you are Hyperon,” she said.
Hyperon took off his coat and laid it down on the steps. He bent and removed his shoes as well. Specter had given him those shoes and what good had they done him? He’d kicked in doors, eluded police, and ruined lives with those shoes. He wouldn’t need them in Wisdom’s house.
“Wisdom,” Specter called, “I have here his signed agreement that he is one of mine.” Specter held up the document with Hyperon’s signature on the bottom.
Hyperon grimaced. He had forgotten about that agreement! What would Lady Wisdom think of him now?
He didn’t dare take his eyes from her face.
“Don’t wait, Hyperon,” she said, “Come to Me.”
Hyperon stepped up one, two, three more steps. He could hear Specter’s steps hastening up the staircase too, and he felt the man’s presence in the hair on the back of his neck. He’d have Wisdom even if it meant his death. He began to run, barefooted, empty handed to her; she came down to him and stood in the light of the door. Hyperon felt Specter grab at his shirt from behind. Just a few more steps and he would reach her. He fell at her feet and looked up.
Specter stumbled backward, but not before Wisdom grasped the agreement. It crumbled and fell in particles around Hyperon. He reached out and put his palms on her Achilles tendons and his face on the tops of her feet. Her skin was smooth. Even her feet smelled beautiful.
“Look at you, Hyperon,” Folly called, “Acting like some big milksop, tied to a woman’s apron strings.”
Wisdom said quietly, “You have chosen to fear my Father, Hyperon, and now, you have the beginning of Wisdom.”
“I do not know Who your Father is, my Lady,” Hyperon admitted.
“You will know Him better hereafter, but let it suffice to say that you began to know Him at the same moment you began to hate evil.”
“This isn’t over!” came Specter’s voice from far away, “I will have you back yet, Hyperon!”
Hyperon bent his head over Wisdom’s feet. “Don’t let them take me back,” he pleaded.
“No one can take you from the palm of my hand,” she promised, and he wept.