Hon and the Timepiece
(copyright November 13, 2005)
Once upon a time there was a small and peaceful town. There was no war, hate or conflicts, only peace and happiness. In this town lived a boy name Hon. He lived with his elderly grandparents. It happened that his dear grandmother became gravely ill. Without medicine, the doctor said she would die. Hon and his grandfather were worried because they did not have much money for her medicine.
One night while grandfather tended to grandmother, Hon went for a walk to try and ease his worries. He passed by a large window with a magnificent timepiece sitting on a velvet cushion. A thought occurred to him, an evil thought. “What if I took this beautiful thing and sold it? Surely that would be enough to buy grandmother’s medicine.” He waited for the shop owner to close the doors and go home. Hon silently crept into the shop and took the timepiece. Outside the shop, the timepiece glowed and vibrated in the moonlight.
As he turned to leave, an old man with a long white beard and a shimmering white cape appeared. “Hon, stealing is wrong, you should return the time-piece to its rightful place” he said in a low voice that flowed with the wind. “How do you know my name” Hon asked shocked, “and how do you know what I have in my pocket?” The old man did not answer; he only stared at him. Hon looked down, “I know it’s wrong to steal but without it, my grandmother will die and I love her too much to let that happen” he told the old man sadly. But the old man did not change, “ I warn you, “ he said “if you don’t return the timepiece, something terrible will happen. No good comes from evil actions.” With that, he disappeared.
Hon looked at the timepiece, he did not want to take it but he did not want his grandmother to die either. “I will do it just this time and then never again” he promised and he made his way to the town center. Suddenly, a strong wind sent an eerie chill over the land and dark clouds suddenly appeared and covered the night sky. Loud thunder filled the air. “How strange,” Hon thought, “it is not the rainy season.” He continued on his way.
When he arrived, he immediately knew that something was wrong. The town center was different. It was not the peaceful town he knew, but one filled with fear, hate and chaos. He saw men in armour fighting and destroying buildings. “What’s happening?” he asked a woman running by. She explained how the town had once been honored to house a special timepiece that belonged to King Nazoo. One day it was stolen and it angered the king. Since then, he attacked the town and swore he would not stop until the thief came forward and accepted his punishment. Death! Hon was horrified. All of this chaos was his fault yet he was too afraid to confess.
Suddenly he saw an old man that looked like his grandfather walking blindly with a cane. Suddenly, some men jumped out and attacked his grandfather. Hon ran over to help him. “Thank you kind boy,” he said not recognizing Hon. “Grandfather, it’s me, Hon. Where is grandmother?” he asked. His grandfather told him that she died many years ago when their only grandson disappeared. And that he lost his sight when the king and his men came into the town looking for his stolen timepiece.
Hon was saddened. He knew what he had to do; he walked three days to the king’s palace. He was taken to the king and he confessed everything that happened. King Nazoo kept his promise and stopped the attacks and sent Hon to be executed. He gathered all the people to watch. Just as the executioner raised his ax, a loud thunder clapped and dark clouds blackened the sky. When Hon opened his eyes, he was standing outside the shop looking at the beautiful timepiece. Had everything been a dream? “Steal the timepiece and save grandmother?” he thought. “No!” he said to himself, “stealing is wrong, I will just have to find another way.” And that’s just what he did.