He screamed out as he patted his head to out the fire, leaping to run away. Two more fiery arrows came one striking straight through his arm putting him in severe pain. The bush was in complete flames and was spreading. He saw the men’s faces. They were excited they had hit their target and was cheering as they were getting ready for another round of fiery bow and arrow, but the command was to stand down and to capture him, so that the leader could see his enemy die the way he should, for all to see.
Hew saw his chance to run again. As they put their arrows away to go back on the wagon that was slowly making its way up the hill; two other men began to approach him. He ran once again holding the arrow that was still stuck in his arm, but feeling no pain. His hair was badly scorched. Although the fire was out, the pain came pouring in. Once again he was out of sight. Tears rolled down his face. He grimaced from the blood that stained his body. He broke one end of the arrow and pulled it out, then did his best to patch it up with mud and a leaf. He needed to keep moving. There were too many of them. He remembered the sanctuary where he taught others to heal. It was just a short distance away.
Limping, he continued in the direction of the temple. He knew they would take him in. He had helped their people during an outbreak and they were thankful. They were the only true friends he thought he had made with the foreigners, providing temporary refuge in exchange for medical healings.
He went the long way to reach the back of the sanctuary. There were two men in robes that saw him approach.
“Please I need help. You know me. I’ve helped you before, but.” Hew didn’t know what else to say. They helped him into the temple.
“Yes, of course, we remember you. What is it that happened?” One of the fathers of the temple spoke with concern.
“I’ve been wrongly accused. The ruler believes that me helping the people is an act against his ruling seat. I do not want his seat. I was only helping the suffering. My people do not rule as yours do. I do not need his seat.” Hew said as he sat down.
“Hew, you can’t stay unless you are one of us. You must commit yourself pledge your allegiance and we can protect you as one of us.” The father said.
“Pledge? Allegiance to what? I never asked you to pledge for my assistance. You remained as your own. Can you not help me without this?” Hew said.
“They will persist. It’s not possible. You must be one of us. The ruler will then know you no longer want his seat.” The father said.
“I told you. I do not want his seat. I did not ask for it. I did not wage war against him. Can you please give me protection at least until I am able to bargain a deal with the ruler and for him to know I am not a threat?” Hew said.
“Bow your head and ask for forgiveness, maybe you will be forgiven. Our ruler may forgive you if you bow to him and ask for forgiveness.” The other father said.
“Bow? They have struck me with fire and burned down the bushes. They were aiming for my head. I have done nothing, but treated and serviced the needy. How can that be a threat? Because it’s not from him, he declares it a crime?” Hew said.
“That is indeed a crime. You have taken his place of authority by providing for his people. His people have laid their trust and faith in you and not him. You have caused them to resist their own blood. We cannot help you if you do not submit.” The father said.
“I cannot submit for being my natural self. I have not done anything wrong and it is his people that sought after me. I’ve only helped a few, before the word got out about my healing. It is the people that sought after me, that has followed me for my assistance. It is my goodness that I am being judged for. Is this a crime under your faith?” Hew said.
The fathers were silent. They couldn’t commit any charges against him for saving their lives and the lives of their kind of people, and no payment was given. It was them that had committed a crime of taking what they should not have taken and should not have followed what their ruler called ‘animals’.
The father bandaged Hew, before giving him a roll of bread and water to drink.
“I’m afraid you must leave, if you cannot pledge your allegiance to our kind. You must take your place as property to our ruler. He is the one true ruler. You must follow us, so that your people will follow too. Our ruler is not merciful. He will not allow this to go on forever.” The father said.
“I cannot deny who I am. My identity is mine. My will is mine. This earth is mine, long before you came. Please I beg you for stay for just one day. Please.” Hew said.