Sharpened Crown

“My God,” Herod fell to his knees before the woman in white. He swore to himself he’d never kneel for any man. But, she proved to be a God. 

“You’re a king, act like it,” Dana Sharp replied. She glared down at him until he realized what she meant. He stood and straightened his back.

‘Yes, my God,” he said. Dana sighed. 

“If this meeting is going to continue, address me as Ms. Sharp,” she said.

“Yes, My- Ms. Sharp.” Herod said. He did not know why she chose him to be there, but he did not want to be sent away from her presence. Not before he could learn more about her miraculous magic. Herod knew some magic himself; it’s what helped him achieve his status. 

He wasn’t born into a royal family, he was lucky he was born into a human family at all. Though it was not common knowledge, Herod was a banshee. His wail could strike ice-cold fear into anyone, and that was only one of his tricks. Over the years he learned how to use  his wail as a form of song magic. After that it was easy to enthrall his way to a kingdom. He briefly considered trying his magic on God, before she proved who she was. Then, he reconsidered. 

“I don’t like the direction your kingdom is taking,” Ms. Sharp said. She gestured at a seat for Herod, then walked around her disk to sit in front of him. Herod tilted his head in confusion as he sat down.

“But, it was all for you, Ms. Sharp,” he said. “To find you in the heavens.” Once Herod took his throne, he immediately put a heavy emphasis on education and heavenly exploration. 15 year into his reign his royal scientists had developed a machine that could fly. Herod’s determination and magic drove innovation faster than normal human progression. He had a yearning in his soul to find what was out there. 

“I didn’t ask you to look for me. But, I am asking you to stop,” Ms. Sharp said. She gave him a faint, playful smirk. “Out there, at least,” she pointed upward at the white ceiling. 

“I don’t understand,” Herod said. It was difficult to admit, but he knew God, Ms. Sharp, would know whether he understood or not. If he admitted it, at least he’d get answers. 

“This Earth is one of an infinite number of Earths. There is nothing out there worth finding; it’s big and empty and dark. Better to look at your neighboring Earths and learn from, or teach them something.” 

“There are other Earths!?” Herod’s eyes shot wide. 

“There are,” Ms. Sharp nodded. “I can teach you how to reach them, so long as you change course. I don’t mean just you, your kingdom as well. Further explorations of the heavens are to be outlawed; infractions punished by death.” Herod chuckled with a shake of his head.

“The more the public sees me trying to prevent it, the more curious they’ll be.” 

“You are the ruler of this particular Earth, they’ll listen to you,” Ms. Sharp said. 

“My kingdom is vast,…” Herod shook his head with humility. “But it’s not the whole planet.” 

“Not yet. Aside from changing your direction, there is one more reason for our meeting.”

“Yes, Ms. Sharp?” Herod asked, ready to serve. He had a lot to process, but that could wait. He stood before good here and now. 

“I’m rewarding your faith with a boost to your powers,” she said. Herod blanched, but, after taking a moment to close his eyes, he remembered she knew everything. Including what he was. And, he was excited to get a reward. He managed to recover quickly and opened his eyes again. 

“I’m honored!” he said. Dana handed him a sheet of paper. There was a simple golden crown drawn on the sheet. A red scissor logo decorated the center of the crown, and the number ’47’ was drawn on the scissors in white. 

“Where do you want your tattoo?” she asked.