Many days passed and the citizens began to notice that fewer and fewer strangers visited their town. The wanderers had long since moved on. Rumor had it that they had made a new home in the city of Newchurch.
The king of Kingschurch had not yet returned from his journey. Some of the citizens began to worry that something bad had happened to the king in his travels. Others seemed content to follow the direction of the town elders who were ruling in place of the king.
Some began to notice how dilapidated their fair city had become. The bright yellow banners were now tattered and dingy. The buildings were starting to crumble. Even the cheery music that wafted through her corridors seemed to be sad.
The citizens decided to tidy things up a bit and make repairs. They painted everything a dull gray to match the color of the wall. New gray banners were hung from the spires of the city. Surely, these improvements would attract more visitors to Kingschurch.
One day, the leading elder suggested that the town build a new banquet hall. It would be furnished with the finest linens, the best china and the most comfortable furniture in the land. “This new banquet hall will attract visitors to our wonderful city,” said the elder. “A great idea,” declared the other elders, “Let’s start right away.”
When the banquet hall was built, a great feast was proclaimed throughout the city. The citizens were encouraged to invite strangers and friends to the banquet. The feast was spread, the places set, and the wine was poured.
The hall was not as full as everyone had hoped. Some citizens from surrounding towns like Drearychurch and Inwardchurch were present, but no strangers. The citizens of Kingschurch had forgotten to invite the strangers they knew to the feast. Still, the banquet went on and a good time was had by all.
More time passed. Many of the citizens of Kingschurch had crossed over the river into the land of Goldencity. Those remaining often reminisced about the old days, when the city was thriving. They would look at the paintings of their great feasts which artists had painted long ago and sigh.
“Strangers just don’t care about living in cities anymore,” said the leading elder. “We have tried everything we know to make our city beautiful and attractive for strangers, yet they don’t seem to care,” said another, “Worst of all, our great king has forsaken us. He now rules over the town of Newchurch.”
Kingschurch is nothing more than a memory now. Her gates hang limply from their hinges, her banners are torn and her streets are quiet – not even the sound of a mouse can be heard in the once fair city. If you ask any stranger in that land about her, they know nothing of her splendor or her great king. They just stare at you in silence.