Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
TITLE: The Fall of Nabal
By Jason Sanders
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* * *
Nabal was starting his annual sheep-shearing in Carmel. There were many men brought in to get the work done, for he was a very wealthy man. He owned three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. The herds were allowed to graze in the Desert of Paran for most of the year. This year had been one of his best ever, with no losses to speak of. The Desert could be a harsh place, and usually he would lose a couple of hundred animals each year to predators and bandits. But this year his shepherds and flocks had been protected by that upstart captain, David. He had heard there was a major fallout between David and King Saul, so David had fled with his men to the desert to save his life.
“Sir! There are some men here to see you!” Nabal followed his servant out into his courtyard and sat down on his chair. There were ten men waiting to see him. One of them stepped forward and began his speech. Nabal was only half-listening as the man droned on polite greetings and blessings. He perked up when the man finally got to the point and made his request for some food for David and his men. He knew what he owed David, but he figured, why pay him when he was just some outlaw on the run from the king? “Who is this David?” he asked. “Why good I give my good meat that was intended for my shearers to some servant who has run from his master?” The men turned and left as soon as he was finished speaking.
* * *
Abigail had just finished making herself presentable when her handmade came in and informed her that her donkey was ready. She was almost trembling with anticipation at seeing David again. Her thought drifted back on when she first laid eyes on the most beautiful man she had ever seen. She remembered the fear in her heart as she had first been informed what her fool of a husband had done. She had done all she could to fix the situation.
* * *
“My Lord! Let the blame be on me alone! Do not pay any attention to the words of that fool, Nabal. He is just like his name, and his folly goes with him! I did not see the men you had sent to us.”
David looked down at this beautiful, well-spoken woman with amazement. He was more intrigued with her than the loaded donkeys behind her. He gave a couple of quick commands to his men, and they began to unload and pass out the food. They were very hungry, for they had not eaten in about two days. David lifted Abigail up and began to speak kindly to her. “Praise be given to the Lord, my God, who has sent you to me today! For He has kept my hands from bloodshed, for if you had not come, there would not be one male left alive in Nabal’s household.” “Go home in peace.” Abigail looked upon David’s face and fell in love. “My lord, you are a good man, and I know one day you will be king in Israel.”
When she arrived at home, Nabal was celebrating his success and he was very drunk. Abigail waited until morning to tell him what had occurred. Nabal turned white and his heart gave out on him. Within ten days God had taken his life.
* * *
“Mistress! It is time for you to go!” Abigail’s handmaiden anxiously shooed her mistress to her donkey. Abigail’s heart was almost ready to burst like Nabal’s. She smiled at the thought of being with her beautiful king. She looked upon her past with one last glimpse and rode to her future.
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