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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: A drink of water
By diana kay


The sun is bright and hot outside ,old men have moved out of the square, mothers called their children in from play. Everyone in the village is resting now.

I listen to the 'click, click' of the crickets and the rustle of goats jostling for the shady place under the thorn bush . The sound of flies buzzing always used to irritate me but you get used to it.

I hate myself and how things have turned out ;the constant gossip, the whispering and the stares .
I watch the dust dancing in the strip of sunlight filtering through my doorway making patterns on the wall and wish I could rewind my life back . Back to when I was 15 and got married for the first time. No, further back to when I last was truly happy to that ten year old me, playing with my brother in the town square while my father sat talking with the other men in the shade of the big Cypress tree. We half listened to them and drew with sticks in the dust .I was always the princess and Marcus was the brave warrior coming to protect me.
Oh I miss him so much! His death was all my fault. I never should have dared him to climb to get that honey. I pestered him to bring me down something sweet. I was so foolish, so desperate for good things. My father never forgave me. That’s when things started to go wrong for me. Twelve years old and already a murderer, an outcast. I push away the thoughts and try and return to my ten year old self clutching my knees close and burying my head in my rough cloak smelling of wood smoke and dung snatching a few more moments of pretending.

A murmuring of voices startles me from my reverie. I move to the back window overlooking track that leads down past the well and into the town. I can hear the sounds of men laughing and joking. There are no donkeys or horses, so not merchants or traders, travellers or pilgrims then. We get quite a lot of them. This used to be a main byway to the holy city. I can see them now. The tall one strides out ahead and uses his hands a lot when he talks. I strain to catch his words, not local accents. It sounds like they are going into the town for food, Good.One man looks strangely familiar, but I am sure I have never seen him before. I feel a little shiver and my hands are trembling a bit . He puts his arm around the shoulders of the one next to him and I experience a sharp pain in my chest. Such a friendly companionable touch and I am filled with a strange longing. I hear the loudmouth call him Rabbi, so that’s it. He is a teacher with his followers.

Sometimes a Rabbi would come to our village and teach from the scriptures under the trees, its too run down and poor now, no one stops anymore.

The sounds fade and the flies start up their buzzing again. I must go now before the village starts stirring. I wrap my cloak around me and take up my jar with a sigh. I wish I could be out on the road travelling around listening to a teacher. Things would have been different if I had been born a man.

I glance out, cautiously, as always before hurrying down the path. Swiftly through the trees watching out for the lads who hide to pelt me with sharp stones from their catapults . It is not the pain of the cuts that hurts as much as their taunts which seem go right through to my heart .
I wish I had a spring in my back yard ,a secret supply just for me so I could drink whenever I want Standing under a fountain of cool clear water letting it soak my hair and face, It feels so good, clean and fresh and I could grow plants right outside my house. Never have to feel thirsty again or make this daily journey.
I am at the well now, it is deep and old. It is when start to unwind the rope, lowering my bucket that I hear a voice say gently from behind me “woman please may I have a drink of water?”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 05/14/09
Oooh, you had me going here. I didn't see that twist coming at the end, I was curious as to where this was all going! Good job! Nice touch on making this woman a character that we often do not think of in this light.
Laurie Gagne07/11/09
Surely God surged through your pen as this was written, well done!
heartsafield, Laurie M. Gagne
Noel Mitaxa 11/26/09
I love how you have built such strength of feeling into such an imaginative background for the woman at the well near Sychar. She has been too-often and too-briefly condemned by too many preachers. You have enhanced the dignity of her search. Congratulations.