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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: Night Sweats
By Lucile McKenzie
08/27/07


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It was nearly midnight, but the wind still blew warm, heavy with the scent of smoke, and the pungent, sweaty smell of men who are afraid. Jasru looked apprehensively across the valley where the enemies’ campfires glowed, like a multitude of eyes that kept watch, noting with satisfaction his fear and dread. Everyone was afraid, from the lowliest man in the army right up to the leader. The odds were so heavily against them, the price of losing so high. Jasru thought that it wasn’t just the possibility of sustaining a terrible, bloody wound, or even of dying, it was the horrible possibility of captivity and being forced to live subservient to these hated people. It had to end soon. The taunting had gone on for days. They had to make a move, respond to the jibes, the derision. Would they be defeated, and thus plunge this once-proud nation into slavery?

Jasru lay on his back and gazed up at the star-filled sky. Are you there God? He wondered. You seem so far away, but You are our only hope. “God,” he prayed softly, “If You are there, hear our plea. Have mercy; forgive our sins. Be with us tomorrow, and deliver us from these vile people.”

He rolled over, shut his eyes and tried to sleep, but it was no use. Repeating the prayer again and again, he sat up, and, with shaking hands, sharpened his spear one more time.

Morning dawned gloriously bright and clear. No one noticed. Their eyes saw only the sunlight glinting off the armor, shields and spears of the enemy; their ears were filled with the taunts, the boasting, and the sneers. Then Jasru noticed a stirring in the camp. Rumors flew. Someone was going up against the seemingly indomitable foe! Who would dare to risk his life this way? As battle lines formed, Jasru took his assigned place and, heart pounding, waited to see what would happen next.

Then, with the rest of the Israeli army, he watched in amazement as a young shepherd boy named David wound up his sling, and, in the name of the Lord, slew the mighty Goliath. The Philistines were defeated!

Around him the soldiers danced and sang with joy. Jasru, his heart so full he could barely speak, looked up into the bright blue sky and said simply “Thank you, God.”


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Member Comments
Member Date
Rhonda Clark08/31/07
Nice story. Biblical fiction is so cool.

Good work.
christine bastow09/01/07
What a night for them all. Thankfully David was not fearful of the giant. Well written. chris x
Joanne Sher 09/07/07
Congratulations, Lucile. Your entry has placed 10th in Level 2. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards