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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)

TITLE: Witch!
By Sue Dent


Darkness fell yet nothing around her changed. Dank, thick air suffocated, made each breath hard to take. Even the fire suffered, offered little heat, precious little light. Barely enough to cast a shadow. Acrid wisps of smoke, circled, stung. Her eyes watered from the assault. Disdainful words fell from her lips as she pulled roughly at the blanket around her.

Her voice hissed, echoed as she lamented over her present conditions and the one who’d caused them. “I volunteer to counsel you,” she spewed, brooded. “And this is how you repay me.”

Once pampered hands, wrap around a twisted staff, she scratches at the earth, symbols, incantations.

“You called us in, forgot your own God. Treated us like royalty, then put a price on our heads. You may have found the others. But you’ll not find me—”

Heavy footsteps. Perhaps another in need of her power. They often sought her out.

The light from their torch proceeded them.

Standing she grasped her staff, stared into the serious eyes of the one who approached.

“I need you to conduct a séance. Please, I need you to call someone up for me.”

The desperation, the need in his voice, he would believe anything she said. Yet she had to be careful.

“You come here for my help yet you know what Saul has done. He’s cut us off from the land. Why should I believe you’re not setting a trap for me? Why should I believe you’re not laying a snare for my life?”

“No!” Desperation clung like dew to his countenance. “I swear to you by the Lord. No punishment shall come to you for this thing?”

He’d sworn by his Lord. She understood the significance. She could work with this.

“Whom shall I bring up for you?”

A haunting look, “Bring up Samuel for me.”

A waving of the hands, a calling up of the spirits. She yells out loudly and then swings around.

“Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”

What made him think he could fool her? Even the most cleverest of disguises couldn’t hide who he was.

He rushed to calm her. “Don’t be afraid. What did you see?”

With practiced expertise she spoke, “I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth.”

At her uncanny description of the spirit, she could tell Saul was convinced she’d called up Samuel. He would believe whatever she told him.

And speaking as Samuel, she had much to say.

“Why do you seek me out seeing that the Lord is departed from you and is now your enemy? Why does it surprise you that the Lord has done exactly as he said he would, the very words he spoke through me?”

Fueled by Saul’s look of utter disillusion, she continued. Used her medium, Saul’s weakness to bring satisfaction to her lord.

“The Lord has taken the kingdom from your hand and has given it to your neighbor. Even to David. Because you didn’t obey, because you didn’t execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek the Lord has done this thing to you. Because of this, the Lord will also deliver Israel and you in the hand of the Philistines and tomorrow you shall be with me. And the Lord shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”

Saul fell to his knees, to the ground.

He believed all that she’d lied about and she couldn’t have been prouder.

As he and the other two walked out of the cave, she cackled.

I shall never have to volunteer my services to you again.

1 Samuel 28:3-20

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This article has been read 895 times
Member Comments
Member Date
julie wood11/30/06
Great description, especially in the opening, and dialogue throughout-- a beautifully vivid rendition of a familiar Bible story!
Helen Paynter11/30/06
Very unusual subject, and powerfully written. Drew me in and made me feel I was standing there (ughh!) Great stuff, although I think a little weak on subject, which might cost ya! Hope not.
Stephen Paynter12/01/06
It is always a worthwhile use of our writing talents to use them to breath an air of freshness into familiar Bible stories. You have openned up this story, and provoked much thought.

I was interested to see you have the witch think she was faking the manifestation of Samuel ... I had never considered that reading of the Bible! Hmmmm ... yes,
definitely thought provoking!!

Great job!
Jesus Puppy 12/03/06
OOoooo gripping. Though I knew it was Saul before you spoke his name it still kept me rivited. Very well done. You will be in master before much longer.. Which will leave me free to place again.. maybe. :)
Debbie Sickler12/04/06
Hmmm...I'd have to agree with Helen about being a little weak on topic, but I enjoyed reading this from the new perspective of the witch. You set the tone well and did a good job at letting your readers get inside her head. :)
Joanne Sher 12/04/06
Oh, Sue! This was awesome! What a unique perspective on this story. You certainly did it justice. Great description, especially in the beginning!
Jan Ackerson 12/04/06
What I especially love about this entry is the writing style, the intentional clipping of certain words. It really worked to create atmosphere and personality. Very skillful.
Donna Haug12/04/06
Very interesting. I too never considered that the witch may have been pretending. Hmm. I noticed a couple of fragments. Also "most cleverest" should read "most clever". Creative approach!
Sue Dent12/04/06
Yay, I can finally comment on something. "He believed all that she’d lied about and she couldn’t have been prouder," was not meant to infer the which was faking. I believe she saw and reported exactly what Satan wanted her to see.

I wrote this in omnicient third person meaning I could interject narrator insight occasionally. Of course, that doesn't mean I did it well. LOL

This omnicient narrator is telling you that Saul believed all that the witch lied about because this omnicient narrator believes that God would not permit Samuel to be called up. God is the only one who can call anyone up in this manner. Therefore, whoever or whatever the witch called up was a not Samuel making the words she reported hearing . . . a LIE!

Gosh, I hope that clears things up!
Donna Powers 12/05/06
this was very powerful and very well written. The tale kept me captive through its whole length. Thanks so much for sharing this
Shanti Singh12/05/06
This was excellent! It makes me want to consider trying to write biblical fiction myself!
william price12/06/06
My Dearest Sue,
Beautiful, powerful, provoking, gripping. awesome, skillful, interesting and excellent. At least that's what everyone else felt about your story. And as much as I hate to admit it, only because I don't want to jinx you, I agree. Super Stuff Sue. God bless.
Sue Dent12/06/06
Oh, William, you are too sweet! I would have only felt jinxed if you HADN'T commented. And don't worry, I'm fairly certain I won't place but I don't care! I had a grand time writing this entry. And I mean that!!! Thanks to all who've commented here.
Sara Harricharan 12/06/06
Whoa! This packed a punch! I didn't even see the end coming like that. Great job, this is certainly a new twist on this 'story'. LOVED it. :)
Cheri Hardaway 12/06/06
New twist leaving much food for thought! Wow! Loved it! Blessings, Cheri