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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)

TITLE: The Wisdom of Evil
By Birdie Courtright


“I am your King…I beg for nothing!” He shouted. The blush rising in his face foretold the destruction that looms before me. I dared to deny the whims of a powerful and evil man. In a single moment of pride my fate was sealed. I could do nothing but cringe at my own stupidity.

I sank to my knees, avoiding his glare like a dog cowering before his wicked master. My throat, parched and coated, constricted with fear as the words tried to escape…it was too late. The sentences dangled in my mouth like thick cotton; I could not swallow—nor expel the vapid appeal that formed in my brain. My life is over, as surely as the sun sets upon my vineyard. Days might pass, the glory of the new moon might even shine upon me one more time but Death has laid an icy trap for me; I felt it the moment my eyes met his. There is no escape from this treacherous plot; evil will have its way.

I have never seen murder in a man’s eyes before. The insidious pallor of the Kings’ parting words caused my blood to run cold.

“Peace be with you, good man.” He said, his face contorted with a rancid smile. Peace indeed—what does the netherworld know of peace? Souls pacing eternity without rest locked in death’s grip estranged from God. No, Peace fled far from me as the King entered my vineyard on royal steed. Truth be known; it was Peace that that lured the King to the cool of my vineyard and wielding her glorious innocence against a wicked heart; she devised my end. I am but her sacrificial lamb; ensnared in some universal power play that will cause evil to slay its self. I see the plan, but I am numb with fear. Oh why did I covet her more than life?

“You must eat, Ahab. Does a King retreat to his bed in the face of dissidence? Who would follow such a man into war, my beloved?” Jezebel locked eyes with Ahab, and for a split second, he immersed himself in her soul.

Something about the utter darkness within her intrigued him. The further Ahab traveled into her eyes, the less he struggled—light distressed him, it forced him to wrestle between good and evil. But there, locked inside her veil of shadows his mind melded into the vapor of darkness until there was nothing left; he could vanish completely in Jezebel’s smile.

“A vinedresser will not defy my King, nor rob the crown of its virtue. It is all yours, Ahab. It always has been. In good faith, you offered to buy what any subject should freely give to the King. He openly spat upon your merciful favor. No, my beloved King…’tis not for you to fret such things, pride has claimed the man’s soul and you, my husband must look away as sin consumes him.” Drinking deeply from her web of dark wisdom, Ahab closed his eyes.

“Rest, my King. I shall remind the governor of his duty toward you.”

“I am utterly trapped in you, Jezebel. You turn a man’s heart in wicked directions, and yet he finds only pleasure in your countenance. I am the one consumed by sin for everything you say makes perfect sense. I gladly drink the poison of your lips and thirst for more. What place has this man’s folly in my own demise? I sense it approaching, and it stifles me—but you Jezebel, you move freely through these paradigms of light and darkness as though manipulating the cosmos only strengthens you for the next game. Your lack of conscience intrigues me so.”

“The poison of my lips is no more than a mirror of the King’s heart. You know what is just and unjust. I only urge you to decree what is right, Ahab. You did not rob the man, yet in his insolence he has stolen your authority as surely as I speak. He could have chosen to enjoy the King’s wealth. What sin but his lies at your feet?”

“Yours, lovely Jezebel.”

The invitation to my murder arrived this morning. I am to dine at the governor’s table.
In the vineyard of my fathers, I pray as I’m passed into the hands of the wicked. My blood will surely spill tonight; but evil chains herself to me in death, unaware. With Peace triumphant, I Naboth, will grasp the hand of Jezebel’s destruction.
1 Kings 12: 1-25

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/13/07
A murder story told mostly in the voice of the victim--what a clever device!
Steve Uppendahl04/13/07
Excellent job switching POV effectively, and within 750 words. Impressive.

Great, great story.
Lynda Schultz 04/13/07
Shades of Shakespeare - I could also hear the bard himself. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/14/07
An age-old story told in a most creative way!
Jacquelyn Horne04/15/07
Poignant! Very well written. Good account of this Bible story.
Sara Harricharan 04/17/07
I never quite saw Jezebel in this light before-though it is certainly most fitting! You brought her to life and gave a new twist to an old story without changing the true meaning. Excellent job and a good mystery!
Rita Garcia04/17/07
I like the POV you used to tell this mystery, good job.
Julie Arduini04/17/07
How creative, and chilling!!! Very well done. VERY!