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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)

TITLE: A Tale of Two Solomons
By Teri Wilson
05/09/07


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Solomon lay on his sleeping pallet in the dark, listening to the owl sing his song under the Carolina moon. The moon had become an obsession for Solomon in recent weeks. Waxing and waning in and out of his thoughts throughout the day as his calloused fingers plucked tufts of cotton from their angry bolls. Tonight the silver sliver beckoned to him from its place high in the country sky. Hanging like a gleaming sickle above the plantation.

The other Solomon turned three precise circles on his bed of hay, mashing down the straw with the rough black pads on the bottom of his paws. The sounds and scents of the thick, black night assaulted his bloodhound senses as he tried to sleep. His ears twitched at the owl’s song and in his nostrils the aromas of all who lived on the plantation danced and swirled together as one. Black and white, slave and master. He fell into a gentle sleep, his paws twitching as though he were running beneath the mossy canopies of his master’s oaks.

Solomon slipped out the front door of the sleeping quarters as quietly as he could. He took one final look at the thatched roof shanty which had been his home for as long as he could recall. Then, once again, he remembered the moon and his eyes searched the heavens. Tonight it was the narrowest of slices. Solomon prayed the shadowy arms of night would wrap themselves around him and whisk him away to safety and freedom.

The deep, mournful howls of the younger hounds roused the other Solomon from his slumber. He slowly opened one droopy eyelid and saw his master looming over him with a large stick.

“Get up, dog!”

The bloodhound scrambled to his feet before the man had a chance to bring the stick down on his broad shoulders. He breathed deeply and inhaled the scent of the dirty, torn clothing his master held under his nostrils. Then he lifted his head to bay at the tiny shard of moon up above and began his search.


Until the baying of the hounds, Solomon thought he actually had a chance. But the eerie cries of the dogs were a sharp blade that pierced his hope. He knew better than to try and outrun the powerful dogs in his bare feet. Their legs could carry them across the county and back before he could make it off the plantation. Solomon cursed the moon and its radiance, however slight on this night. It had betrayed him and shone its beam on his escape like a spotlight. Beads of sweat broke out on Solomon’s dark skin and he drank deeply from the gourd he had filled with water and tied around his waist. It was the only thing he had taken with him on his journey. The cool liquid washed away his despair and he headed for the one place his scent might actually have a chance to hide from a bloodhound.

The dogs darted around the plantation in a frenzy, their noses pressed hard to the ground. Heavy, long ears and thick folds of skin around their faces lifted the scents up off the dirt and waved them beneath their keen noses. Solomon could tell his target was getting closer. The trail was strong and when he reached the swine barn it exploded in his nostrils. The other dogs ran past the barn, but Solomon followed the instincts bred into his blood for generations. He dashed into the dark barn and found a man crouched down in the mire with the pigs. Visibly shaken, the man slowly stood up and looked Solomon directly in the eyes.

There the two Solomons stood face to face. Solomon the man looked at the bloodhound and saw the scars on his body and the weariness among the rich folds of skin. Solomon the dog looked at the man and saw lost eyes and a crooked spine which had been beaten with the same stick as his own, by the same master. A telltale bay rumbled deep in his throat and yearned to escape from his muzzle, but he pushed it back down.

In that moment both Solomons were one; the hunter and the hunted. Living souls who had been beaten down by another.

Their eyes never left one another until Solomon the man watched Solomon the dog turn around and slip quietly back into the night, under the pale glow of the Carolina moon.


**************

“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you…
say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’

They will feed besides the roads
and find pasture on every barren hill.
They will neither hunger nor thirst,
Nor will the desert sun beat upon them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
And lead them beside streams of water.”


Isaiah 49:8-10


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This article has been read 1320 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bryan Coomes05/10/07
Great story and vivid descriptions. I definitely found myself “in the moment” of the chase and hunt and couldn’t wait for the conclusion. The ending was very nice in that it had both a high and low to it due to the kindred spirit exhibited by the two tortured and tormented Solomons. An interesting sacrifice element there as well with Solomon the dog leaving Solomon the man to presumably escape while he would return to the master for another lashing. Some very nice lines and alliteration sprinkled in there as well. Nice job.
Joanne Sher 05/10/07
So very visual and engaging. You did an amazing job of putting me right in the middle of the action. Wonderful ending.(and I think you fit the topic fine!)
Betty Castleberry05/10/07
You dropped me right into the middle of the action. Great imagery, and quite touching as well. This piece clearly shows the strong bond btween animals and people.
Sara Harricharan 05/10/07
It think this fits pretty good. I like both Solomons and was really hoping that Solomon the dog wouldn't give the other one away. Your descriptions were superb, especially with the sliver of moon that you referred to throughout the story, this, in a sense made it more real. A very suspenseful read! ^_^
Cassie Memmer05/10/07
Somebody save the dog! LOL! This is a wonderful piece. I was rooting for both Solomons. You have a marvelous way of wording things. Like the gentle sway of poetry. You capture little nuances, details that I can never seem to do. I love it when a writer can write a whole story about a few minutes in time. It's something I haven't mastered, but you did it here and it's wonderful. You had this reader right there in the barn with them. I am glad you wrote this piece. I loved it.
Kaylee Blake 05/10/07
Wow! Loved it. The comparison of both Solomons, though entirely different species, are actually the same. Very insightful. Great work!
william price05/10/07
Some of the most descriptive and moving paragraphs I've read. I really enjoyed and was impressed when the two solomons met. Very masterful and professional. Way Kool! Great job. God bless.
Elizabeth Burton05/10/07
What a wonderful, terrible story to contemplate...the descriptions are beautiful and flow so well with the narrative. The only problem I have with this is that I can't seem to stop worrying about poor Solomon the dog, lol!
Loren T. Lowery05/11/07
Your writing is both evocative and tender on a deep emotional level. It touches the very soul. Wonderful insights throughout this piece.
Patty Wysong05/12/07
Wow! I held my breath until the end. I loved how you wove the two voices together so smoothly and seamlessly. Excellent! :-)
Dara Sorensen05/13/07
Great imagery, especially with the moon. I loved the ending as both are staring at one another. Simply amazing!
Rita Garcia05/14/07
Creative and moving..a story and message I will not soon forget. Blessings and keep writing for Him!
Jan Ackerson 05/14/07
Artfully written, quite lovely.
Mariane Holbrook05/15/07
This was so good I've already chosen you the winner so I'll just pack my little tin dishes and go home! LOL
No kidding, it's a lovely piece and your attention to detail is awfully good! Kudos.
T. F. Chezum05/16/07
Very visual and well written story. Great job.
LaNaye Perkins05/16/07
I loved this story and way you brought it to life with your writing. Awesome work!
Marilee Alvey05/17/07
What an innovative take on the subject of slavery. It was very imaginative to take a dog and a man, slaves to the same rod, and have a late night showdown. This was a tremendous piece of writing!
Joy Faire Stewart05/17/07
Congratulation on your 1st Place winning. Fantastic & unique...loved it!
Purity Snowe05/17/07
so very good! Congrats!
Catrina Bradley 05/17/07
Awesome and moving piece!!! Congrats on your well deserved first place! :)
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/18/07
This was a delightful story, very moving...well deserving of first place...so glad to see how the winners stand out!
Donna Emery05/19/07
Absolutely wonderful! I felt captured by the story and by its characters. Congrats... you deserve it!
Venice Kichura05/19/07
Perfection!
I can see how you won--this is excellent!