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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Empty and Full (06/04/09)

TITLE: Hollow Giant
By Karuna Barla


Hollow Giant

As soon as my dusky apparition came into plain sight of the people, an eerie silence wreaked the temple compound.

“There’s the giant, he’s coming over here, move, get away!”

“See how he looms above us!”

“He’s scary.”

“Why is he here?”

Their loud whispers, uttered mostly so I could hear and know, I was strange and unfit for society.

The fortieth bleating animal on my back is impatient to meet my god. Today he will empower me, he had said, if I bring a blood sacrifice. Now, I can walk fearlessly amongst my people again. No more an exile. I know Dagon will not let me down, his promise he will keep even as I give myself to him, my health and my body to reign on.

As the sun sinks, my hope arises, the night of my victory has come. The blood has satisfied my god - the last day of my sacrifice of unification with Dagon. Tomorrow with my single handed victory over the cowardly Israelites, “I will become one with my god”, my voice roars, out into the silent night at the camp.

Morning brings with it a surge of new power within me. A sip of that sacrificial blood, my god and I shared last night has filled me with Dagon’s power. Victory will be mine, I can sense it.

“You cowardly Israelites, I flout your army and moreover your invisible god, who has left you at my feet to fall like wasted leaves.” The roar in my voice harmonizes with the sound of my god. I can hear him speak through me. “Send me one of your men to fight and if he wins, you all win and we will be your slaves forever,” we scoff in unison, “if not, you will be our slaves forever.”

We burst into roaring laughter, and a menacing howl in the winds carries our voices over the valley. I see the Israelite army quiver.

I see a figure approach me. They’ve sent their scapegoat, I must approach and slay him at once.

“Move forward!” I bark the commands at my armor-bearers.

As he approaches, I see he is a handsome little boy- strangely, without a soldier’s gear. Absolutely unafraid of my dreadful countenance. I have never seen anyone look right into my eyes and pierce me. Strange feelings of fear, mixed with doubts almost derail me, but Dagon eggs on :

He is just a boy. Victory will be easy . Go on kill him and we’ll reign forever!

Dagon is right. I sneer at the kid. How miserable, for his life to end so short.

“Am I a dog, that you come to fight with sticks?"I growl. "You are eternally cursed by Dagon. Today you and your whole nation will bow down before me.” My nostrils flare in anger and I feel the blood rise in my eyes. The spirit of Dagon possesses me, to complete our task. Yet in my own subconscious spirit, I hear the boy speak a threat I had never known.

“You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, Whom you have defied.”
He keeps coming closer and his eyes beam with complete, undefiled faith on this invisible god.

No sooner had he mentioned his god, Dagon’s presence failed me and I was left empty and alone, to face this little boy, so full of power by his god and I knew, I had lost.

His faith, enriched and empowered, shot at me in a little stone, sank into my hollow head and I was in Dagon’s temple once again, burning and wondering why I had trusted his hollow promises and wishing someone had told me of the One who fills completely and Who’s words never go void on behalf of His own.

Note: The name Goliath means "Exiled"

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 06/12/09
An interesting perspective on a familiar Bible story. Certainly could have happened.

I noticed a couple inaccuracies from the story (Goliath made that same threat forty days in a row before David came, for instance), but they are minor.

The faith of Goliath in his god made this story even more powerful.
Diana Dart 06/17/09
Very creative perspective here. Interesting idea that Goliath was an outcast with his own people... makes him seem more human you know? I was a tad confused at the beginning (forty animals on his back or forty consecutive sacrifices?), but things cleared up nicely. Really liked the ending.
Deborah Porter 06/19/09
Hi Karuna. I just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, Hollow Giant, actually did very well in the Empty and Full Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 3, placing 7th in that Level.

There were a lot of entries this week, and the competition is always intense in Level 3, so you deserve a pat on the back. :-)

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

Hope to see you at the FaithWriters' Conference in August. It’s going to be an amazing time of inspiration, information and encouragement. (If I’ve already mentioned that to you, forgive me. We’re just so excited about letting members know about this great gathering.)

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Jenny Fulton 06/19/09
I loved how I was drawn in without really knowing what was happening and then the wonderful "ah-ha" when it clicked! :) Great job with the unexpected perspective!