Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)
TITLE: Lust and guilt in the heat of the moment
By Josiah Kane
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It was one month into the war against the heathen Ammonites, so there was a lot of agitation in the camp. The warmth of the young summer was starting to get a fraction too hot (Big hardship in the army’s the temperature under canvas, you know?) and the men were roaming around for want of something to do. There was dust under everyone’s tongue and sweat dripping off everyone’s nose. When Dave sent the runner asking for Uriah, most of us were jealous for that chance to go home.
He lived just next door to his Royal Majesty, didn’t he?
Indeed, that’s why there was so much stinging remarks that day.
“Quite a favourite in the court, ain’t ya”
“The rest of us actually have to serve king and country, but it seems not you, Monsieur Gentile.”
“See if you can’t keep us something from the royal banquet, just since you escape these appalling rations we measly soldiers get.”
“And a drop of wine. You wouldn’t forget your army mates when you’re out of this diabolical toasting field, would you now?”
Only fair. Uriah was a filthy gentile, so why not treat the troops a little?
Because Uriah was an old soldier, one of the thirty best men in our army. He was as loyal to Dave as I was, a far nobler man than that pack of wolves and foxes you call the troops.
Noble enough to sleep on the porch with the guards when his house was just next door?
Yes. I was sceptical of that boast at the time, but it has been confirmed by many witnesses. It’s weird though. I mean…anyone would go home for a comfy bed and a loving wife. Honestly, with the sweaty summer stench in the battlefield I’d have just gone home for a bath!
And that’s what killed him?
No! What killed him was a barrage of arrows from the wall of Rabbah.
But the king told him to go home to his wife, and he refused. Now he’s dead. Doesn’t that say anything.
I am a soldier. I march into every battle knowing I could die. Uriah was also a brave soldier, one hit in the chest by eight enemy arrows before the walls of Rabbah. Incidentally Rabbah is quite a way from Jerusalem.
And what about a certain letter sent from the king to his General? There is a rumour that it had a certain bearing on the matter.
I am sorry, military communications are classified by nature.
So classified means "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so that he will be struck down and die." is public knowledge throughout the country then?
I’m sorry; it is not my place to comment on that question.
But you did think Uriah’s death to be mitigating circumstances for your military blunders which cost the lives of many Israelite men?
Of course not! How dare you…
But you did make a point of mentioning that very specific death in this summer’s casualties?
Well, clearly. He was an important man, a great loss to our nation.
Thank you. Now please just wait a moment, our next guest is Nathan the Seer, but I’m sure we’ll come back to you. Nathan, how do you know more about the case of Uriah the Hittite than the General?
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