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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)

TITLE: Just a Working Girl
By Myrna Noyes


I'll be honest with you. My life has been a series of close encounters of the torrid kind, marked by clandestine trysts, shadowy rooms, and passion for pay. I am labeled a Scarlet Woman, a Lady of the Night; but I've preferred to think of myself as simply an enterprising girl offering a popular service in order to make a decent (some would say an indecent ) living for myself and my elderly parents. I also run a much-frequented hotel, but that is not the business that gets me discretely pointed at and whispered about by the more proper citizens among our population.

I have few girlfriends but more "boyfriends" than fleas on the dogs that slink around the alleys here on the fringe of both the city and society. I've been told I'm alluring by many of my clients, and I purchase the most tantalizing negligees, provocative perfumes, and silky-smooth sheets that are available. These are my tools of the trade, along with seductive smiles, come-hither glances, ruby lips, and swinging hips.

When I go out I definitely do not dress in demure "modest maiden" attire, but in the kind of eye-catching clothes, make-up, and jewelry that cause older women to cluck their tongues in disapproval while the men with them unconsciously lick their lips and crane their necks. (I know I'll see some of these again, knocking, furtive but eager, on my door after dusk.)

My heart is not a complete murky cesspool of sin, however. I care about my family, sharing my earnings to make their lives more comfortable. I also have a soft spot for those in need, for those looked down upon by more fortunate, favored beings; and I've more than once slipped a few coins into their outstretched hands. On frosty nights I've even offered shelter to some of them for free.

Just this evening, two men, strangers in the area, booked a room at my inn. I could tell by their accents that they weren't local, and something about their manner and their string of questions about our town and its security made me wonder if they were scouts or spies for an advancing army--one that we've heard has an uncanny knack for beating the odds. Some here say, and I'm inclined to agree, that supernatural powers seem to be allied with them. Obviously others in town were suspicious, too, and not long after the visitors' arrival the authorities came asking me about them. I lied with a glib tongue and convincing words, protecting the men so they would hopefully in turn protect me. Having already hidden them in my house, I later helped them make a successful get-away.

And now I wait. My life is literally hanging by a thread, a crimson cord for a scarlet woman. It is a signal dangling from my upstairs bedroom window--a thin lifeline, red as blood, reminding my former guests to spare me and mine when the time comes.

I've blown out the lights and latched the door, no longer in the mood for men tonight. I believe I'm ready to skip this town, leave my bawdy business behind, and make a new start in a new land, among people who seem blessed by their God. I'm of a mind to exchange my stained reputation for a respectable one, maybe even get married and raise a family. My parents would like that, I know.

I decide to take a bath before bed, somehow having a desire to be clean before I dream. A refreshing breeze blows through my room, and I smile back at the stars winking down on me.

Based on Joshua 2

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This article has been read 1089 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Steve Uppendahl10/08/09
It's rare for me to be moved by a story with no dialogue. But, your story did. Solid desciption throughout and great last paragraph. Well done.
Charla Diehl 10/09/09
This modern version of an old Biblical story had me thinking of Miss Kitty from the old Gunsmoke series, but then I caught the clues and realized I was a bit off base. Either way, I found this intriguing, well written and happy for the MC that she was headed down a better path.
Sara Harricharan 10/09/09
COOL! I really liked this new take on Rahab, this is definitely creative, fresh and new. There was a modern feel to it as I read and when the end came, boy, it was GOOD. I loved it. Great job!
Mark Bell10/10/09
I've read a couple of novels on Rahab over the years. All of them had her regretting her choices of lifestyle, for various reasons. But, none of them juxtaposed her character traits like this. Nicely done.
Lynda Schultz 10/13/09
You made Rahab come alive. Well done.
Shilo Goodson10/14/09
At first I was a little worried where this was going, but it was an excellent read.
Connie Dixon10/15/09
Very creative perspective. Great job on this timeless story. Congratulations.
Margaret Kearley 10/15/09
Congratulations and well done - very well written. Our thoughts turned to the same character and, I don't know about you, but I was incredibly blessed again by studying her story afresh and seeing the wonderful analogies of our salvation. Many thanks.
Janice Fitzpatrick10/15/09
Oh my goodness, is this well written. Yes, I agree with one of the comments, although dialogue usually helps make the piece come alive, this one needed no aid.
Your descriptive words were full of emotion and pulsated throughout the story. I was captivated and wanted to read even more. This would be such a great historical fiction piece or even could be made into a movie. I can see it my mind. Grat job!! Congrats on the win too.:0)God bless your writing.
Loren T. Lowery10/15/09
Doing the happy dance for you, Myrna. So glad to see you back and writing so well with a very well-deserved EC.
Marita Thelander 10/15/09
Well done, welcome back, and congratulations. I liked the line about ruby lips and swinging hips.
Aaron Morrow10/15/09
Outstanding work Myrna, congratulations!
Laury Hubrich 10/15/09
Congratulations on this excellent piece of work!
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/16/09
Ooo, I always love Biblical fiction. I didn't catch on until it mentioned the word "inn." I found the second half of the story hurried, and with a tiny bit less emotion than the first part. Enjoyed it, though, and would love to see a longer version, if you have one.
Lisa Johnson10/16/09
I was thinking this was a modern day tale, but figured out your MC was Rahab about halfway through. Boy, did you bring her to life in a very vivid way. Excelent! Congratulations on your wins on both your level and in EC.
Lori Robbins10/16/09
A great idea taken from the greatest book ever written. Nicely done.
Noel Mitaxa 09/19/12
I was curious before you hooked me, with almost enough clues to work out where you might be going, until it became so interesting I didn't care. I love your insights into Rahab's heart and mind, which throw light on her future Rahabilitation.
Excellent work.