Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Brown (11/26/09)
TITLE: A Barren Place
By diana kay
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A Barren Place
I dread the cold nights, when the wind whistles through the tent. It always seems to find a way through the thick coverings, forcing open gaps with icy fingers and blowing its freezing breath, swirling around seeking me out and lifting my covers. The fire in the grate has died to a feeble glow. There is no-one awake to stir the embers, only me, and with my stupid crippled legs I cannot raise myself without assistance. I have to stay where I am, stiff and chilled to the bone, waiting, waiting for the first signs of dawn. The wind stills, as though it hears the dawn’s approach and knows the time for torturing me drawing to a close,at least for this night . Then slowly, slowly the darkness begins to lighten and as I stare upwards, I begin make out the outline of drapes. If I turn my head to the side, I can see shapes of the others, sleeping soundly under their blankets. I don’t call them family, because I have no real family, no blood relations. I am all alone, crippled and worthless, a burden, a lump of rags, a dead dog to be pitied. Of less value even than the animals, for the goat gives milk and meat. What can I do? I am useless. I am not worthy to be called a man. I sit with the women and hold their wool while they spin, women’s work, Pah!.
Truly God is punishing me for the sins of my whole family. I am stuck in living hell. Sometimes I wish my nurse had left me to die. I have nightmares of that terrible day when my legs were damaged. She told me to run, to run for my life. She pulled me roughly from my bed, covered my royal clothes with a rough brown cloak and dragged me out into the night. I was only five years old and could not run fast enough, so she picked me up like a baby. Then at the gate she stumbled and dropped me into the road. My legs were crushed under a cart. I still remember the searing pain. I never ran again, only crawl in the dirt like a serpent.
My so called nurse abandoned me in this barren land, devoid of colour. Dusty brown earth, brown flat bread, brown clothing and drapes from goatskins and sheep’s wool. No golden sheep here, not in Lodebar. I long for just a little colour, red, blue, purple or gold.
I sometimes dream of being back at the palace, at a table laden with golden bowls of peaches, figs and grapes. I hear music; trumpets, harps and lyres. But it is just a dream and not reality. Truth is I am stuck in Lodebar, trapped like a rabbit in a snare, helpless, waiting for the others to wake and put the pot for some tea. Not long now because I can see a tiny strip of blue sky through the gaps in the coverings. The sky! Yes, that is one splash of colour in my brown and dreary world. Maybe someone will take me outside today, so I can sit a little in the light and see more of the sky before the sun gets too hot. That is the best I can hope for today and any day. My life is never ever going to change.
And Ziba, servant of the house of Saul said, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.”
Then King David sent for Mephibosheth and said to him, “Do not fear for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan and I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you will eat at my table.” 2 Samuel 9: 3,5-7.NIV
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