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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Irritated (11/08/12)

TITLE: The Dark Dawn
By Ada Nett


The servant cowered in fear as Ahab's sullen silence erupted into violence. The king rose from the table throwing the food across the room and shattering the delicate plate against the palace wall. And as suddenly as it began, it ended. Ahab hung his head and walked dejectedly from the dining hall.

Jezebel found him lying on the bed, his head turned to wall. She knew this mood and wanted to arrest it before it drug into weeks of morose self- pity. Ahab was either high or he was low. Jezebel preferred him high. She moved to the bed and lay beside Ahab and with a voice as slick as oil she began to manipulate Ahab's weakness into her power.

The late night found Ahab sleeping and Jezebel sitting by the burning brazier at her desk. Ahab's signet ring lay beside the lamp, the engraved ruby glowing blood red in the dim light, while Jezebel furiously wrote upon lambskin pages. Finishing her task, Jezebel rolled the the scrolls then waxed and sealed them with Ahab's ring.

The letters arrived at sundown. The Jezreel Elders immediately called the counsel and compared the King's instructions.
“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people, seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”
In the dark of the night the elders plotted Naboth's death.

The air was heavy with suspicion and neighbors averted their eyes as they went about the early morning business of vineyard work in the prosperous city of Jezreel. Only an hour earlier messengers from the elders had hurried through the predawn streets carrying torches, the fore runner dressed in yellow and waving the scarlet red banner of attention while crying out breathlessly “ Heed the coming proclamation.” He was followed by a dispersion of second runners moving slower and carrying scrolls as they positioned themselves on every corner of the town and with the breaking dawn they had begun to read as one voice.

“The noble Elders of Jezreel, men of Integrity and justice , being in severe distress and dread the impending wrath of God's Divine judgment upon the entire district of Jezreel proclaim a day of mourning and fasting followed by a high counsel. Among us is one who has dared to blaspheme God and the King . We charge you the people, to search out and reveal any such man who has defied God and the King that one man only shall fall under wrath and our prosperous city be spared.”

Brushing the dirt from his knees Naboth rose from the ground. With a hand to his back he straightened to his full height and looked toward the city. The unusual early morning commotion had disturbed his morning petitions to Yahweh, the true and living God, he faithfully worshiped in the midst of Jezebel's pagan Baal drenched culture. He felt alone even though Elijah had taught him that God had revealed there were seven thousand of the faithful, men who had not bowed their knee nor kissed Baal . Yet as was his way Elijah had disappeared. The faithful were invisible, well-hidden sheep in the wolf-ravaged ranges of Jezebels domain.

The rising sun reflected off the white stone walls of Ahab's summer palace and made Naboth's prayer dimmed eyes ache. He walked to water- filled stone cistern by the well. Naboth's hands were hardened from many years of vineyard labor. He cupped his work -worn hands and filled them with the cool water, bending over, Naboth splashed the water across his face, then shaking his head he flung the droplets into the misty morning air. The birds were busy now, flitting through the sun rays between the arbor-ed grape vines, landing on the ground and pulling the pungent fat worms form the dark rich soil Naboth had inherited from his long line of ancestors.

Eyes now clear, Naboth could see there were men leaving the palace by the back entrance and walking along the path that connected Naboth's vineyard to the palace courtyard. Naboth pushed the wet hair from his face, dried his hands on his tunic and went to greet them.

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This article has been read 394 times
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/15/12
This is a powerful story. You truly brought it to life with your great attention to detail. I found myself leaning closer and closer as I devoured each word.
Allison Egley 11/17/12
Nice job on this. You may want to consider providing the Bible passage that provided the inspiration for this, so people can read it for themselves and appreciate your story all the more.
lynn gipson 11/17/12
I think this is excellent, I really enjoyed reading it and wanted to read more. Oh, this is good!

God Bless, Lynn
lynn gipson 11/17/12
I think this is excellent, I really enjoyed reading it and wanted to read more. Oh, this is good!

God Bless, Lynn
Noel Mitaxa 11/18/12
This is a very eloquent explanation of why we never hear of baby girls being christened as Jezebel!

You need to watch your use of hyphens and dashes to link the thought-flow and keep your readers with you, but you have a great build-up towards the close.
Danielle King 11/18/12
There's so much detail in here. I confess I got lost a couple of times, but overall you've done a great job with this.
Marie Hearty 11/19/12
I loved how you described Jezebel's every action and the descriptions of the surroundings. I liked the ending but it was sad knowing what was going to happen to Naboath.

God bless!
Bea Edwards 11/19/12
I really enjoyed your adaptation of this Bible story. You added shining color to a black and white tale and made it easy to imagine that it transpired this way.
Myrna Noyes11/19/12
You use some very rich descriptive words and phrases in this well-written piece! I enjoyed this imaginative telling of the story of Naboth and his vineyard, Ahab and Jezebel. Your title is just perfect, too! :)