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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Asia (02/26/09)

TITLE: Smile
By Joanne Sher


"His bravery knows no bounds, it seems," Jonathan muttered. "It seems I was right about him."

"He has certainly caught the king's eye." Ahiram helped his master remove his armor and hang it on the proper hooks in the armory. "First a musician, then an armor bearer for the king, and now a giant slayer."

Jonathan nodded. "He has caught my eye as well." He bit his lip. "God is surely with him."

Ahiram nodded. "From what I have seen, his faith in the Lord never falters. He is quite an example to the other armor bearers."

Jonathan nodded, leaning against the armory wall. "David is certainly a courageous and Godly man. He is a man to befriend for certain. I have no doubt he will play a crucial role in the growth of my father's kingdom, and I would like to be beside him in this. It seems he can only do good for Israel."

The two men heard shuffling outside the armory door. Jonathan looked out to see his younger sister walking--no, skipping--away down the hall. He almost called after her, but turned back to Ahiram instead.

"The next time you see him, Ahiram, send him to me."


"Oh, Rivka. Did you hear? He did it. It was David, Rivka!" Michal sank into her bed, cheeks flushed and a broad smile overtaking her entire face. "I'd heard the giant was killed and the awful Philistines defeated, but he did it, Rivka." She sighed. "David--my David--killed him."

She snickered. "Your David, child? Have you spoken to him even once since Jonathan introduced you that day?" Rivka winked. "I don't think he's yours, dear, and he may never be."

Michal's face turned a deep crimson. "But Father said whoever killed the giant would get his daughter's hand in marriage. And I am the king's daughter, after all."

Rivka sat on the bed and put her hand on Michal's back. "This is true, dear. However, Merab is yet unmarried, and you know that traditionally she must be married off first."

Michal gasped, and buried her head in her hands. "But Merab couldn't care less about him. Father wouldn't do that, would he?" Michal looked into her servant's eyes and knew exactly what Rivka thought about that proposition. She began to weep softly.

"Now, now, Michal. One never knows." Rivka rubbed Michal's back. "Don't lose hope, dear. God works in surprising ways."

She leaned into Rivka. "Jonathan did say he would put in a good word with father, didn't he? And Merab is already being courted. Perhaps it will happen."

Rivka smiled. "Yes. Perhaps it will. But it will not likely happen on this day. So today, Princess Michal, you must prepare for the women's victory banquet. Your mother will be expecting you and Merab to look your best."

Michal popped out of bed and opened her wardrobe, rifling through the dresses hanging there. She pulled out a ruffled blue gown and placed it against her front side.

"How about this?" Michal's eyes sparkled. "David smiled at me when he saw me in it at Father's throne room a fortnight ago."

Rivka raised her eyebrows. "It's a lovely dress. But you likely won't see David, I'm sure you realize. You know as well as I that the men's banquet and the women's banquet are separate."

"Perhaps not." Michal gazed out her window. "But one never knows, does one?"

"I suppose not, Michal. I suppose not."


Michal glided through the palace toward the women's banquet hall, stopping in the garden when she noticed her brother Jonathan standing beside a sycamore tree.

"Congratulations, Brother. God was with us once again."

It was only once she was standing right beside him that she saw he was not alone. Just to the other side of the tree was another of her father's fighting men.

Michal willed her face from reddening as she gazed at the giant slayer, then dropped her eyes quickly.

But not before she saw him smile.

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Laury Hubrich 03/05/09
Very good story. I like your nice, simple title. It fit so well. Good writing:)
Sharon Kane03/08/09
I enjoy reading stories that let the imagination fill in some human details behind well-known Bible stories. Well told.
Beth LaBuff 03/09/09
I like how your ending relates to your title. I wish I could have seen this "ruffled blue gown". (you also called them dresses... which stood out a little to me... but they are dresses, so) You are so good with this set of characters... you bring them to life.. Can't wait to read your book! :)
Carol Slider 03/09/09
You did a great job of humanizing these familiar Bible characters. Thanks for a very enjoyable story!
Connie Dixon03/09/09
True love - or a true crush at any rate. Good writing, I thought your dialogue flowed really well. (Personally, I'd take Jonathan any day)
Lyn Churchyard03/09/09
Ahhh, even if you hadn't hinted, I would have known who wrote this :- )

Another wonderful story about Michal; thank you Joanne.

Sheri Gordon03/10/09
More, more...I want more. Get that novel written, Joanne. This is so fun to read. Your dialogue moves the story so well. Great job...but much too short. :)
Yvonne Blake 03/10/09
ooooh...I can't wait until this whole love story is done. I can't wait to read it!
Carolyn Crook03/10/09
I loved this story because I too wonder what the characters in the Bible stories might have been like. You take facts and wrapped a tale around it. I look forward to reading more of your stories.
Mona Purvis03/11/09
So that's what gets David in trouble...wish he had learned.
Good story.
Sara Harricharan 03/11/09
Heehee, I knew this was yours. I like it very much! Especially the title and how it fits at the end. My favorite part was when she was choosing her dress though. So real! Loved this!
Catrina Bradley 03/11/09
Yea! Michal's back! Great characterization of her, tho who you write her to be isn't who I've always pictured. She's so girly and feminine. :) Unexpected, but nice! Good job fleshing out a snippet of Biblical history. You probably know what I'm going to say next...MORE!
Peter Stone03/12/09
You've captured the spirit of romance so wonderfully hear, and the touches of the bashful, shy Michal was perfectly handled.
Norma-Anne Hough03/12/09
Beautifully told and thank you for bringing to life these biblical characters of old. Well done.
Joshua Janoski04/21/09
I still want the whole Michal novel. I'm waiting. I'm tapping my foot and waiting...Hehe. Great job with these snippets from the larger work.