The Official Writing Challenge
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I'm not sure if this piece fits the topic (is there a gift of matyrdom?) but loved the setting anyhow.
There may not be a gift of martyrdom but there is certainly a gift of faith that will get you through the martyrdom. This story illustrates that faith very well.
I like your short, clipped sentences--they really set the pace of this tense story.

There were some punctuation errors, especially early in the story, that you might want to fix. And--I'm not sure--but did corn grow in the ancient Middle East? (I could easily be wrong about that).

The ending was gulp-worthy--very effective!

You absolutely had me on the edge of my seat. Very well-written and engaging. Great descriptions.
This was so intense. You had me on the edge of my seat. Only a few errors that I could see. Well done.
Gripping story! I love stories from this time period.