Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: SCUTTLEBUTT (rumor or gossip) (10/03/19)
- TITLE: Once Upon A Tear
By Debra Brand
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Was it just following the crowd, or just maybeâ€¦curiosity?
Inexplicably, she was drawn to seeâ€¦see this man who had captured the news of the town. He was different than any man she ever knew and she had known more men than most women.
Often, men were drawn to her. She made sure of that. Her beautiful dark hair piled in an expert upsweep that let them know she was available. Her intentional mysteriousness drew their eyes in her direction. It was the only way to survive for she had no provider.
Now, the crowd determined her steps, so she thought. Here they were crowded into this elegant home with barely enough room to breathe. All of their attention was focused upon the food laden table with the guests reclining around it.
The air was stuffy, heavy with wonder, fear, anxiety, skepticism, awe, and anticipation.
This homeowner had invited the man as his guest. He was of no account, dark like the rest of us, too poor to be a common visitor here. The word on the street said he was a prophet or of the devil.
She was surprised that he hadnâ€™t washed before dining. All of the other guests were of great stature and prominence in the community. What could they possibly want with this wanderer?
Maybe they wanted to hear him speak. He had little to say but when he said it, he commanded your attention with astonishing wisdom that spilled so effortlessly from his lips. She listened, too.
As the meal wore on, the homeowner and his guests questioned his actions and words. They challenged his authority for their authority was evident by money and power, whereas he was poor and had no place to lay his head.
They cast innuendos at and around him, trying to trip him up with hearsay about the miracles he had performed in the area. He answered them expertly with pointed stories to silence their tongues but it just increased their evident animosity.
His presence was felt across the room. All of who she was became a burden too heavy for her to carry. Her heart beat faster and faster. The pounding in her ears drowned out the murmurs of the crowd. Her eyes stung with tears threatening to spill over. She knew. She knew who she was.
She knew that he knew. His form drew her like a magnet. Before she knew what she was doing her feet moved forward pushing past and through the throng. She only knew she had to reach him.
Step by step as her body moved, she reached up with her hand to the vital pin in her hair, releasing the cascades of locks.
No more! She was overtaken by a force so powerful that she could not comprehend it nor stop.
The crowd gasped and gestured to her not to make a scene. Whispers of â€˜whoreâ€™ and â€˜uncleanâ€™ darted at her to stay behind, donâ€™t bother the important guests, youâ€™re not good enough.
She slowly moved in his direction. Reaching his feet she knelt down. Her tears flowed freely down her cheeks and onto his flesh.
A vial of countless tears was in her hand. These tears were the after-effect of the many times she betrayed her body to men, even some of the men sitting at this very table. She didnâ€™t care that they were watching. She didnâ€™t care that her loosened hair signaled that her profession was over. She only cared about the feet of the man that were in front of her.
As she broke open her tear bottle, the released fluid fell upon the dust-laden, calloused flesh. She could see the skin below the grime. How precious he was! Wiping his feet dry with her hair, over and over, she knew. He was more than a man. He was precious.
Possibly one of these men at the table had given her the expensive pint of pure nard for services rendered. She didnâ€™t remember. A beautiful fragrance released into the room as she lovingly applied the oil to his head and feet in her shameless worship.
His eyes, oh his eyes, how they drew out her soul! Her sobs were stilled by the immense sense of love and compassion that exuded from his gaze.
He spoke to them but looked at herâ€¦ looked at her without disapproval or condemnation.
Her new lover told her, â€œNo more. Youâ€™re mine.â€
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