Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SLANDER (09/07/17)
TITLE: A Wicked Scheme
By Elaine Hemingway
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Here they come again, a bevy of maids in waiting, they are forever gossiping and occasionally I can pick up a bit of news from them. It can be useful in my line of work. They are so intent on their idle chatter they don’t seem to notice me going about my duties. As a guard in the captain’s household, I am considered unworthy of notice unless I am instructed to take one of them to an officer’s chambers. I know, though, that they have their own secrets, and are not the angels they are supposed to be when their protectors are away on duty. It is not only the men who are unfaithful. Oh, yes, indeed, if you knew the things I could tell you.
Oh, how the girls giggle as they cluster together in lively conversation.
“I can see why she would find him attractive, but do you think she can succeed when we can’t?”
“I have seen her eying him, like a child wanting a tid-bit. I think she wants his sandals under her bed”
“Oh, yes, I have seen that too, but she looks determined. She has chased me out of the room when he was there in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised if she waits until Potiphar is away and she takes her chance with him.”
“I wonder if he will be willing, though. He has not accepted any of our wines and I think we have all tried to get to know him better.”
Well, well, I think. Is there no end to their misdemeanors? It is as well I am not overly interested in their stories or I could have them all locked away. I did wonder who incited their curiosity and whether it could have been Joseph, the young man Potiphar bought from the Ishmaelites? He has certainly grown into a handsome young man. No doubt he is attractive to young ladies, but under the protection and in the employ of the captain, they would do well to leave him out of their attempts at seduction. I decided to watch him though, it may be worth my while.
Through the weeks the young women have been keeping up a running commentary on the stories about the captain’s wife. So far as they are concerned she is interested in more than his success as a manager of the household. Everything he has, the master has entrusted to the Israelite. It seems, though, that his wife is determined to tempt Joseph to her bed. The poor fellow has so far remained aloof, much to the disappointment of the young ladies, all of whom would like a chance themselves.
Aha! Would you believe it? The chief housemaid has just tickled the ears of all the girls. “Have you heard?” she asked. “That young man we have all tried to attract, but he was just too good for us, or so he thought. Well, I guess the queen had something more than we had. He actually tried something on with her. I wonder how she could resist him.”
So, the news is out. That Joseph could do such a thing is not in his nature. He owes too much to the captain. Yet apparently he tried to attack the captain’s wife and she claims that he left his cloak behind when she screamed. Dear me, I happened to see him leaving her room in a hurry before I heard her scream, but what do I know? The poor fellow will have to answer to the captain, and I don’t expect much mercy there. Best to keep a distance from any rumors now, but the place will be buzzing. The maids will certainly enjoy a time of glory spreading all they can.
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