Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FEAST (07/12/18)
- TITLE: If We Stay Here
By Jack Taylor
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Three other ragged heaps crawled like tortured crabs toward the leper – each with features worse than the one before.
“Did you find anything?” Simeon whispered hoarsely to the first. “Can there be anything left in this God-forsaken place?”
The noseless figure raised a grainy treasure and proclaimed his prize with a ghostly grunting. “Knucklebones, child’s, mom cooked him, ate him and vomited over the wall.”
“Cursed Arameans,” the trailing figure snarled. “They’ve trapped our people like rats in a trap. How long can anyone last? They’re selling donkey’s heads for 920 grams of silver. And now they’re eating the children.”
The quartet stopped to squint through the hazy landscape. An endless sea of tents arose like wild mushrooms out of control. Mocking voices jeered the feeble warriors withering on the wall. Parades of animals, loaded down with delicacies, circled around and around testing the resolve of the starving masses. “Come out and die while you still have a choice” a commander bellowed.
The four lepers pressed into the barred gateway of the capital and shielded themselves against the rocks and rotting fruit hurled at them by the angry soldiers. Once in a while a half-eaten date, fig, melon or gnawed bone was thrown and they scrambled to retrieve and consume it. The barrage became a game which kept them all alive.
“How can the God my grandmother told me about really exist in this place of death?” The tone seemed feminine but nothing in form or feature confirmed this. “What Sovereign would punish his people without mercy?”
“Where is the prophet?” The smallest figure turned his sunken eyes toward Simeon. “Surely he has a word.”
“The king tried to kill him for declaring this curse,” Simeon answered. “He’ll be sheltered in a cool, dark cave somewhere if he knows what is good for him.”
“Why stay here until we die?” the noseless figure responded. “If we manage to sneak our way past these walls into the city we’ll die with the rest. If we stay here we’ll also die. Let’s go down to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, maybe they’ll feed us. What’s the worst they can do? Kill us?”
Fierce, coarse discussion erupted between gasps for breath and cramping stomachs. As the sun slid over the hills in search of other souls to torment the four agreed to slither down to the enemy camp.
“Where are the guards,” the smallest one asked?
“Probably sleeping with the rest,” Simeon responded. “Who do they have to be afraid of? Us four lepers?”
The first tents were empty of people but filled with more food and wine than the lepers had seen in years. Without question, the group gorged like vultures on the remains. Gold, silver and ornamented clothing became booty. With renewed energy, they bundled up their loot and drifted like ghostly shadows in different directions to hide what they’d found.
With boldness, they approached other tents. There were tethered horses and donkeys quietly standing by half-empty feed bins. “No one,” Simeon announced. “What is happening?”
“I don’t know,” growled the noseless scavenger, “but I am getting what I can while I can.”
“Wait!” The smallest figure held up a two-fingered hand. “What we are doing is not right. This good news has to be shared with those trapped behind walls. Death is everywhere and we have life. We can’t keep this to ourselves. We can’t even wait until daybreak. Let’s wake up those guards.”
Now dressed in new robes stuffed with gold, silver and imported delicacies they snatched up the reins of several donkeys and pulled them in their wake.
Simeon acted as spokesman for the group. “They’re gone. Look what we found.”
“The angels of death. The Arameans. Ben-hadad. The whole army. They’re all gone. There’s food for the whole city right here.”
The guards raced away and returned. “The king thinks it’s a trap.”
Simeon persisted. “Send someone to see.”
Two chariots eventually emerged tracing the abandoned booty of the fleeing army.
“God saw us,” the smallest figure declared.
“He always does,” Simeon confirmed.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.