Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: REFUGE (08/29/19)
- TITLE: Shadows
By Jack Taylor
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“Hurry!” urged a companion.
At the fork in the trail, he split from the rest, hoping to throw any trackers off their pursuit. He wiped his wet hand on his tunic, hoping the blood would come off easily. He grabbed some leaves and rubbed hard for good measure across the spot where the servant’s blood had spurted.
They had all been surprised, except maybe their leader. The meal, the news, the message. There had been so much to take in. The shadows had crept over them, coaxing their eyelids to rest.
He should have been on guard, watching. The leader had asked him to stay awake and aware. The pressure on the group had been relentless. Not once had he expected to be betrayed by someone from within. His own fear had been that he would be the one who let the leader down.
Leaving his wife and sons at home for this escapade had seemed wise at the time. He should have left her some flowers. Walking away from work to chase this dream had seemed so right. He turned back and immediately tripped over a tree root. The pain in his ankle raced up his leg. The strain in his elbow and shoulder jarred up into his neck from his fall.
He lay quietly, waiting. It was good it hadn’t rained lately.
The crashing of bushes from his comrades faded. He rolled off his injured shoulder and pushed up onto his knees. This was no refuge. He got to his feet and noticed that the torches were fading. No one was coming. The shadows outside blended with the shadows inside. Why was he so impulsive when it mattered so much?
An inkling of shame and courage combined to draw him after the retreating mob. The noise was easy to hear. He was alone now.
The group emptied from the grove and moved up the incline toward the city. The Olives stood as silent witnesses, guarding the place that had once been a place of solitude and refuge for the group. As he neared the edge of the garden, another of his companions stepped out from the woods. He jerked back into the shadows in surprise before recognizing the man.
“John, what are you doing?”
John looked back over his shoulder, crouching. “I’m following. I know this place. I’m going in.”
Simon moved up beside his friend. “They’ll recognize me. I had the sword. See if you can get me in.”
“You better try and hide your face if you can.”
It took half an hour for the gaggle of guardians to reach their destination. A courtyard surrounded by high walls loomed before them – hemming in the cadre of capturers. A little girl stood at the gate.
John stepped boldly into the open, greeted the girl, and walked freely into the gathering. After looking around inside, he came back, talked to the girl, and motioned for Simon to come in.
“You aren’t one of his too, are you?” she asked.
“I am not,” he answered.
John looked at him oddly and Simon shrugged.
Simon waited a few minutes, then crept close among a group who huddled with others warming their hands over a fire. He looked around for others who had infiltrated. There was only he and John. The others had found refuge elsewhere.
The leader was being questioned not too far away. In the open. One of the officials slapped him hard and Simon flinched, his fingers flexing, ready for an attack should the need arise. One of the others, noticing, said “you’re one of his, aren’t you?”
“I am not.” The words were out quick. He looked around.
Another stepped in. “I saw you, with the sword, in the garden. Besides, I can hear it in your accent.”
“Not a chance. Don’t know what you’re talking about.”
A rooster crowed. He looked up. The leader was staring right at him. There was no where to hide from that gaze.
He rushed out of the mob, found an alcove and wept. What refuge was left now for one who had fallen?
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.