Sunday, January 22, 2012

Novel Prologue


Middle East, 9th Century B.C.

I shuffled to the edge of the cliff, tempted to keep moving, but my feet hesitated of their own accord. I looked down at the stream below, and then rolled my head up toward the clouds that always obscured the mountain; no help would come from there. I sloughed off my pack and sat on the edge. My legs dangled over the gorge; one push and I would have peace. The wind held echoes of the mocking voices. “What’s wrong now? Haven’t you done enough?” I tore a leafy twig from the wiry shrub growing out of the rocky cliff, leaving a green scar. The twig bent and twisted in my hands, until it snapped. I watched as the pieces fluttered down, down, down.

“I have had enough,” I whispered to no one in particular. I put my arms behind me and leaned back. He deserved to know.

“I DID EVERYTHING YOU ASKED,” I shouted up at the mountain. “I did everything you asked. . . Lord.” I had been spit on, burned, and betrayed, and now the Queen’s men would surely kill me.

“I am as good as dead, now. Take me. Kill me,” I shouted. There was no one to hear. Better to die by the hand of YHWH, the creator and destroyer of all, or by my own hand, than to fall into the hands of Queen Jezebel. She would never have what she wanted. I would not let that happen. I leaned back and lay on the ground, and waited. I had served and I was finished. If YHWH did not take me, all I had to do was sit up and push off, and I would join the ancients . . . or not. Right now, I didn’t even care. My heart beat through my bones, waiting for the thunder of horses’ hooves to overtake it. I closed my eyes and fingered the fine stitching on my sash. There had been better times.

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