We are continuing this week with Giant Killer. However, as our first hero, David, is perched on the horns of an impending dilemma, we are going to step away and let him stew for a bit. This week we meet our second hero:
Jonathan shielded his eyes from the glaring light, the better to discern the distant encampment. Earlier that day with the sun barely a hair’s breadth above the horizon, three divisions of the Philistine army had departed Michmash, presumably to steal whatever they could find in the surrounding countryside; one had turned north toward Ophrah in the land of Shual, the second went west toward Beth-horon, while the third headed eastward past the hill that looks down over the valley of Zeboim and the wilderness beyond. Only a small garrison remained to hold the pass of Michmash.
Turning to his armor bearer, the son of Saul said, “Evram, let us go and pay a visit to yonder outpost of the uncircumcised.”
The younger man considered his lord and then looked about, searching for other Israelites—there were none. “Do whatever you wish; I will do my best to help you.”
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‘Til next time!
… it pours!
But first: I hope that everyone in the US had a great Turkey Day! JT and I spent ours with friends—a bunch of ol’ married couples we’ve known for years—great food and fun and we were in bed by a decent hour!
So, anyway… last week on Thursday (the 15th) I get an email from Cleis Press and the subject line reads, “Response Urgently Needed!” Now this is not the type of email that I routinely receive, neither with that subject line nor from Cleis Press. So I was very curious! Turns out that they wanted to contract a reprint of one of my stories for a “Best of the Best” type anthology! Woo-hoo! Talk about a nice little birthday present. (I, of course, accepted.)
Then… on Wednesday, I get an email from an editor to whom I had submitted some work that he’s accepting the story and that I’ll be receiving a contract. Yee-haw! (First printings pay better than reprints.)
The-en… today, I receive the above-mentioned contract AND another email—with a contract attached—for a different story! Cha-ching! (Good things do come in threes!)
So, in just over a week, I have contracted three stories for publication next year! I sure hope that bodes well for the three submissions I am working furiously to finish for their upcoming deadlines.
So now, back to work…
Time we again join our story, Giant Killer. This week’s snippet falls on the heels of last week’s six, in which Ziba had related Saul’s advice from the witch of En-dor:
“So we have searched long for one to play for the King, yet none whom we have found prevail against the spirit and end the King’s distemper.”
Trepidation crept within David’s chest, tightening his throat and roiling his gut—ever since that day on which Samuel the old prophet had visited so strangely, sacrificing a heifer and insisting upon anointing him, David had feared something was going to happen. As much as he wanted to leave Bethlehem and its sleepy dustiness, his duty was to Jesse, and Jesse needed him here. If King Saul were to demand his presence, how could he refuse? To refuse would be to shame and dishonor his father, yet to accept would be to leave Jesse helpless. Please, O LORD, pass this cup by me, he prayed.
Thanks for reading! A special thanks to everyone who has been following along, and a super special thanks to everyone who comments!
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‘Til next time!
We are keeping on with Giant Killer, directly following last week’s snippet. King Saul’s servant Ziba continues his story of the ruler’s malady:
“At first he was visited only upon rare occasions, and the base mood would depart quickly. Over time, however, the King has fallen more frequently into this queer disposition and remains so for greater periods—oft times he refuses to rise from his bed, rejecting food and drink, as well as the company of any of his wives.
“We have gone so far as to consult even the wise woman of En-dor. She came with her bags of herbs and seeds and cast noxious things upon the king’s brazier, all the while mumbling through her veil. After which, she spoke roughly unto the King, saying ‘Why do you not command your servants here to go forth and seek one who can play upon the lyre? Then when this evil spirit of GOD comes upon you, he will play and you will recover.’”
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‘Til next time!
Hopefully everyone is recovering from their post-Halloween sugar coma and ready for some snippets! (If you’re still looking for some [eye] candy, check out my Halloween hotties.)
Today we are continuing with Giant Killer, fast on the heels of last week’s piece. David has met a stranger named Ziba, a servant of King Saul, and has questioned him harshly.
Ziba handed a wine cup to David and signaled for him to sit. “Refresh yourself, young man, whilst we speak.”
The messenger assisted Jesse to sit and then turned to pace momentarily, apparently seeking guidance from the uneven floor. “Following his slaughter of the Amalekites, King Saul returned to Gibeah with their king Agag clothed in chains and defeat.
“Yet despite this triumph, an evil spirit has come upon the King—his highness is seized by this vile demon and falls into a dark temper. The priests and prophets have prayed and scried and, according to them, the LORD has abandoned King Saul to this castigation, yet they offer neither relief nor abatement.”
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‘Til next time!