Six Sentence Sunday – 25 November 2012

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Greetings, all!

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!

Six Sentence Sunday – 18 November 2012

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Greetings, all!

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!

Six Sentence Sunday – 11 November 2012

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Greetings, all!

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!

Six Sentence Sunday – 04 November 2012

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Greetings,  all!

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!

Six Sentence Sunday – 28 October 2012

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Greetings, all! It’s that time of the week again!

We are continuing with Giant Killer directly from last week’s snippet. David has entered his father’s house at a run:

Jesse sat at the dining table, his white hair and beard beacons in the dim light; a man unknown to David leaned forward pouring wine from the jug between them. David’s eyes adjusted to the darkened interior, and he judged from the quality of the man’s cloak that the stranger was certainly not a soldier.

“Come here, my son,” called the patriarch, rising slowly to embrace his youngest child and kiss him on each cheek. “This man is Ziba, a servant in the household of King Saul.”

Relief made David testy; he turned and spoke to the man named Ziba, eyeing him narrowly, “Why are you here? What does King Saul want from Jesse of Bethlehem?”

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‘Til next time!

Six Sentence Sunday – 21 October 2012

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Greetings, all!

It’s that time again! Giant Killer continues directly from last week’s bit. David has left Eitan to tend the flock and runs home:

O Lord, keep them well, he prayed as he ran, begging not so much for his own comfort or that of his brothers, but for his father’s peace of mind. Jesse’s life numbered four score years and his health fled from him more each season—a son’s death would surely be his undoing.

David’s powerful pace quickly devoured the distance to their homestead. His sinewy frame belied his strength and fitness, and he arrived at the house little bothered by the physical exertion. Entering the cool darkness of the interior, he called out, “Abba”—Papa—“I came immediately. Are you well?”

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‘Til next time!

Six Sentence Sunday – 14 October 2012

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Greetings, all!

Apologies for last week’s snafu–ain’t technology great?

This week’s six from Giant Killer continue from last week’s late posted snippet. We pick up following the appearance of Eitan:

“Cousin—” panted the child “—your father bade me find you and desires that you return home.”

“Has some ill befallen him?”

“A stranger has come—Miriam says from Gibeah!”

“From Gibeah?”

Fear for the safety of his brothers clutched at David’s heart, making it race. He gathered his staff and lyre and, without a backward glance at Eitan, raced up the hillside to cross the fields with long, ground-eating strides.

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‘Til next time!

Six Sentence Sunday – 07 October 2012

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Greetings, all!

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of Giant Killer‘s beginnings. We continue directly from last week with our serialization:

Lost in the melodies his hands created, David rocked in the cool shade, dreaming of a place away from his flock. His elder brothers fought in the army of King Saul and, when they visited home, regaled the family with stories of life beyond the dusty confines of Bethlehem. Tales of far-off lands and strange peoples, accounts of great battles against the Ammonites and the Philistines, all fired the young shepherd’s imagination, and he yearned for a life of his own, a life different from the day-to-day stink of sheep.

A piping voice broke into his thoughts, “David, where are you?”

Letting a final chord fade in the burning sunlight, he sighed and opened his eyes, calling out, “Over here, Eitan!” Standing, David stepped from the deep shade and waved to the young boy who loped gracelessly over the hill top.

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‘Til next time!

Six Sentence Sunday – 30 September 2012

Read more snippets!Greetings, all!

We are rejoining David and continuing directly from last week’s snippet from Giant Killer:

Retrieving his staff, he returned to the shade of the nearby olive tree, swallowed greedily from his water bladder, and took up his lyre from where it leaned against the tree; he plucked its strings, trying to recall the melody he’d been constructing when the lamb went off the edge. Humming to himself, he strummed and began to play.

Rich chords, sounding larger than the small harp from which they sprang, filled the dusty afternoon air. A melody, light and lyrical, intertwined amongst them, cavorting with first one chord and then another. Running up-scale and down-, the notes floated around him, hanging in the hazy light. The youth’s fingers flew across the strings, dancing lightly over the instrument as they wove the enchanting music—even the sheep stopped to listen.

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Six Sentence Sunday – 23 September 2012

Read more snippets!Greetings, all!

Beginning this week, I’m moving on to another work in progress, this tentatively titled Giant Killer. I’m hoping to have this off to a submission call for historical shorts in a month to six weeks. So without further ado …

The afternoon sun beat harshly on David’s back, drawing sweat from his pores and sending it rolling into his eyes. The lamb lay on a rocky ledge, just out of reach, and bleated in fear of its precarious position. Ignoring the yawning drop below him and adjusting his grip on the spiny juniper branch, the young shepherd stretched over the cliff’s edge. Farther . . . almost . . . just a . . . little . . . more—Yes!

Grabbing a hold of the little sheep’s coat, David dragged the lost animal up to safety and scooted the lamb toward the rest of the herd. He wiped his brow on his tunic, as he remonstrated the young beast, “Off you go—and there’ll be no more wandering down the hill!”

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‘Til next time!