Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Short Story



The Red Sea

I clutched the reins of my chariot, my heart almost stopped beating, and suddenly I was cold, cold with terror of what I saw.  The great army that had sallied out so grandly, now was staring in disbelief and horror at the wonders before them.  A great pillar of smoke came up in front of us, and with its coming the world divided in two, on our side the sky was dark and all was like night, but on the Israelite's side it was bright as day.  The Hebrews were trapped against the Red Sea, but there was someone or something else fighting for them.

Suddenly, a strong breeze came up from the East.  And as we all stood waiting for our orders, the wind came and pulled the water up into waves, and pushed them across the sea to lap ashore in front of the slaves.  Then a cry of wander and joy, starting with the Israelites closest to the water, then flowing back like the waves themselves, through the ranks of the slaves then striking our force.  The cry changed then to one of horror and anger, tearing through what little confidence I had left, and going on to do the same with the whole army.  The wind was blowing the water aside in a causeway that slowly but steadily advanced across the sea towards us. The brown water swirled and eddied, churned and splashed but the water never fell as if invisible walls were holding the it back.

All night that causeway came on, closer and closer, though what was bringing it none of us dared guess.  The horses were tense and alert but they were quiet, almost like they were waiting for something, but for what I did not know.  The soldier in the back of my chariot fingered his spear, trying to pray to the gods, but in those circumstances the gods seemed meaningless and the prayers hollow.

As the sun came up on the horizon, the causeway completed it's crossing of the sea, and there it was - a dry road through the Red Sea!  For several minutes the world was still, all was waiting.  Then there was a movement in the crowd of slaves, grouped on the shores of the Red Sea.  First a few people, then a thin trickle of familys and wagons stepped onto the causeway.  Before long the whole mass of Hebrews began to pour across.  The sun was high in the sky, and the slaves were more than halfway across, before the pillar of smoke that had stood in our way so far, faded and disappeared.  A silence came over the great army, tense and expectant we all waited for the command to charge.  Then it came - the sound of the horn, a cheer from the whole army, and then we were rushing down on to the beaches of the sea.  We hesitated a moment at the edge, the water sweeping up in walls dark and forbidding.  I felt an urge to turn and run  then, terror seemed to well up in my throat.  At that moment I was more scared then I had ever been in my life.  What magic could stand water up, and make the sea obey a command?  This must be the God of the slaves, and He must be a powerful God indeed to part the water like this.

My horses reared and squealed as terrified as I was at the miracle before us.  But the blast from the horn came again calling us forward, pushing us on.  Soldiers shouted encouragement to one another, and the great army moved into the causeway.  We saw the Hebrew slaves far ahead, their journey almost finished.  Once in the causeway my first goal was to go through as quickly as possible.  And I'm sure the others felt the same, for we all rushed through as fast as our horses could go.  We were bearing down on the Israelites, when suddenly I felt a jerk, and the reins were practically pulled from my hands.  The soldier riding behind me clutched at the railing, but he was thrown off, before he could get a good hold.  Suddenly the chariot had all but stopped, even though the horses were still straining at the harness.  It took me a moment to figure out that the wheels had fallen off, and mine weren't the only ones.  For when I looked around the whole army was almost at a dead stop.  My terror grew then almost to panic as I realized we were trapped there, and as I looked up at the walls towering over us, I saw the tops begin to fall in.  I tried to cry out, but my throat was choked with fear.  The water was falling, spilling over it's self.  A terrible cry rose from the great army, as death rushing down on them.  Then the walls collapsed.  And all was a swirling, tumbling world of water.  Then it was all black.

3 comments:

  1. Wow. That was amazing. Good going, Morgan!

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  2. Nice story! I liked it. =) May want to cut down on the commas, though. It seemed to me that there were more than perhaps are necessary.

    But on the whole, great retelling of the Red Sea story. =)

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