Soulwatch – A Short Story

A Note from the Author

Some people call it flash fiction. I much prefer the term, short story – very, very short story. Regardless of what you call it, the question remains – am I my brother’s keeper?

The question was first posed by Cain 6,000 years ago. After murdering his brother, God comes looking for him. We read in Genesis 4:8, 9, “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The answer really is “Yes”. We are responsible for the care of others whether we like it or not. We are to send the warning call for all to hear. If they refuse to listen, that is certainly their choice. Still, we have a responsibility. We have been made watchmen/women on the wall.

Much of Jesus’ ministry was spent sharing parables. Parables were a special kind of story that shared a veiled meaning. Those who listened on the surface would miss the real meaning. Those who truly sought the Master would understand and respond. To those of us who want to follow in the steps of Jesus, the meaning is clear. We must sound the trumpet and warn those lost in darkness before the darkness overtakes them. Will you respond?

Grab your trumpet and come along!

Tonight would be different than other nights
Tonight would be different than other nights

The third watch had just begun. Elishima climbed to his post upon the city wall. For the next few hours, his job was to watch for the enemy and to warn those inside the city gates if the enemy appeared. Elishima’s trumpet, the instrument of warning, hung at his right side ready to be put into service at a moment’s notice.

The midnight sky was dark and overcast and a strange silence filled the air. “Tonight would be different than other nights”, Elishima told himself. He could feel a sense of danger all around. As he stood there alone atop the city wall, Elishima intuitively knew he would be called upon to save his city that night. Where and when the enemy would strike, he did not know.

A gentle breeze blew across the city wall. Anticipation whispered to Elishima in each breath. Danger was approaching as the city slept. Silence continued to grow into the night.

Then to the northwest, a glimmer of light was seen. A low rumble of chariots could be heard. The torches were burning brightly in the night darkness as the enemy approached on horseback. The salvation of the city depended on one man – Elishima.

With numbness in his hand and a tightening in his chest, he reached for his trumpet. The first blow was weak and powerless, yet he knew his responsibility. Again, this time loud and true came the warning signal to the town below. The enemy was coming!

The townspeople heard, but late in the night, they made no effort to rise. Perhaps it was just a dream, or maybe Elishima had made a mistake. Certainly, it was not serious enough that they should be disturbed. Elishima again gave the trumpet call, the signal that the enemy was approaching. It seemed as if it fell on deaf ears.

There were a handful of people who did answer the call. They ran to meet Elishima at the lookout atop the wall. At this time, Elishima’s perch on the wall was the safest place to be.

The horsemen rushed the main gate, breaking it down with little resistance. There had been no maintenance for years. The rusty bolts gave way with ease. Once inside, the enemy set them to burning and looting the city. All those refusing to hear the call were taken captive and later executed.

Elishima and a handful of diligent people were undetected atop the wall. They quietly climbed over the edge and lowered themselves to the ground and escaped under cover of night.

© 2019 William Kovacic

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