Short Story – A Chosen Life – Part 1

Hello! It’s Saturday, and so of course I’m back in the blogosphere to bring you another post. 😀 Today I have the great pleasure of introducing to you all the first short story of 2019 on The Way of Delight. I wrote this story probably a good three months ago, but it has taken  while for it to be suitably edited and ready for the world’s gaze… It was originally going to be a short assignment for school, but my imagination took over, and… well here we are… 3700+ words later. I had a wonderful time letting my imagination run loose as I wrote this story, and I hope that your imagination will be sparked as you read it! One final thing that I will tell you is that it is based off of an account found in the Bible – Exodus 1 to be precise. Now, with all the introductory things out of the way, let’s get onto part one of.. A Chosen Life.

~

The darkness hung like the cloak around my shoulders as Puah and I hurried through the narrow streets. Up ahead I could barely make out the figure of our guide – a man who had called himself Aram when standing at our door a handful of minutes before. A dim light in his grasp bobbed up and down with the movement of his strides, and I strained my eyes to follow where he was leading us.
We turned down a narrow alley, and I could feel the ground squishing soft beneath my feet. The air was thick with the reek of human waste and wild creatures. Something soft brushed against my feet and between my legs, and I stifled a small screech. Looking behind me, I saw a pair of eyes gleaming silently in the darkness. It’s only a street cat. I tried to calm my racing heart and forced myself to keep moving.
Ahead of me I could hear Puah breathing heavily, and I wondered how long it would take to get to our destination. Dread was bubbling in my stomach, knotting my intestines and threatening to creep up to choke me. This might be the night…
“God of Goshen,” I murmured under my breath, “Oh Great God, I beseech you to give us wisdom.”
Suddenly, I bumped into a solid shape in front of me. “Ooof!” Puah let out a gasp “Shiphrah, watch out.”
“I beg your pardon.” I murmured, my hands grasping mechanically in front of my chest in the traditional sign of apology. Just as quickly, I shook my head and let my hands fall. Though Puah was much the older and deserved the respect, I was, in fact, the one in charge here. And besides it was much too dark for her to even see my hands. I could barely make out the outline of her short body in front of me.
“Good midwives?” Came a pleading whisper. “Good midwives, I… I…” The low voice of our guide suddenly broke and trailed off.
“Well, what is it?” Came the sharp whisper of Puah. I bit back a smile – I was fond of this plump little woman with such spirit. We had worked together for many years now, and her steady hands and ready tongue were good companions for my more retiring and quiet self.
“Good midwives.” Again came the whisper. I could not see the man’s face, for the lamp was small and he held it low. “I beg of you, grant mercy upon my household this night. Please, you must deliver this child alive. My wife is barren.”
“And so you shall continue be, if you don’t take us to your house soon!” Puah shot back in a biting whisper. “This alley stinks and this is no time of night to be standing around discussing the condition of your household.”
“Be silent Puah.” I placed a hand on her shoulder. “Sir, we will do what we can. Take us to your woman.”
The man gave a sigh, lifted the lamp high and set off again. The light was weak against the heavy pall of darkness, and my breath came thick with apprehension. We turned another corner, made our way down another steep and slick alley – Puah muttering under her breath about the time of night all the way – and then came out into a wider street. Above us the sky suddenly opened above us in a flurry of stars – a tapestry of wonder against the velvet darkness. I caught my breath in a gasp, awed by the beauty that peered down upon this silent town.
But the man was already striding quickly down the street, with a whispered “This way!” trailing over his shoulder. Squat mud-brick houses lined the soundless street, and I felt as if they stared at me with empty eyes as we passed along. Suddenly a faint cry pierced the silence. As we continued to walk briskly, it came again, louder this time. The man picked up his already hurried pace and before I knew it, the three of us were fairly flying down the street. Then the man abruptly turned left, hurtled down an alley, and came to a skidding stop by a small house on the right. Puah and I rushed breathlessly behind him, the cries ringing louder in our ears with every step. We reached the house just as the man opened the door and entered. We followed behind….

~

That’s all for this week! Come back next week for part two of the unfolding story of Shiphrah, Puah and the distraught man…

Let’s chat! What do you think of the story so far? What do you think is going to happen inside the house? 

 

Author: Hannah

Jesus follower. writer. bibliophile. dreamer.

3 thoughts on “Short Story – A Chosen Life – Part 1”

  1. I’ve always thought someone should write a story about these midwives! Wonderful idea! And you grabbed my attention with both hands right away. Great job so far!

    Liked by 1 person

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