Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)
TITLE: Moving Days
By Joanne Sher
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Judith began scratching his back. "What's the matter?"
"We're going to have to leave."
Judith looked into her husband's eyes. "Again?"
He nodded. "And this time, without the family."
"Wish I were."
She sighed. "He's been like a father to you. We've prospered since you started working alongside him. How can you even consider leaving?"
"The land can't support us both. It's practically decimated already. If we travel together again, in no time we'll be in the same situation. My uncle will bring it up in a day or so, and if he doesn't, I will."
Judith leaned into her husband's chest and he wrapped his arms around her.
"It will be hard on the girls especially."
Judith nodded. "Being around their grandparents has been good for them."
He bit his lip. "But it can't be helped. Now, don't worry yourself, Judith. It will all work out."
Judith walked toward the tent flap. "Have you thought about where we'd go?"
He turned toward her. "Not really. Probably should, eh?"
"Might be good."
He walked toward her, took her hand, and escorted her from the tent. The sun was disappearing beyond the horizon. While her husband watched the sunset, Judith's eyes were fixed eastward.
"What if we relocated near Zoar? The land is lush, and the cities quite lavish."
He shifted his gaze toward the plains of Jordan. "The land certainly is thriving. I worry about the people in that region, though." He rubbed his chin.
"Oh, they wouldn't dare harm us, with all your wealth and power." Judith grinned, batting her eyelashes. "And think how much richer we could be with all that grazing land."
"What about the girls? Not sure that kind of influence would be good for them."
Judith snickered. "You let me worry about the children. I'll make sure no harm is done. Think about our lives, our comfort, if we settled there."
"Maybe you're right." He smiled. "It would certainly be a good life."
So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.*
"But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it."*
Lot knew the angel meant business. He and his companion had practically dragged him, Judith and the girls (ladies, really; though they were still his little girls) out of their homes, out the city gates of Sodom, and toward Zoar - to save them from destruction, they'd said.
Lot was certainly glad Judith had kept her promise. Despite the city's evil and corruption, his daughters had remained pure and obedient. Their betrothed husbands, on the other hand, wouldn't come along, choosing to distrust their father-in-law's doomsday warning.
Perhaps my daughters will be virgins forever. Lot sighed.
Upon reflection, he was glad to be getting out. The profits had been tremendous financially, but the corruption was starting to get to him - especially that incident earlier in the day with the angels. Yes, getting away would be economically devastating, but at least he had his family. He wasn't sure how Judith would adjust, however. He doubted her heart would ever leave the city, no matter its state, or where her physical body might be.
But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.*
"We have to go, girls. It's no longer safe in Zoar. We must go to the mountains."
The youngest sobbed. "How will we live, father?"
Lot rubbed her back lovingly. "We'll be fine in the caves. They will keep us dry and protected."
"Father, where will we find husbands?" Lot's older daughter's eyes pierced his. "How will we preserve our family line?"
"I don't know, girls." Lot bit his lip. "I really don't know."
The girls both slowed and walked together, their father a few paces ahead. The older put her mouth to her sister's ear.
"Perhaps we'll have to take things into our own hands."
So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.*
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