Eliah #fridayflash

#fridayflash, wordbunches every Friday, or so. Never knowingly oversupplied. This week’s prompt is “obscure Bible story”.

 #fridayflash 2013-10-04

DR. EVERETT REID: As you may know, accompanying the Bible is an assortment of apocrypha, religious stories that date from the same period, but are not considered part of the main canon. We have recently discovered a cache of writings from the period, and a new translation of the most complete tale is reprinted below:

Eliah was a good and kind man, who came from from a small settlement near Mount Carmel. Every night, he talked to God, and every night God answered. For the first ten years of his life, Eliah simply told the Lord about his day, and the Lord listened paitently, and thanked him for every story. For the second ten years of his life, Eliah questioned God, and He answered each question fully and truthfully.

One night, Eliah asked God why men stood on the ground, but birds had the opportunity to fly. God told Eliah that being grounded allowed man to gain a constant perspective on the world, unlike birds, whose baseless nature did not allow them to consider life in any depth, since they were constantly dazzled by the novelty of new places, and so could not consider how best to live in them. Eliah was satisfied by this answer.

One night, Eliah asked God how big the world really was, since he only knew that when he climbed as far as he could up Mount Carmel it stretched out as far as he could see on every side. God told him that the world was so big that he could not travel all the way across it, even if he took his entire life to do it, but that to his descendants it would seem small. Eliah was confused by this answer, but took it to be true, since it was the Lord’s word.

One night, Eliah asked God why bad things happened. God asked Eliah to clarify what he meant by bad things, which was unusual, and Eliah had to think about this. Eliah told God that bad things were anything that seemed to do indiscriminate harm to people, such as floods and great winds, and acts that were against God’s laws. The Lord told Eliah that all that happened was in the Lord’s plan, and all Eliah should worry about is leading a good life. Eliah asked the Lord whether bad things would only happen to other people if he lead a good life. God told Eliah that there was no way of guaranteeing that bad things wouldn’t happen, and encouraged Eliah to treat these bad things as a test of his faith. Eliah told God that he loved Him, and had always loved Him, and will always love Him, and that surely this was evidence enough. God told Eliah that He loved him too, as He loved all of his creation. Eliah was unsatisfied by this answer, but thanked the lord, and went to bed.

On the eve of his twentieth year, Eliah asked God a different type of question. Eliah asked for a request of his to be granted. Since God loved Eliah, and Eliah was a good and kind man, God agreed to grant whatever request he wished. Eliah asked to choose, in his prayers every night, one person to protect from bad things for the rest of the day. And it was so. For the next ten years…

Unfortunately, at this point the text becomes unreadable. However, a separate document, held in an Iranian collection, may contain a continuation of this story, and we are hopeful to produce a translation of it within the next three years. In the meantime, we leave it to you to determine for yourselves what Eliah did next.

“Pride Before A Fall” by Benjamin Maltz-Jones

Music plays. It’s a long, slow drum beat. The kind of beat that makes you lose yourself in tunes not yet invented, but stuck in your head all the same. Although, it’s possible that said beat is nothing more than the steady march of footsteps up a mountain, waiting to get to a promised land, or something like that at least.

We’ve been climbing this mountain for quite some time. Years in fact, I doubt anybody in this little group of ours has even seen the other side. All we have is the word of an invisible presence, a guiding light, bringing us to what may be our final resting point. Honestly? I’m not sure we have any idea with what we’re doing at this point. I’m resorting to cheap tricks to keep them motivated. When they were thirsty, I struck a stone and liquid spewed forth, as if the rock was a geyser. They all saw it, and then they believed that our cause was just. I’m just not sure they believed in the cause, or in me. In fact, perhaps it’s fear that’s driving them. Fear that the next time I strike something, it’ll be one of them, and that will provide further impetus to keep moving.

Still, mustn’t grumble. Got a mountain to climb. Somehow, we’ll make it up there.  I just hope it’s soon; I’m not getting any younger.

Is that the top? It certainly looks like it might be. So tired now, tired of it all. They’re all counting on me to help them get there. We’ll make camp on this little outcrop, enough room here to make a fire, sing songs of times long past. All that nonsense. Might go to the top, and have a look at the view. I’m sure its lovely at this time of day. The husky tones of twilight coming home to roost. Not to far now, almost there.

Made it. I was right, that view sure is lovely. I haven’t had the heart to tell the others I won’t be going with them to this new land. That trick with the water wasn’t just me spurring them on to believe; I was spurring them on to believe in me. Too late for repentance now, I guess. I’ve been at this for long enough. Music plays. It’s a long, slow drum beat. It stops.

© Benjamin Maltz-Jones, 2013. Ben can be found @V_Ben on Twitter.

Inspirations

2000AD by Various (1977-2003)

The Breakfast Club, dir. John Hughes, (1985)

Days Are Gone by Haim (2013)

If you want to join in with #fridayflash, great! Around 500 words is best. Either send me a link to its page on your site, or as a .doc or .rtf attachment. Email it to james@jamesdavidward.com with the subject header SUB: #fridayflash, and I’ll post it up. No money involved, all rights remain your own. There are no restrictions, but if you want a prompt, next week’s is “a rainy night”.

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