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Literature Discussion -


The Tishbite
The Untold Story of Elijah

By Kurt W. Schuller (USA)


Chapter 26

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This manuscript (currently titled "the Tishbite" but I am considering "A Man of God") is unfinished This Is a fictional account of the life of Elijah. It is raw and powerful reflecting the actual state of life at the time.It has a strong sexual theme which is necessary because of the story it tells. It is both inspirational as well as entertaining. It was written to entertain the reader first.` Your feedback is welcome I hope you enjoy.

Part one: A Man Of God

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter 26
Benjamin was, more than anything else, a student of this world and all that came with it. When he abandoned his son he also had abandoned everything that his previous life had taught him. Indeed, something had died that morning that he left, but it was not his son. It was his conscience that he had murdered. He had done it in self-defense.
As the years had gone by he found it easier, even normal to take advantage of a strangers weakness, if it was to his benefit. So when he saw the excited look on this noble gentlemen’s face, Benjamin realized that there might be something to gain here.
“You want to talk to me, well, I talk best over a good meal and some strong wine.”
Obadiah raised his eyebrows and thought for a moment. “Perhaps, but every inn that I passed had their doors shuttered.”
“Relax. I know just the place. You buy and I’ll talk.”
Obadiah scratched his head for a moment before holding out his hand. “Well then. You lead and I will follow.”
Benjamin laughed and walked into his shop. “This way”
Obadiah followed him throught the shop and to the back door. They went into the winding alley, past the pits of garbage and sewage, through two more near empty shops before arriving at a ramshackle shack of a building with a poorly drawn sign over the door. Benjamin started to enter but Obadiah hesitated.
“You’ve probably never even seen a place like this have you? The foods ok but its the wine that really stands out here. Got a much bigger kick to it than that Temple stuff they brew.”
“I don’t drink” Obadiah sniffed.
Benjamin smiled. “I know for a fact this is where Elijah got his wine.”
Obadiah looked left and right, as if he was worried that someone might see him, before entering with Benjamin. The smell inside was both stagnant and exhilarating.
The two sat at a small table and starred at each other.
“So what can you tell me . . .”
“My name is Benjamin, that’s a good start. And – oh- I’m hungry.”
A man came over to the table to get their order. Obadiah covered his eyes and sighed. “Get whatever you like, I am not hungry.”
Benjamin turned to the man. “The special and a skin of your best wine.”
“Ones as good as another” muttered the waiter.
“Give me the aged stuff, at least a week if you got it.”
The man rolled his eyes and shook his head muttering something that neither of them understood. A few minutes later he returned with a plate of steaming food and a skin of red wine. He stood there expectantly.
“Where is your money? I got to see that first.”
Obadiah pulled two coins from his pocket and threw them on the table. The man dropped the food and scooped up the coins in one fluent motion and left hastily.
“Is there any change?” an exasperated Obadiah called after him. The man did not turn or stop.
“ Prices are high- the drought you know. You really want to know about crazy Elijah, don’t you?” Benjamin said between mouthfuls.
Yes!  Now I did what you asked, so keep your end of the bargain and tell me what you know.”
Benjamin smiled at him slyly. “I said I talk best over a meal, I didn’t say what I would talk about.  Right now, I feel like talking about selling my shop to you.”
“That’s not going to happen.” A frustrated Obadiah said through clenched teeth.
 “Now tell me about Elijah.”
Something about his face told Benjamin he had more leverage than he realized. Selling the shop would feed him for a few days at best. Attaching himself to an official of the king could help him stay alive.
“Fine. Then lets talk about you giving me a job as your personal assistant. You’re some kind of official aren’t you?”
“But what about your shop?
Benjamin waved his hand through the air. “Not worth anything anyway. I got it for a pair of sandals.” He turned his head to the side as he thought back to that day. “Used sandals, for that matter.”
“I have no openings.”
Benjamin picked up his plate and licked it clean. Showing it to Obadiah he sneered. “And I have no more food.”
He got up and slung the wine skin over his shoulder. “Well, thanks for dinner. Got to go, commerce calling and all that.” He started to walk away. “Crowd probably forming outside the door of my store as we speak.”
“Wait!” Yelled Obadiah, with just a hint of desperation. “If I hire you, will you tell me about Elijah?”
Benjamin turned and smiled. “ Yes, on my word. Do you give me your word not to fire me after I do?”
“Well that depends. Is there something you can do- I mean other than extortion?”
“I prefer the term negotiation. Let’s just say that I am an expert at the seamy side of life, and frankly, you look a little out of place here in the soft underbelly. Someone like me could be useful.”
Obadiah considered the idea. Since the days of his youth, it seemed that things had gotten seamier. The way some people lived these days had taken the sheltered palace manager by surprise. Benjamin was equal to him in years and did seem to have a kind of confidence, regardless of whatever chaos went on around him. Perhaps this was Gods will.
“ How do I know I can trust you?”
Benjamin narrowed his eyes. “That’s the point don’t you know. You can’t trust anyone-”
On Benjamin’s face, a brief flicker of sadness quickly came and went.
 “- not even God.” he said softly.
Suddenly Obadiah saw something new in this man. Apparently he was not as invulnerable as he portrayed himself.
Benjamin swagger quickly returned. “However, you can trust that as long as this drought continues, I will never leave your side, unless, of course you- you know- die. Then all bets are off. I hate funerals.”
“And what if you die.” Obadiah said with a playful smile. “What am I to do with you?”
“Exactly what I would do with you. I’d empty your pockets and take everything that you had, because after all, you no longer need it, do you.  Then I’d prop you up by the side of the road where, hopefully, some good hearted stranger might find you before the buzzards.”
Obadiah started to laugh. He appreciated a good sense of humor. But when he saw the quizzical look on Benjamin face he stopped laughing.
“You’re not joking, are you?”
“When it comes to death, I never joke.”
“I‘ll remember that. I should tell you that I am operating outside of the king’s commands, and should I be discovered you could be in danger as well.”
“Not to worry, I smell trouble from a mile away. If things look like they may turn bad- well- I’ll be long gone before they get there. Loyalty is not one of my strengths.”
Obadiah began to shake his head. “I don’t know. I wonder if anything you might tell me would be worth the trouble you could be to me.”
“Oh you’d be surprised, Obadiah. Elijah left me everything when he took off. He lived here you know, right here in his shop. Took nothing with him other than a bit of food and a few skins of wine. Left behind everything else. All of his records, personal letters and such. When it wasn’t busy I’d go through it to pass the time. Why, I might know him better than his own mother.”
“You probably do.” Obadiah found himself muttering under his breath.
“What did you say?” inquired Benjamin.
“I said you’re hired- probably- I mean you got the job.”
“You will live to regret it.” Laughed Benjamin.
Obadiah looked at him strangely.
 Benjamin stopped laughing and nervously cleared his throat. “Now I’m kidding.”
Obadiah folded his arms together and starred at his new employee. The weight of his stare made Benjamin squirm uncomfortably.
“Elijah!” he blurted out. “Right, my end of the bargain. No better place to start than the beginning. I had just come into town when I came upon this man standing in the middle of the square yelling something about trading his store for a good pair of sandals . . .”

Continued Next Week

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