Monday, February 8, 2010

Rahab the prostitute

Reaching bottom of the staircase, Salman looked up and noticed an attractive young woman opening the door of the inn. Two men were leaving; they weren’t the typically rough types he expected, in fact, one seemed vaguely familiar as he passed by on the staircase - but he couldn't put his finger on it.

Besides, it was the woman that really grabbed his attention.

Salman only caught a glimpse before she went back inside, but it enough to take his breath away. She was simply stunning, in her late teens or early twenties, with straight black hair, and deep beautiful brown eyes. Her clothing, headpiece and jewelry were lavishly feminine, but not so overdone as to appear gawdy.

On reaching the inn, Salman hesitated with his clenched fist poised to knock on the door.

“What is it?” whispered Phinehas.

“Nothing. It's fine,” replied Salman.

He knocked briskly, and within a few moments a peek hole in the door promptly slid open.

“Gentlemen, its too late in the day,” said the young woman, sizing them up, “Unless want to stay for the night?”

“I do. We do.” Salman nervously replied, trying not to gaze into her gorgeous eyes. “We’d like a bed. Two actually, of our own. Two beds of our own... without you. I mean in your house, but just to sleep.”

She opened the door and laughed, “You’re not from around here, that’s for sure. I don’t bite. Come on in.”

The inn was fortuitously placed directly on top of the wall, with wooden shuttered windows overlooking both the fields outside and the city square. A large dining table occupied the centre of the inn, capable of seating twenty or more at a banquet, with a fireplace to the right and corridor leading to two bedrooms to the left.

The men were graciously ushered to their room, where they promptly dumped their belongings and quenched their thirst with a large jug of water. Within minutes, they were devouring an exquisite meal of lamb stew brought straight from the pot above the fireplace and served at their bedside table.

Tired and sore from a long day’s journey, the men finally kicked off their shoes and tried to relax with a modest portion of wine. But it was an impossible task, with their host scurrying in and out of the room, carrying dishes and topping up glasses. Indeed, Salman and Phinehas were so intrigued by her unquestionable beauty that they had completely forgotten to ask her name.

From the window on the outer wall, Salman pretended to absorb the magnificent view of the moonlit fields in the east towards the Jordan. Phinehas resigned himself to remain seated at the table and focus on his meal.

“Is there any...” Phinehas couldn't finish before the woman placed a large flask of water on the table.

“Water?” she interrupted, a little too close for Phinehas’ liking.

“Yes thank you, that’ll be all. You... you can leave us alone now.”

But she didn’t.

And neither Phinehas or Salman knew knew what to say.

“I am Rahab,” she replied.

They were three simple words, spoken like someone from a long forgotten dream. Her voice sounded so intriguing, Salman no longer pretended to look out the window.

“I'm Rahab, and this is my Inn.”

Both men were speechless, hanging on her every word.

“And you have names?”

“Forgive me, I'm Salman and this is my companion Phinehas.”

Rahab smiled. The ice was broken.

“Well gentlemen, welcome to Jericho.”

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