Monday, March 29, 2010

The Heat of Battle

Stepping over his companions, a tall hooded Midianite entered the fray - keen to claim the scalp of Joshua. He was armed with a reaper’s scythe, its long curved blade normally harvested wheat, but could easily slice clean through limbs.

The reaper paced steadily towards Joshua - barely pausing to butcher someone foolishly standing in his way. A strong low sweep of his razor sharp blade took a young Hebrew’s left leg off at the knee.

Joshua couldn’t fight him alone, yet Phinehas was still unarmed. He quickly threw the spear back to him - it was far deadlier in the hands of its owner.

In the nick of time, Phinehas jabbed the Reaper’s thigh while Joshua’s sword blocked a powerful sweep of the scythe just inches from his knee.

With a quick lunge to his left, Joshua swiped his sword tip across the heels of the Reaper, tripping him to the ground. It was all over bar Phinehas’ death blow to the throat, when Joshua lunged to fend off another threat.

A Midianite axeman took Joshua’s sword through the chest. It wasn’t enough to kill, so Joshua stole the axe and sliced his throat.

“Thanks,” said Phinehas.

“You did well” replied Joshua. “Just remember, the spear tip is for flesh, the blunt end for ribs - don’t confuse the two. Now go get those Kings.”

Joshua and Caleb formed a defensive perimeter around the wounded, along with others who quickly came to their aide. There were too many wounded to remove from the battle, but at least they could protect them from further harm.

Although Joshua’s sword was not as swift as Phinehas' spear, with Caleb’s help he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. At times, they were comical.

“Caleb, are you holding up?” Joshua remarked while skillfully dispatching an enemy.

“Stop worrying,” shouted Caleb. “I'm fine, though my shoulder's a bit stiff”.

Caleb swung his sword around to loosen up his joint, and quite innocently smashed another attacker in the forehead.

“Just leave some for the others,” Joshua laughed.

Meanwhile, Salman scarcely held his own against the Midianite onslaught. Protecting his brother made him a magnet for anyone with a bruised ego looking for an easy kill.
Fortunately, one such scavenger was the third Midianite patriarch, King Zur. His golden breastplate was a telltale sign of royal title and a clear target for Salman to aim a hasty slingshot. It found its mark, but failed to shatter. Zur kept charging towards him, barely winded from the blow.

Salman hit the dirt, narrowly missing decapitation from Zur’s sword. He saved his skull, but now Zebulan lay unprotected with Zur vengefully poised to deliver a fatal blow.

With no time to stand up, Salman reacted instinctively. In one swift motion he lassoed Zur's neck with his leather slingshot.

The King spun around, furious that someone would snare him on a leash. Salman seized the opportunity to jump to his feet, and twist the cord tighter around his neck.

But it wasn't enough - Zur was still mobile. Salman crash tackled the king and tried to drag him to the ground, but he was too big. Like a huge dog on a short chain, Salman had him bound and gagging, but still couldn’t overpower him.

As he clung tightly to Zur, Salman endured frightening blows to his face and body. He couldn't fight back for fear of losing his stranglehold, so leaned against the leather cord with all his might.

And the more he leaned, the tighter Zur choked.

But two could play that game. Zur grasped the leather straps and yanked Salman over his shoulder like a rag doll. Salman tried to hold on valiantly as he swung into orbit, but Zur was breaking free of the noose. Letting go of the straps, Salman dropped to the ground and sent him reeling in agony with a kick to the groin.

The leather sling was sill wrapped around Zur’s neck, so Salman stood squarely on his back and yanked it as hard as he could.

SNAP! Zur's neck was broken, and his head slumped to the ground like a melon.

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