WORD COUNT: 442
GENRE: Biblical fiction
SUMMARY: Barren. Such an ugly state for such a beautiful woman.
Such an ugly word, such an ugly state, for such a beautiful woman.
She may have been older than I, but I was better. I was stronger. I was faster. I was skilled in running the house and keeping the stock.
And I saw him first.
But no, our DEAR Father gave HER to him as wife. Because she was older. I was given a week later.
I comforted myself with knowing that I alone had his heart. He was mine in all ways that counted.
Until that e’veel started having CHILDREN! They just popped out of her like weeds!
And they just.
I had him sleep with my handmaiden and she gave him two sons that I considered mine -- but it wasn’t the same. I was still aqarah.
At long last, I finally grew with child. But he arrived before he should have, and he was small. There was doubt he would survive.
But he did, my little Joseph. He became the apple of my husband’s eye. My sister claimed it was because his survival was a miracle, but I knew. I knew it was because he was MINE.
Life was never easy for us, and we moved. Frequently. It was on the way to one of these new places that I realised I was with child a second time.
Again, the child came early, around the same time as my Joseph had. But this time, things were different.
This time, something felt wrong.
The agony was incredible and there was so much blood. No matter how I tried, I just couldn’t seem to get the child out! I was growing so tired…..
My sister suddenly grasped my hand and told me I had a son. That…. How did she know, I hadn’t fully…..
I looked down and wailed as instead of a squalling child I saw two tiny feet coming from my body.
The child was backward.
We were both going to die.
Suddenly there was a tearing sensation and the midwife yelled, “I have him! He lives! He lives!”
I heard my son cry. And it triggered my own tears.
I was so tired…..
“What will you name him?” my sister asked, smiling into my face. I squeezed her hand weakly and her smile fled. “......Rachel?”
I gasped out, “Ben…. Ben…..Oni…..”
She looked horrified. “Rachel, no….”
I smiled and closed my eyes, allowing myself to slip into sleep as I whispered my son’s name to myself.
….son of my sorrow….
“Rachel! RACHEL! Adonai, no! NO!”
…..son of my….
“Open your eyes, sister! Open your--”
Aqarah -- barren woman
E’veel -- stupid fool
Adonai -- God