03 OuttaHere-ideas

[This draft drew many comments. I inserted some. The next draft shows their effect.]

03 Outta Here

Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel

877 BC

Obadiah spanked the prince’s horse on the rump. “Outta here!” [Obadiah spanked (smacked, maybe?) the prince’s (I would use prince’s name here since we are on a new chapter)horse on the rump.]

Another arrow plunked in beside the first.

Ahab flattened on Shochar and kicked him into a dash for the fort.

(what? So O’s spanking & “outta here” didn’t get his horse moving?)

[I was under the impression that Obadiah’s slap to Shochar’s rump would have sprung him into action. Maybe the slap and Ahab’s kick happens at the same time?]

Obadiah sprinted behind him on Lavan. Miserable Syrians. Couldn’t collect military intelligence and go home. Had to pick off a pair of wealthy-looking Hebrews. Three more arrows sailed over Ahab’s back.

“Go! Go! Go!” How would he explain the prince’s death to the king? [[It’s interesting how Obadiah seems to be more worried about the prince’s death than his own! Unless it is just. That Ahab was closer to getting hit than Obadiah was. This can potentially tell us a lot about him.]] [You might want to expand on the POV here.]

When the boys fought as eight-year-olds, Omri had laughed at their bloody noses [ [no comma here] ] (deleted the comma. The conjunction joins two dependent clauses) and told them to wash up. But a breath of air to the left, and that arrow would have sliced Ahab’s jugular. [I wonder if he would use this term.] Not a soap and water fix. [I love this comparison.] Obadiah pictured [himself]​​​ slinging the prince’s body over Shochar and leading him into the fort, but he could not imagine facing the king.

Yet as they [As they] galloped up the rise to the fort, Ahab clung to Shochar with his knees. Almost home[, ?]and untouched by Syrian arrows.

Obadiah said, “Thank you, Lord.” [[Maybe bring in some physical reactions to this scare?]]

The gate guards stepped aside.

Lavan and Shochar rattled the loose planks of the bridge [ooh, nice!] with their hoofs then clip-clopped [like] [a beat] music oni the plaza pavers. [Love this sentence!] Safe.

Obadiah closed his eyes and breathed. [[Nice! What I was looking for. Is he breathing hard?]]

Shouts and laughter came drifted from a cluster of children kicking a ball at the far end of the plaza. Of the squad [ (As a graduate of an ROTC-sponsored military school, I’d say 50 bodyguards is more the size of a platoon than a squad.)] of fifty bodyguards [,] King Omri assigned to escort his son, not one member was in view.

[Why had O listened to A’s nonesense. (Something that let’s us in on a prior conversation)]

“A lame horse? You never talked to the captain.” [Does he frown?]

“And you fell for it.” [[Action beat for Ahab? How is he reacting to a near-death experience?]]

“Like an egg from a tall chicken.” Obadiah shook his head. “You almost got us killed, my prince.”

As the gate swung closed behind them, a stable boy loped out from the headquarters compound waving at Obadiah. “The king’s looking for the prince.” His eyes flicked from Obadiah to Ahab [taking] in their matching white linen cloaks and purple headscarves. [It seems like a POV jump, that a description of Obadiah and Ahab’s clothing is coming from this boy.] [“Give it to me,” A said, his voice gruff, commanding.]

“Sorry, sir.” He blushed.

“No worries.” Ahab tipped his head toward Obadiah. “Plenty of people think that ugly guy on the white horse looks like me.”

Obadiah slid to the ground (insert: comma) solemn [-[hyphen]] faced. [Was Ahab not as phased by the whole thing?] He still heard the arrows sinking into the pine tree. He handed both sets of reins to the stable boy. [[Does his hands shake a little?]] “Wipe them down. I’ll be out to check on your work.” He jogged [ [this word is too modern, I think]] with Ahab to the far end of the street.

Guards opened the gate to the headquarters compound.

Obadian [Obadiah] and Ahab strode up the path side by side.

Had lookouts reported those arrows? Obadiah touched Ahab’s arm and wrinkled his brow.

Ahab shrugged. (I brought this down and made it a new paragraph.)

At the headquarters entrance, King Omri paced in front of bodyguards, his sandals slapping the marble porch. [Maybe a description of Omri?] He paused with his chin high and cracked his knuckles one by one. “You left fifty good men in the compound. You were racing in the valley alone. A mere scouting party from Cyprus or Syria could have cut down my son and my right-hand man.” [Is the king calling Obadiah his right-hand man? Or is he saying Ahab is both his son and his right-hand man? It might just be me, but I wasn’t sure which way to read this.]

Obadiah ducked his head. The king had not heard about the arrows, but a proper show of humility never hurt. “My fault, your majesty.”

The king laughed. “Excuses later, Biah.” Lecture delivered. Crisis over. [[How does Obadiah feel to be let off the hook?]]

Obadiah crowded inside the lobby with Ahab.

At the open door, King Omri paused and spoke to his chief guard on the porch. “At tomorrow’s little ceremony, make sure you have enough execution stakes for his children.” [[Good detail to characterize Omri.]] [Obadiah entered the spacious room with (or whatever to avoid two paragraphs in a row beginning w/door) ] Just inside the door, Obadiah hunched his shoulders by a vase of tall, yellow lilies and clasped a hand over his mouth. Whose family was about to die? [Excellent writing, Dave. For what age group is this book intended? This chapter seems too gory to me for a youth book. But perhaps not. Blessings,]


Obadiah and Ahab – 1 Kings 18:3

i(delete: music on / insert: across)

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