38. Dogs

46. While Dogs Wait i [Delete Dogs chapter?]

868 BC

Naboth’s Vineyard, Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel

1 Kings 21:1-15

[Ahab and Biah need to arrive about noon for Elijah’s sake.]

[1 Kg. 21:27 Show Obadiah with Ahab in Sackcloth – compare to Ahab hitting one boy and feeding the other. Almost getting them killed. Grinning but sorry.]

Obadiah followed Ahab and his guards to the garden spot behind the headquarters building.

A whitethroat, perhaps the same bird who scolded them last week, screamed, woid-woid.

Obadiah faced Ahab, fought down the puke rising from his stomach, and turned away. He turned back, opened his mouth, closed it, and spoke. “You didn’t have to let Jezebel kill Naboth.”

“You don’t know her, Biah.” Ahab crossed his arms. “It would have done no good.”

“You weren’t trying to do good. You were letting your wife kill your neighbor, so you could plant lettuce.” Obadiah raised his chin to Ahab. “Send that woman back to Sidon.”

Ahab looked away. His voice thickened. “You’re talking about an international incident, Biah.”

“No, I’m talking about murder. Do you really think you’re so all-fired important that a man’s life is worthless to you?”

Ahab whirled on him—

“Pardon me, my king.” A bodyguard interrupted from behind them.

Obadiah flinched.

Ahab glared at the guard. “Who’d you bring—?” Then he rocked back on his heels “Well, well. If it isn’t Dew-nor-Rain, my old enemy.”

Ahab’s bodyguard nodded. “I patted him down, my king. He says the message is important and will only take a minute. Pardon me, my king, if I overstepped.”

“Quite all right. Quite all right.”

Obadiah followed Ahab’s gaze to Elijah.

Elijah stood a head taller than the bodyguard and held himself as straight as when he was challenging the tribes on Mount Carmel. Small crow’s feet spread beside his eyes over a solid black beard. His head was bowed toward the king.

[Show Elisha as Elijah’s sidekick?]

“A message for the king?” Obadiah asked.

Elijah raised his head, looked down at Ahab, and whispered.

Ahab lifted his eyebrows and jutted his head forward.

Obadiah leaned in. “We didn’t catch that, young man. Please speak up for the king.”

Elijah grimaced at Obadiah and cleared his throat. His words came out hoarse, barely audible. “I said, dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, and dogs are waiting to lick up yours, my king.”

Obadiah cringed at Ahab’s high-pitched laugh. “For this you need a black frown. And a long, bonyii finger to shake under my nose.” Although Ahab had cowered under Obadiah’s initial accusations, when young Elijah came in —ushered by the king’s ever-present audience of guards—Ahab bristled for a verbal scuffle.

Elijah stood with his arms at his sides, his voice flat and soft. “Sir, the Lord’s going to rub you out. You and your whole line to the most distant cousin.” He looked at his feet again. “And Jezebel. Dogs are going to tear her apart and devour the pieces right by the city wall.” He shook his head. “Your queen will become dog dung, my king.”

Obadiah shuddered then shuffled back a step.

“You’re famous, Ahab.” Elijah stared off at Mount Tabor a moment. “There’s never been anyone like you.”

Ahab snickered and poked Obadiah in the arm. “Hear that, Biah? You should treat me with more respect.”

Elijah raised his voice a tad. “Everyone knows how you do whatever Jezebel says and sell yourself to do evil. They say you’re so extremely vile that you go after idols as if you were one of the Amorites whom the Lord drove out before us.”

Ahab sucked in a breath and flared his nostrils.

Elijah stretched his arm toward the headquarters building. “Everyone wants to be your friend, my king. They hover around you and your powerful cousins.” He dropped his arm and stared at a fast-moving cloud. “The Lord has not told me how I will leave this earth.” He turned his black eyes on Ahab. “But he declares that everyone in your bloodline is going to die very much alone.”

Obadiah shrank back from the sudden lack of color in Ahab’s face.

Ahab tried to look away, but Elijah touched his arm.

The bodyguard raised his eyebrows toward Obadiah.

Obadiah shook his head.

Elijah threaded his arm through Ahab’s and with him faced the headquarters building. “My king, remember the plaza in front of this building, where we first met on market day? In that plaza and in others like it, dogs will fight over the corpses of your family piece by piece.” He turned the king to look out across the almond grove. “And in open country, vultures will peck the flesh from your children’s bones.” Elijah removed his arm from Ahab’s. “The Lord has made your end clear, my king. You can run, but you can’t hide.”

Elijah nodded to Obadiah and the guards then strode out of sight around the headquarters building.

A dog trotted past Obadiah lolling his tongue to the side.

i“Murder Thy Neighbor,” a chapter in Elijah’s novel, shows these events from Elijah’s POV.

iiRepeat from scene in GRASS

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