Lying still in a corner of the cave, I try my best not to rattle, not to betray my fear. I figure, as long as they think me unconscious, I am safe. I have jolted awake because of the voices, only to discover they are incoherent and muffled. In between the gusts of wind, I can hear them hissing. Each phrase plays out in some verbose foreign music, which I cannot decipher for the life of me. Sigh. This is not Aramaic for sure, or any of the other languages spoken by the locals in my village or by the merchants traveling through along the Jordan river.
At this moment I find myself overwhelmed, turned inside out by a sense of suspicion. Something has been taken away from me. My breath? My name? Identity? Who am I, then?
After an eternity, the confusion in my head starts clearing up. The air is steaming hot. It feels as if I have been dunked in some thick, dark soup. I stare at the blackness. I listen. I catch a word here and there, and somehow I get it. No longer is it Greek to me. Or perhaps it is.
“But why? What is she to you?” says a trembling, shrill voice. “Why even come here for her? Just a tramp, is what she is.”
And in grumble—louder than the whirlwind—another voice says, “Now, who are you to ask?”
“Forgive me... I am nothing, nothing before you. Crush me if you will. I am dust, dust under your feet... But you, you have more important things to do. Let her rot.”
“Gird up now your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of this realm? Declare, if you have any understanding!”
“I am nothing... Nothing but dust—”
“Who has laid the measures thereof, if you know? Or who has stretched the line upon it?”
“I bow,” the thin voice trembles. “I bow before you. Oh please, forgive me.”
And splosh! I hear the poor devil plodding away, wading through some slush.
A minute later, the footfalls of the other march up the road in the other direction, until finally the ground under me stops rumbling.
So I turn on my belly and crawl, finding my way in the dark, till at last I peek out—if only by a nose—through the mouth of the cave. Which allows me, for the first time, to take in the view.
Job's wife in Twisted
Here is a woman who has only one line in the Book of Job. Her entire history has been lost, with the exception of the words, "Curse God and Die." Did she love her husband and wished his torture to stop--or else, was she tired of him, and saw him as a burden? Even her death is not recorded; all we know is that by the end of the book, there is a 'happy ending' where Job has a new wife and a new set of kids in place of the once that were stricken down by Satan.
So in my story, she wakes up in Hell. Here is the opening, where she is listening to a conversation between Satan and one of the other poor devils. By a twist, Satan's words are a 'replay' of God's words to Job. So now I invite you to listen to the voice clip, narrated by The wonderfully gifted Heather Jane Hogan:
If your browser wouldn't play it, try this.
Treat yourself to a gift!
Download this ★★★★★ book
Or get it in an artistic print edition
Audiobook coming soon!