Soulwatch - A Short Story

Updated on April 9, 2019

A Note from the Author

Some people call it flash fiction. I much prefer the term, short story - very, very short story. Regardless of what you call it, the question remains - am I my brother's keeper?

The question was first posed by Cain 6,000 years ago. After murdering his brother, God comes looking for him. We read in Genesis 4:8, 9, "And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?"

The answer really is "Yes". We are responsible for the care of others whether we like it or not. We are to send the warning call for all to hear. If they refuse to listen, that is certainly their choice. Still, we have a responsibility. We have been made watchmen/women on the wall.

Much of Jesus' ministry was spent sharing parables. Parables were a special kind of story that shared a veiled meaning. Those who listened on the surface would miss the real meaning. Those who truly sought the Master would understand and respond. To those of us who want to follow in the steps of Jesus, the meaning is clear. We must sound the trumpet and warn those lost in darkness before the darkness overtakes them. Will you respond?

Grab your trumpet and come along!

Tonight would be different than other nights
Tonight would be different than other nights

The third watch had just begun. Elishima climbed to his post upon the city wall. For the next few hours, his job was to watch for the enemy and to warn those inside the city gates if the enemy appeared. Elishima's trumpet, the instrument of warning, hung at his right side ready to be put into service at a moment’s notice.

The midnight sky was dark and overcast and a strange silence filled the air. "Tonight would be different than other nights", Elishima told himself. He could feel a sense of danger all around. As he stood there alone atop the city wall, Elishima intuitively knew he would be called upon to save his city that night. Where and when the enemy would strike, he did not know.

A gentle breeze blew across the city wall. Anticipation whispered to Elishima in each breath. Danger was approaching as the city slept. Silence continued to grow into the night.

Then to the northwest, a glimmer of light was seen. A low rumble of chariots could be heard. The torches were burning brightly in the night darkness as the enemy approached on horseback. The salvation of the city depended on one man - Elishima.

With numbness in his hand and a tightening in his chest, he reached for his trumpet. The first blow was weak and powerless, yet he knew his responsibility. Again, this time loud and true came the warning signal to the town below. The enemy was coming!

The townspeople heard, but late in the night, they made no effort to rise. Perhaps it was just a dream, or maybe Elishima had made a mistake. Certainly, it was not serious enough that they should be disturbed. Elishima again gave the trumpet call, the signal that the enemy was approaching. It seemed as if it fell on deaf ears.

There were a handful of people who did answer the call. They ran to meet Elishima at the lookout atop the wall. At this time, Elishima's perch on the wall was the safest place to be.

The horsemen rushed the main gate, breaking it down with little resistance. There had been no maintenance for years. The rusty bolts gave way with ease. Once inside, the enemy set them to burning and looting the city. All those refusing to hear the call were taken captive and later executed.

Elishima and a handful of diligent people were undetected atop the wall. They quietly climbed over the edge and lowered themselves to the ground and escaped under cover of night.

© 2019 William Kovacic


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    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      11 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You're right and you're welcome, Denise! Thanks for stopping by.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      11 months ago from Fresno CA

      Very scriptural. We need to be alert to the call of the alarm and ready to act. Thanks for the reminder.



    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      16 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I'm glad you approve, Tamara. We truly are our brother's keeper.

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image


      16 months ago from Uninhabited Regions

      Bill, your important message is written in such a beautifully poetic way, and your message reminds me that we are, indeed, “our brothers keepers”. Thank you for sharing these needed Biblical Truths with us!

      ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read, Tammy. It's always a pleasure to have you visit. Thanks for the translation of Elishima, an interesting note indeed.

    • Tamarajo profile image


      17 months ago

      Hi Bill,

      You are right on. We need to be watchmen in prayer and in preaching. It appears that things are moving a lot faster than imagined.

      The challenges of being our brother's keeper are big yet ever increasingly necessary. God's heart is invested in all.

      An interesting note, "Elishima" in Hebrew means something like "My God hears"

      I enjoyed your short story.

      God bless


    • profile image


      17 months ago

      You are welcome!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks for the added thoughts, PoetikalyAnointed . You're so right. it's very unpopular, but certainly biblically correct. Thanks again.

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      Well-done and thanks for sharing. It's very important to care/love for yourself to take heed. Then, you'd be more apt to warn others because that love extends to them.

      We've been made to fear intervening with other's problems because it's been unfairly criminalized. People have been shown and told in so many ways to mind your own business!" It's unpopular to be a concerned neighbor or citizen. It's sad...

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I'm glad you were able to stop by, Peg. It's always good to see you.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      17 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Good reminder to heed the call of warning. So many undercurrents of meaning in this short tale.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      As always, thanks for the encouragement, Lori. Maybe I will add it to MVOWC at your request. Glad you were able to come by.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thank you Dora. So many times I just go on without real thought to the matter. I'm preaching to myself.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You're welcome, Linda. So nice of you to stop by and visit.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      17 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Powerful message and so well written. The message applies to today. Too often the people don't listen to the warnings and the consequences can be catastrophic. But we are to be the messengers.

      This should be an excerpt for next weeks MVOWC.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      17 months ago from The Caribbean

      You showed us that refusing to hear or refusing to answer has dire consequences. Still we must remember your first counsel to sound the warning. We are our brother's keeper. Your presentation is well done!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      17 months ago from Minnesota

      This was a beautiful recreation of the bible that has a powerful message. Truly Listening isn't always an easy task as well as discernment. Thank your short story & message.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You're welcome, Ruby. I'm glad you were able to come and sit with us for a spell.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      So glad to see you, Bill. Just wondering - do you think there is a difference between "Am I my brother's keeper?" and "No man is an island." Just curious for no particular reason. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      17 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Eric. I always look forward to seeing you when you stop by. You make my day when you visit!

      Sin is inherent to the human race, I'm afraid. There's nothing we can do about it. That's exactly why Jesus came - to reconcile our sin problem with a sinless God.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a wonderful recreation of a learning story from the bible. Alertness and prayer is the key. I love your bible stories, they come to life with your flair. Thank you

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ya gotta pay attention to those warning signals. All can hear but few pay attention, I'm afraid. Loved this short, short story. Great message on a personal level for me.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      17 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Eloquence. In spades. I am troubled by my need to be my brother's keeper. Sin is my worst human drunkenness. Your message is powerful. I cannot throw the first stone. I gave up excuses for wrong a bit ago.

      I am charged and show fear doing what God has fully given me to do.

      In each day Our God has blessed I must each hour be born again, What do I do to receive glory? You guide us.


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