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Soulwatch - A Short Story

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


William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 23, 2019:

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

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 22, 2019:

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



William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 01, 2019:

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

Tamara Yancosky from Uninhabited Regions on May 01, 2019:

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!

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 21, 2019:

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 on April 21, 2019:

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


PoetikalyAnointed on April 11, 2019:

You are welcome!

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 11, 2019:

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

PoetikalyAnointed on April 10, 2019:

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...

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 10, 2019:

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

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on April 10, 2019:

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

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 09, 2019:

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

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 09, 2019:

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

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 09, 2019:

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

Lori Colbo from United States on April 09, 2019:

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.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 09, 2019:

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!

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on April 09, 2019:

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.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 09, 2019:

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

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 09, 2019:

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!

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on April 09, 2019:

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.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 09, 2019:

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

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 09, 2019:

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.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 09, 2019:

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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