Faith Blum

Lo, How a Rose

Everything is against them

Born into slavery, Rapha is a Philistine who is almost twice as big as his Israelite masters. They find any excuse they can to beat him. When he is accused of murder, he runs off into the desert, planning to never return and hate all Israelites forever.

Nava’s mother died when she was born.  Since then she has been raised mostly by her father, but her grandmother and grandfather have also helped. Her passion is to help those who need it most, whether it is watching the healer’s young daughter, Rina, or bringing fresh tunics for the Philistine slave who receives far too many whippings. When Rapha runs off into the desert with no water, Nava begs her father to go after him and bring him back safely.

Will Nava’s father find Rapha? Can Rapha learn that not all Israelites are untrustworthy? Will Nava trust her abba and Rapha to Yahweh’s care or take matters into her own hands?

A Beauty and the Beast reimagining set during the time of King David


Chapter 1

Crack. Crack, crack. The whip bit into his back with merciless pain, wrapping around his torso. Yet Rapha stood straight and silent, his face blank. His master, Alon, and the master’s son, Nahor, each wielded a whip. Alon only used the whip the legal thirty-nine times and only on his back, but Nahor kept going and switched from the back to the front and back and forth. Nahor had mentioned a few times that since Rapha was nearly twice the size of the other men, he could take twice the number of lashes.

Rapha suppressed a shudder as lashes seventy and seventy-one hit him. Only seven more to go. He took shallow, controlled breaths. Any show of pain or discomfort on his part would only make things worse. Lash seventy-eight went high and struck him across the cheek, almost biting into his left eye. Another future scar to match the others all over his body.

The other slaves disappeared into their tents and houses while the master and his son coiled their long whips.

“Next time, don’t be such a problem when we tell you to do more work, Rapha, and perhaps we’ll be more lenient,” Nahor sneered.

“Yes, Master,” Rapha forced himself to say.

Alon looked him over. “Go take care of your cuts in the wadi. I don’t want you bleeding all over the tent.”

“Yes, Master.” Rapha slowly turned around and made his way to the river with a stiff, shuffling gait. With his legs chained and a scarred, wounded back, walking was a challenge. “I don’t know how much longer I can take this,” he muttered to himself in his mother’s native tongue.


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