1: A Message Delivered

Sword in the grass
Photo by Ricardo Cruz on Unsplash

“Now these are the heads of the mighty men whom David had, who gave him strong support in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel.”

1 Chronicles 11:10 (NASB)

The young man entered the bar hall. Din assaulted his ears as warriors enjoyed themselves. All were eating with great gusto. He runs a nervous hand through his blonde hair.

Ignoring the noise, he scanned the room. Where was he?

He adjusted his shoulder armor. It didn’t fit right. It itched. His muscles had not yet grown into his plating.

His eyes fell on the man he was looking for. He smiled.

There, sitting in the corner, was Isbaal. Even sitting down, the man was at least double the size of anyone else there. His dark hair covered his eyes as he hunched over his dinner.

Beside him was Shammah, another member of The Three. His brown hair was trim against his smiling face. Shammah was smaller, but still toned and muscled.

They were a contrast. Isbaal was dark, huge mass. Shammah was bright with an athletic frame.

The young man swallowed. This was it. He set a brisk pace across the room. The message burnt a hole in his pocket.

He stood at attention before the table and waited.

Shammah noticed the man first. He continued to chew in silence.

He gave an elbow to Isbaal.

Isbaal looked at him, annoyed. “What?” He followed Shammah’s gaze to the man standing at attention before them. “Oh.” He swallowed and dropped his food. He wiped his hands. “Well, what is it, then?”

Nodding, the man pulled a scroll from his pocket and cleared his throat. As he spoke, his voice cracked. He stopped, cleared his throat again, and started over, “From Commander Abishai to The Three. I have an important mission tomorrow. Meet me at dawn. The Three are hereby summoned.”

The man rolled up the scroll and tucked it away.

Isbaal nodded and began to eat his dinner again. The man waited, still at attention.

After a moment, Shammah nudged him.

Isbaal looked up at the man, mouth still full, “You may go.”

The man bowed low at the waist. He departed, pace still brisk.

Isbaal and Shammah continued to eat as much as they could. Battle builds a large appetite.

Isbaal grabbed a loaf of bread, and was now eating with two hands, alternating between meat and bread. Finally satiated, Shammah cleaned his hands and waited.

Isbaal felt the eyes on him and looked sideways at his friend. He was still eating with a steady rhythm.

“What?”

Shammah grinned, “We are being summoned.”

“Yes?”

“The Three are summoned.”

“Yes?”

“We are but two.”

Isbaal’s mouth was too full to reply. He grunted, instead.

Shammah continued, “We need to tell Eleaza of the summons.”

Isbaal put his food down and stared at Shammah.

He sighed, “He said never again.”

Shammah nodded, “But it is Commander Abishai who gives the summons.”

Isbaal considered for a moment. Finally, he nodded, “We should get going, then.”

He cleaned the meat juice from his hands and threw the cloth on his plate. His wooden chair squeaked as he pushed it back. With a grunt, he loomed to his feet. He brushed crumbs off his armor. Beside him, Shammah tightened his buckle.

The two of them departed.

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