A3Writer: December 2017
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Monday, December 11, 2017

M³ Samson's Downfall

            So this is Samson’s last chapter. He will not have a sequel. There will be no final redemption for him. Yep, I said it. Instead we have the illusion of redemption. Post-haircut, Samson is shackled and working at the mill. But the Philistines were not thinking because they didn’t keep cutting his hair. For reasons passing understanding, this man that they had taken such great pains and expense to capture was not closely monitored.

Friday, December 8, 2017

F³ Let's Make a Deal

            Behind me, the party of dwarves looked nervous, but I was cool as the rink at Rockefeller Center. I nodded to Pyreus, who pulled on the door with four of the dwarves. The rock wall swung open slowly, the mechanism allowed it to swing open, but it was still a few tons of solid rock to move, reminding me of the door from Tron. The first one, not the second one.
            When open, I started through, but Pyreus put a hand on arm. “Hmm, are you sure, Friend Sam?”
            “I’m sure, Friend Pyreus. Close it up after I go in.”
            The dwarf didn’t look sure behind his beard, but he nodded and gave a kind of musical grunt.
            When through, the wall slid closed with barely any noise. Keeping the secret entrance silent into the dragon’s lair was a prudent move. I had no interest in being prudent, though.
            “Redscale! It’s Sam Faraday!”
            Flame erupted into the cavernous lair, providing light enough to make my way around the passage until it opened up.
            “It is curious,” the dragon boomed, “to welcome someone to my lair instead of eat them. It is a good thing I do not bear a grudge for the last meeting.” Giant eyes narrowed to malice-filled slits.
            “Hey, you arranged the last meeting. And this one! So, what can I do for you? It’s the raids, isn’t it?”
            He snorted smoke, which curled into impossible shapes, kind of like the Caterpillar’s hookah from Alice in Wonderland.

            “All right. Let’s make a deal.”


Monday, December 4, 2017

M³ Little Covenant, Big Covenant

            Samson is sans hair. This is a clear violation of his covenant, and we have confirmation that he no longer has strength. It was unobtrusively slipped into verse 20 that “the Lord had left [Samson].” This reinforces that the strength was a gift directly tied to the covenant regarding Samson’s hair. No other force governs it. Certainly, Samson was never beholden to following other commandments.
This is interesting as it shows a departure from the Abrahamic Covenant. That one, as we’ve already gone over, stipulates that Israel needs to follow God’s path, which is actually a very broad range of commands, but the payoff is that the Lord is with them always.
Samson’s covenant is a micro-scale version of this with only one requirement, don’t get a haircut, and you’ll be strong. If you get head lice, you have to live with it. No hair = no strength. This is a highly specific covenant, but what is interesting is that Samson, in holding to this covenant, does not hold to the Abrahamic Covenant at all. He’s breaking commandments left and right with murder and theft, he’s had a Philistine wife, been with a prostitute, and Delilah.
Could it be that the adherence to the lesser covenant gave him power to get what he wanted, so he saw no reason to follow the larger covenant? Samson doesn’t appear to have any regard for anyone but himself. He even caused suffering to his fellow Israelites, but it didn’t appear to bother him that they were angry with him.
So after all the people who have been hurt by him, has he done any good? Has he been a hero? If so, to whom? Yes, he will kill thousands of Philistines in the end (sorry, spoilers), but does that change anything for his people? Was he a good example for them to emulate?
(Answers: No, no, no one, no change, not a good role model)



Friday, December 1, 2017

F³ The Power to Cloud Minds

            The doorbell rang, and I frowned, getting up.
             It’s not Nikki because she just left. It might be Ivan’s goons.
            I looked through the peephole to see Brian holding two red cups.
            I opened the door and smiled.
            “Lemonades, Mr. Allen? It’s a hot day.”
            “It is.” I took the cups. “Cassie, lemonade.”
            Brian wore shorts and a video game tee shirt, what most kids would be wearing on a summer day. Tommy, though was not normal. He stood off to the side of the front step, halfway behind the bushes in front the house. He had a dark blanket wrapped around his shoulder, safety pinned together at his throat. A red, knit scarf covered his mouth and nose, and he wore a broad brimmed dark hat. Likely all three belonged to Tommy's mom Andrea.
            Cassie took one of the cups from my hand. “Hi, Brian.”
            “H-hi, Cassie.”
            "What's with Tommy?" she asked.
            "There is no Tommy!" Tommy proclaimed. "For I," he flourished the makeshift cloak for effect, wrapping it around him, "am The Shadow!"
            I couldn't stop my chuckle. Cassie looked questioningly at all three of us. “Anyone want to clue me in?”
            "My fault," Brian admitted.
            "How so?"
            "I dug up the old Shadow serials on the internet."
            "Who knows what bad stuff—" Tommy began.
            "Evil," Brian and I corrected.
            "Lurks in the hearts of men. The Shadow knows!" Tommy finished.
            I chuckled. "Any evil nearby, Tom—I mean, Shadow?"
            "The Shadow knows!" And with that he swooped his cape and ran off, ducking behind hedges and trees to stay hidden.

. . .

            "What's done is done. Besides, that was too much power. It would go to my head, then I'd be in real trouble. Brains over brawn. You know that."
            Brian nodded.
            Tommy approached, giving his best Shadow laugh. "Mom wants you to take the trash out." Tommy said behind his scarf.
            "How do you know?" Tommy replied.
            "The Shadow knows!"
            "Uh huh."
            "She said so."
            "You're old enough to take it out. Why didn't she ask you?"
            "I have the power to cloud mom's mind."
            I snorted into a laugh. "He's got you there."
            "Come on, Shadow. Let's go take out the trash." Brian turned.
            "Villains beware!" Tommy flourished again.