She Dishonors Her House - Part 7

Content Warning: Murder, graphic violence

Going again to the supply tent, she returned almost at once, hiding her right hand under her clothes. She stood for several minutes, motionless, watching the commander sleep. He never stirred, and not even his eyelids flickered, so great was his weariness. After a while, she knelt once more by his head and, bending down close, let a soft kiss fall on his cheek.

When even this failed to rouse him, she took her hand from under her garments. Shifting the heavy mallet to her left hand, she clasped the wooden tent stake in her right and placed it, point down, above the sleeping man’s temple. With one long, slow, deep breath, she raised the mallet above her head and brought it down with all her force.

After only a few seconds, the blood stopped spraying out from his head, and the last twitches of his limbs subsided. He had never even woken or cried out, and she muttered a short expression of thanks for the ease of his passing. Rising, she checked her clothes for blood, but here, too, the gods had been with her. She went once more to the door of the tent and looked out.

The sun had dropped to near the western horizon, and the air had cooled in the fading light, before another man made his appearance on the road. For hours she had waited, knowing his approach must be imminent, and she sighed with relief at his advent, but as he neared she saw that he was not alone. Behind him followed a throng of men, some four or five hundred at a glance, though more kept straggling into sight as the leader drew closer. He was running, and soon he had come within bowshot of her tent. Before he could accost her, she called out to him.

“Come,” she said. “I will show you the man you seek.”

 

Her husband returned late in the evening, arriving back from a routine visit to his herdsmen. He stumbled into her tent weary but full of good humor at the sight of her. Picking her up by the waist, for he was a tall man of great strength, he danced her all over the tent, laughing and singing, before tumbling them both into bed, where they remained until the next morning. As she fell asleep in his arms, she almost hoped he might never find out what she had done, but she knew it could not be so.

All the next day he was in his forge, and she had time to clean the blood from the rug as best she could, thrusting down the feeling of futility that kept rising up in her chest as she scrubbed it. Returning to visit her before his mid-day meal, he never even noticed the stain, and she again allowed hope to creep back in. But as he stood at the door, about to kiss her once more before departing, he suddenly spied the bloody mallet and stake where she had hidden them under the cushions of the bed. No doubt disturbed by their lovemaking the previous evening, the grim devices had fallen into plain sight, and he could not help but notice and demand an explanation. Unable to lie directly to his beloved face, she confessed with as much regret as she could muster that she had killed Sisera, the commander of the armies of Hazor.