Fiction: ‘Telaim’

By Aristophanes


Jonathan approached the King’s tent. Two sentries, recognizing the face of the high leader’s son, let him enter through the center flap.

“Sir, the Lord has promised our victory in battle,” Jonathan said. “Samuel has prophesied. The Lord Our God will be with us until the very end, until every last Amalekite at Telaim has been defeated.”

“Then let us proceed,” the King replied. “For surely if the Lord Our God is with us, who can stand against us? Muster the men, and prepare for battle. We advance at dawn.”

——

In the tent of the King Agag, Amalek’s chief advisor surrendered the final words of his battle analysis.

“We have the greater numbers, my Lord,” he said. “To pull back now would be an irrevocable mistake. Their religious extremism will be their downfall. Ignorant, they are, of how to properly wage war — an inexperience we can use to our advantage.”

“Then have our troops stand their ground in Telaim, and post sentries at every corner of our encampment,” said the King. “Our enemies will likely be upon us soon, and in full strength. Amalek will prevail. We shall stand our ground until every last one of the attacking Israelites is routed and exterminated; the King has declared.”

——

At dawn, the men of Israel met the King Agag’s armies in the settlement of Telaim. Israel, with great battle cry, charged headlong into the fortified defenses of the Amalek camp. The ensuing contest raged until midday, when the sun stood directly center-sky.

The carnage was absolute; no Israelite or Amalekite soldier survived the day. No written record will tell the tale, as none remained alive to chronicle the bloodbath.

Let minute, historical detail remain unknown, but surrender this one, ennobled truth: Both sides fulfilled their ultimate duty that day in Telaim.


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