Rahab’s father had treated her like the refuse burning in the pits all her life. She was used to being nothing and no one. But when he proudly announced he had found her a husband, Rahab realized how much worse life could be with Yassib, a man that hated her and would do anything to see her suffer.
She saw becoming a devotee of the temple as her only choice, and she chose it willingly at first. Once again, her hopelessness and worthlessness got the better of her. She learned that there was still further to fall as man after man used her up.
She hated them all and despised herself beyond what she could have imagined. Until one day, that is, when two men came to her, not for the usual reason, but for help. They needed her to survive.
With her fate hanging in the balance, her choice to betray either side could break her forever… or could this one decision make an impossible dream come true? “A Harlot’s Tale” is a fictional religious tale spun from the historical life of Rahab’s bravery from abuse to God’s use. If you like Francine River’s book, “A Lineage of Grace,” you’ll love this book! Get your copy today!
Here’s A Bit to Enjoy!
Because I love you so much ;), I chose to provide you with a part of a chapter for your reading pleasure. 🙂 Enjoy!
Through the open windows, she could already hear her father yelling. She grimaced at what was to come. This isn’t going to be pretty. The moon had crept higher into the sky, long past time for her to be home. The yelling quieted inside. Great! He’s seen me coming and is already planning what hateful words to use first.
Leaning against the wall of the mud brick house, Rahab took a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves. She didn’t understand her reaction since she was usually so callous and unshakable when it came to her father’s verbal abuse. She was usually so strong. She had to be for her siblings. If she didn’t, who would be? No one. Not her mother. Not anyone else. No one. She had to be strong.
He used to be a wonderful father when she was a small child, but over the years he had become more hostile and controlling due to one close call with the business. He’d come close to losing it several years ago–very close to losing everything he had. His heart. His pride. His life. He came so close to the worst loss he could imagine, and it changed him. It made him the way he was now. As he grew more tyrannical, she grew more stubborn and rebellious toward him.
“Children, stay out here until I tell you to come in.” Rahab desperately hoped they would listen. They usually did. She took a sleeping Bilba off her back and handed her to Hagdad. “Careful with her. Try not to wake her.”
As soon as she came through the door, Rahab knew something was amiss. She couldn’t place her finger on it, but something wasn’t right. Her mother was slumped in a light colored wooden chair at the large table, her face buried in her work-worn hands. Normally, her father’s tirades pushed her mother into uncontrollable crying. Then she would retreat to the corner by the window—her corner, which she sat in often, blocking out pain, the world, and consequently, her children.
Her father was pacing, his hands clutched behind his back, and his head bent forward like he was searching the floor. His normal behavior after a tirade was to storm out of the house in a fit of rage, screaming obscenities as he went. No, something was wrong—very wrong.
“Mother? Father?” Rahab took a shaky, deep breath to steady her nerves. Has someone died? No, that doesn’t explain the fit of fury. The fire in the hearth had been allowed to burn down to grey coals, and dinner wasn’t even started. Odd. Mother never lets the fire go out… even on the hottest of days, and dinner is always on time. She took another deep breath as her eyes darted back and forth between her parents, who now stared at her. Sorrow—or regret—was etched upon their faces, neither daring to look her in the eye. This wasn’t about her being so late. This was about something else. What had she done?
Rahab winced at the deep bruises on her mother’s face. The latest abuse, no doubt. “What’s wrong?” She feared the worst. As she stumbled over the simple phrase, her words caught in her throat, her voice sounding high-pitched and quivering to her ears.
Her mother slowly rose from her seat and dragged herself off to her corner, her retreat in every emotional crisis. She turned her face from Rahab and stared through the open window at the silhouettes of other people’s homes—happy homes.
Rahab slowly shifted her gaze to her father, hoping that he’d be more help. “Father?” her voice cracked.
“Well…” He paused to clear his throat. She’d never seen him act this way before. He was always so in control. Today, he seemed almost nervous. This worried Rahab even more. Was it truly nervousness she saw or was he trying too hard to act and cover something up? Something. But what? He shifted his gaze around, looking everywhere but at her.
“You’re getting married next Saturday,” her father said. As he said it, his eyes traveled to her face, gauging her reaction.
She felt the floor shift beneath her as her world came to a sudden stop. Married? What? She’d thought she had at least thirteen more months before marriage would be forced upon her. Women weren’t required to marry until sixteen.
Rahab took a step forward so she could grasp the back of the closest chair for stability. She looked back up at her father. His façade was starting to fall apart. He was smiling, only a hint of a smile, small, yet noticeable. It had all been a ploy! The nervous pacing, the look of concern and worry, all of it! She’d thought, for just a moment, that he was genuinely sorry, that he really felt for her, just this once. She was wrong. It was just a game to him—another of his twisted, demented games. Of course. Controlling monster.
An evil smile spread across his face. He crossed his arms in front of him and puffed out his chest. He took a big step toward her as his eyes narrowed and his smile deepened. “You’re marrying Yassib.”
She knew well why he’d placed emphasis upon the name. Yassib was a self-serving pig, and everyone knew it. He’d had it in for Rahab since they’d first met in the marketplace three years ago. That was the day she’d smashed an over-ripe mango in his face for calling her a scrawny no-good. Only Astarte knew what he’d do to her once he had her legally under his control, when he had her in a place where he could do anything he wanted.
“No!” She spat vehemently, regaining her composure. “No, I won’t do it!” She looked defiantly at her father, her dark eyes narrowed and her head held high. She removed her hands from the back of the chair, stood to her full height of five feet six inches, and pursed her lips together, daring him to make her. She knew he would expect rebellion
from her. She’d always stood up to him. She was the only one who dared try. Maybe this was how he planned to finally put her in her place and show her who was boss.
A full smile spread across his lips, a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. It was the smile he used when he knew he had you exactly where he wanted you—under his control. Monster.
“Well now,” he said, his voice was sickeningly sweet. “I don’t see as you have any choice.”
He was right. She didn’t have a choice. Not yet. Surely there was a way out. She just had to find it. She had to. She’d find a way out if it killed her.
Every woman was required to freely offer her body to be used once for one man’s pleasure before she was allowed to marry.
The temple! Yes! That might be it! Someone would have to choose her over the hundreds of other women sitting in the courtyard before she’d be eligible to marry Yassib. Some women sat in the courtyard every day for years before they were chosen. Maybe she would get lucky. She wasn’t the most beautiful girl in Jericho. She was too skinny.