The Man in the Cistern

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 Set about ten years after the conclusion of the full-length novel In a Milk and Honeyed Land, this short story follows Damariel and Nepheret, seers and priests of the town of Kephrath, as they tackle a new challenge to the four towns. A group of migrants has set up an encampment just down the trackway towards Shalem. What are their intentions? Do they come in peace or war?

“They are more of a threat to themselves just now. But two things might happen. One is that men might join, and stay, who have some weapons and some real aggression. Then they might start to intrude on surrounding towns including this Kephrath. Or, and maybe more likely, they could bring a plague of sickness into the area. These are not men who know how to live outside, not for the most part. A few have been slaves, but most of them are workers who have always been told what to do. They are used to living in houses. The main thing that protects Kephrath is that they do not know how to act in concert as a group. They are just like a rough heap of gravel. But perhaps someone could turn them into a rock and start to pound others around them.”
 

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About the author

 Richard Abbott lives in London, England and works professionally in IT quality assurance.

His first book, In a Milk and Honeyed Land, explores events in the Egyptian province of Canaan at the end of the Bronze Age, around 1200BC. It follows the life, loves, and struggles of a priest in the small hill town of Kephrath.

A follow-up novel entitled Scenes from a Life begins in Egypt. It follows the journey of a scribe as he travels to discover his origins. down the Nile from Luxor and finally out into Canaan.

A third book, The Flame Before Us, is set in the middle of calamity. New settlers are arriving from the north, sacking cities and disrupting the established ways of life as they come. This story follows several different groups each trying to adjust to the new situation.

Author readings from both In a Milk and Honeyed Land and Scenes from a Life are available online as YouTube videos.

The short story The Man in the Cistern is set in the same location but around ten years later.

The short story The Lady of the Lions is set in the same location but around one hundred and fifty years earlier.

Triumphal Accounts in Hebrew and Egyptian is the ebook version of his PhD thesis which, for those who want the technical details, supplies academic underpinning for some of the ideas and plot themes followed up in fiction.

See the website http://www.kephrath.com for more details and background information.

When not writing words or computer code, he enjoys spending time with family, walking, and wildlife, ideally combining all three pursuits in the English Lake District.

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