Friday, September 27, 2013


Friday Fiction with Sara is hosted by 
Karlene @ Karlene A Jacobsen    
Links for more inspirational fiction await you there.  

This following fictional story, 
based on the Biblical story The Tower of Babel,
 was written for a FaithWriters challenge
 with the topic "Measure."  


I hear their hushed babbles; they watch me. They recognize the clothing I wear; clothing that proclaims my royal position. I am the one honored by Nimrod himself, selected from the workers for this task. I am Akkade of Shinar.

An acrid odor clings to the plain; my eyes burn. Bricks outnumbering the stars in the sky are baked in the fires that continually flame. Workers form the bricks in order to build our city and the great tower that will reach to the heavens, up to God himself. Nimrod proclaims that no power on earth can stop us. The task assigned to me, Akkade of Shinar, is to measure the tower progress. I will give a report each araḫ1 to Nimrod.

Araḫ Samna2
The work begins. The tower foundation has been laid. I have measured and certified the perimeter at 73 nindanu3 square. Bricks are continuously being produced.
--Akkade of Shinar

Most workers now ignore me, but not he. I see him; he still stares. Jealousy and hatred flare from his eyes, eyes that mirror the fires he continually feeds. I should forget him; he is just a worker, a common fire-stoker.

Araḫ Kislimu2
Rain has slowed the progress. The tower height is two nindanu3.
--Akkade of Shinar

Bricks rained down, and one struck my shoulder as I prepared to measure the tower today. I hurriedly climbed the steps and saw him scurry away. It was the common fire-stoker, as I’ve come to think of him. He is becoming a threat. I must speak to Nimrod concerning him.

Araḫ Ṭebētum2
The rains have ceased and progress has resumed. The tower height has reached two aslu4. Brick production is not keeping up. We must find a way to turn out bricks faster.
--Akkade of Shinar

The tower is reaching to heaven, up to God. Nothing can stop us. We will soon walk into the presence of the Most High. Generations from now, when people see the tower, they will remember what we accomplished.

Araḫ Šabaṭu2
The tower is approaching four aslu4. Good communication among the workers is aiding the progress. I propose we inscribe your worthy name, Nimrod, on the capstone of this great tower.
--Akkade of Shinar

Nothing further hinders our progress. We have birthed this tower and nourished it. Some mornings as I see clouds surround the top, I almost believe it is the breath exhaled from the tower. I must ask permission of Nimrod to inscribe my name on a stone at the top. I, too, will be praised by generations who see this great marvel. They will see the tower and remember Akkade of Shinar.

Nimrod has given permission to do whatever pleases me concerning the common fire-stoker. Today, I will confront him. He will bow to me or he will be reassigned. The air holds an excitement; all my dreams are coming to pass. I’m pleased with the great height reached by our torre5. ¿Qué pasó? ¡No entiendo! El trabajo se ha parado. ¡Contésteme ahora! ¡Soy Akkade de Shinar!6
~~ Fictional story based on The Tower of Babel from
Genesis 11:1-9 ~~


1 Araḫ - month
2 Samna, Kislimu, Ṭebētum, and Šabaṭu – Babylonian month names
3 one nindanu, an ancient Mesopotamian unit of measure = 6 meters
4 one aslu, an ancient Mesopotamian unit of measure = 60 meters
5 tower
6 What happened? I don't understand! Work has stopped. Answer me, now! I am Akkade of Shinar!

written by Beth LaBuff - (c) January 2013


Hoomi said...

Love it!

Then again, I don't think I'ver read one of yours yet that I didn't love. Great to see you back on the blog, Beff!

Sara Harricharan said...

What a fun snippet! This is wonderful and especially since we're doing History this week and it mentions Ziggurats, I know what they are. LOL. Wonderful! I always enjoy reading your poetic stories.

Thanks for joining in Beffy. :)