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What should the cover look like?

To get the right picture for the book cover, I gave King Ahab a camera and taught him how to use it.

Fifty guards surrounded the king at the gate of his headquarters compound. Market day, with the plaza next to the compound full of shoppers, farmers, geese, and donkeys loaded with vegetables.

Elijah strode through the market. The crowd laughed at how his elbows and knees poked out from his too-short goatskin.

He got up to the oval of guards three-deep around the king. Elijah checked his path through the crowd back to the gate. He planted his feet next to the guards like an Olympic sprinter waiting for the baton hand-off. He shot up a prayer. Um, Lord, these guys look really fast. Could you please give me a head start?

The king barked a command. “Let me see.” Guards swung their shields—three left and three right.

Elijah looked in between the shields and stared at the king. Just as Elijah opened his mouth, King Ahab clicked the shutter.

Here’s what his camera saw.

Elijah’s Body

  1. Feet planted like a sprinter waiting for the baton.

  2. He leans toward the city gate, ready to dash.

  3. Hands braced on knees.

  4. Knee-length tunic in varying shades of gray. Not dyed. It carries the natural colors of the wool from the sheep. No pattern. No buttons, but tied at the throat.

  5. Over the tunic, his dad’s too-short goatskin. So the tunic pokes out at the edges with Elijah’s knees and elbows.

  6. Kaffiyeh on his head. Maybe with a pattern like the one pictured. Red is good, but if you choose to draw/paint this scene, use a color that fits your scheme. Do not put a flowing kaffiyeh on him. He’s about to race out of there and does not want it getting in the way or coming loose.

  7. If Elijah’s feet are in the picture, he should wear leather sandals, mostly lace.

Face:

  1. His forehead has a huge gash.

  2. His hand pushes against his aching jaw.

  3. The breeze ruffles his scraggly teenage beard.

  4. He squints against the early afternoon sun.

  5. He’s not handsome, but his face is distinct, eager, strong.

  6. Maybe a hand shades his eyes. But not if it obscures facial details.

After the shutter clicks, Elijah says, “As the Lord lives—the God of Israel whom I stand and serve—for these next years we will have neither dew nor rain unless I say so.” Then he dashes through the crowd and out the gate.

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