That Bible story about the dismembered corpse

by Drake McDonald
Drake McDonald Lawless Author feature

I want to tell you a story about a failing marriage, a family betrayal, a brutal gang rape, and a dismembered corpse.

Did I mention it’s a Bible story?

The Book of Judges has always had a special place in my heart ever since I first read it as a kid. Heroes like Samson, Gideon, and Ehud were among my favorites. (Ehud especially, since I’m a southpaw, too, and representation matters!)

I can also remember the first time I read Judges 19 and how it made my stomach turn. It’s one of those stories that just kind of makes you scratch your head and go, “Huh… I’m not sure what to do with that.” It’s a story about senseless sexual violence, and unlike most of the other stories in Judges, God doesn’t really figure into it. He’s not invoked in the text; there’s not really a moral to the story; there are no angels or prophets or voices calling in the night.

When I got this story as my assignment, my first reaction was to laugh really hard, but my second reaction was to say, “Challenge accepted.”

I realized early on that the only way I could make such a brutal, difficult story approachable was through focusing on the characters. Instead of a story about marriage, betrayal, rape, and dismemberment, I told the story of a concerned father, a reformed gang member, a violent addict, a grieving husband, and the woman who connects them all.

As a writer, I like to explore extreme contrasts, which is why I decided to employ a moving point of view. By changing the point of view throughout the story, I could contrast characters like Zeru (the father), Hutsa (the husband), Criat (the reformed Desperado), and Berekoi (the wayward Journeymen addict). I had never written a moving POV before, so writing this story really stretched my skills at crafting voices. (After all, it’s hard to believe you’re jumping from one character to another if they all sound the same!)

I was originally attracted to the Lawless project because it sought to reimagine old stories in a new setting; and the majority of my fiction up to this point has explored this arena— though never within a biblical context. After joining with the other authors in the collection to bring these stories to life for a new audience of science-fiction fans, I can truthfully say that I have been challenged and subsequently grown as a writer, a reader, and a follower of Jesus.


Lawless anthology book cover

Get your own copy of Lawless and see what all the buzz is about on AmazonLawless is available in paperback and e-book, and available for free to members of Kindle Unlimited.

Released January 18, 2024, Lawless quickly became a #1 bestselling book on Amazon. Join the community of readers ready for a new era of Christian fiction. Grab your copy today, read it, and leave an honest review.

Produced by The Company, Lawless features 14 short stories inspired by the biblical book of Judges, each written by an emerging Christian author.

Drake McDonald Poet Author
Drake McDonald

Drake McDonald is a storyteller. He makes videos, designs art installations, and sometimes he even writes short fiction and poetry. He is interested in the stories that connect us all.

Drake McDonald

Drake McDonald is a storyteller. He makes videos, designs art installations, and sometimes he even writes short fiction and poetry. He is interested in the stories that connect us all.

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