The tip of my pen is dull, and the ink has dried, but that cannot stop me from writing. Nothing will. I am grasping for power once again, but in a different way than I did back then. This time I can see, with great clarity, that power does not come from the crown.
At long last I have no urge anymore to keep my grasp on it. Now I know, power comes from within, from something else entirely: my skill with words. I wish I would have recognized it a long time ago, on my first visit to the royal court. Perhaps then I would have become a poet. Not a King.
It is still a long time from daybreak, and the girl’s breast heaves as she mumbles something, some unclear word. She is so close at hand and yet, so far out of my reach.
When I was first crowned, I was such a vigorous young man that no illness could keep me away from my dear wives and concubines. If I would catch a cold, all of them would be sneezing. I know, somehow, that unlike all the women I have had, Abishag is the one I will never know.
I hold my breath until she lulls herself back to sleep. Faint shadows start dancing on the wall. I read the shapes, trying to invent someone, a listener. You.
I whisper, Come in... Call me insane, who cares? Who the hell cares if you refuse to trust me, if you insist on clinging to your kind of reality, which is as dull as it is solid... Mine, I insist, is not a dream. But even if it is... Even so, it is true! How can you deny it? Here is my story. I am opening it up to you.
I can see why at first glance what you see here—these records which I jotted here, on these papyrus rolls—may seem scattered, even scary. I understand why you step back from my door, why look over your shoulder to find the guard...
Come in! Will you? Will you read these scribblings? Can you see my sword, which I have drawn here, look! Can you see it the way I do, lifting out of the ink and into the air, turning magically over, around and around, right in the center of the space? If you can, then—by the flash of it—I shall take you along, to leap with me into the surface of the steely thing. Into my reflection.
David, in Rise to Power
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Volume I: Rise to Power
Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
Volume III: The Edge of Revolt
The complete trilogy:
The David Chronicles (Boxed Set)
"The miracle of Uvi Poznansky's writing is her uncanny ability to return to old stories
and make them brilliantly fresh"-Grady Harp, Hall of Fame reviewer