Spring is almost here, a time of blossom, a time to start something new... So I thought I will give you a flavor of three snippets from each of my books in the series The David Chronicles. They bring with them a bit of the fragrance of this time. Taste them, feel them, let me know if they awaken something new in you:
These plans play themselves out in my mind in the most splendid, grandiose manner. Meanwhile here I am, barefoot. With staff in hand I scramble over a boulder here, a crag there. The rocks are slippery, the earth soggy, the puddles splashy, all of which feels so good, so vivid! Never before did I feel this way... I skate, slip and slide all the way down, heading for the darkest, most obscure area under the fog.
The rays of the sun are painting the opposite ridge, there at the top of the valley, with warm yellows, glittering golds. But they reach only halfway down, way short of the bluish mist that is still blanketing the bottom of the valley.
Here, under this cover, it is an eerie sight. One cloud of murk after another drift aimlessly in the air. In the thick haze I step among rocks and bodies, barely noting the difference between one immobile shape and another. I am finding my way by touch rather than by vision. All the while I am grateful, so grateful that the vultures are nowhere in sight. In the distance I spot an outline of a dog here, a dog there, sniffing the remains with their tails between their legs.
And for the first time in my life I pray for help. I look up the slope searching, hoping for something divine, something that will guide me, show me the path out of this dark passage. I cry out to God, bless me, sustain me, protect me... You are the only shield I have against my foes, the shadow by my right hand.
Excerpt from Rise to Power
One evening I awaken to the sound of birds, chirping. I get up from my bed and walk around on the roof of the palace, where a red-rumped swallow is trying out its skill in a courtship song. It is springtime. The hills around my city roll in and out of green. The trees beacon me from afar, bearing their blossoms.
Through the decorative lattice that marks the edge of my roof I see a woman, an achingly beautiful woman bathing on a close-by roof. She has just wrapped herself with something translucent, so her body is hidden from sight—all but a distant impression of her foot.
Excerpt from Peek at Bathsheba
Yes, this was my fault: taking a woman that belonged to another. Soon after came the blunder: bringing her husband, Uriah, back from the front, that he may sleep with her, which would have explained her pregnancy ever so conveniently.
And when that did not go as planned, then came another mistake, the worst of all: sending him back to the battlefield, with my sealed letter in hand, arranging for his death.
All the while, my boys were learning their own lessons—not from my psalms but from my deeds. One error begets another, each one bringing a new calamity over me, over my family, and over this entire land. Sin followed by execution, followed by revolt, escape, execution, revolt...
Had I known back then the results of the results of my mistake, the curse looming over my life ever since that time, would I still choose to do it?
Bathsheba tries to raise me to my feet. Her fragrance brings back to me the sunny, warm hues of spring. The fears, the doubts flee away when we are that close. I adore the way she calls my name, the way she sighs. With every sweet word I fall deeper into her eyes.
How can love be a mistake? In my passion for her—then as now—what choice do I have?
I want to tell her, “Let me close my eyes. Let me remember.”
Excerpt from The Edge of Revolt
★ Start the journey ★
Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
Volume I: Rise to Power
Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
Volume III: The Edge of Revolt