Sunday, June 26, 2016

Start the summer with a bang: The David Chronicles

Start the summer with a bang! Here are three excerpts, specifically chosen for their impact, from each one of the books in my series, The David Chronicles.

“David,” says Michal, and her voice is soft, barely audible to others around us, so I know that this time, it comes straight from the heart. “Don’t leave me.”
With that, she twirls her skirt this way and that to try to sweep the shattered glass under the table. When this fails, she looks left and right to see if anyone is watching, and then raises the corner of the tablecloth, so both of us can take a peek down there to survey the damage. 
It is there, hidden under that canopy, that we are faced with each other.
“Leave the cup alone,” I tell her. “The wedding ceremony is over.”
She shakes her head, refusing to understand.
I raise her hand, and hold it to my lips. “We both know it’s time,” I say. “I must go.”
“No, no, no.” A tear wells in the corner of her eye. “I know nothing of the sort.”
“Don’t play games with me.” I kiss her. “The secret’s out.”
She plugs her ears. “No, no, no. I don’t want to hear it.”
“I wish I could avoid listening,” I whisper. “But I can’t. We both know: my life here is in danger.”
She counters, “And what about me? I have no life without you.” 
To which I say, dutifully, “I love you.”
And she says, “No, you don’t,” to which she adds, softly, “stay with me.”

With an unexpected sob she pulls her hand out of mine, and I am left kneeling there, holding air. Which is when I hear a new kind of sound that can only be described as choked silence, and I bang my head under the table on my way to stand up.

David in Rise to Power

“Don’t you raise your hand upon him.”
“Ha! You can’t ask that of me.”
“I’m not asking, Joav.” I peer into his steel-grey eyes. “I’m ordering you.”
“What a laugh!” he says, with a last-ditch effort to provoke me. “You think you’re the king.”
I grit my teeth and, ever so calmly, I counter, “I do, and I am.”
Exasperated, he bangs the palm of his hand at my desk. “Don’t you see what you’ve done?”
So I try to explain, “I’ve done what’s necessary for my plan, for unity in this land.”
Joav shakes his head, utterly in disgust. 
“Look, Abner came to you. It was such a rare opportunity! Why, why did you let him go?” he asks, not wanting to hear me. “Now he’s gone! You know him. He came here to deceive you, to observe your movements and find out everything you’re doing.”
“I’m prepared to take that risk.”
Joav is grinding his teeth with an ear-piercing noise, which rolls over his words, so none can be discerned. So I press on. 
“His actions,” I say, “will speak for him.”
“By then,” he grumbles, at last, “it may be too late.”
“Late for what?”
“For me to catch up to him.”
With that he turns away, and as abruptly as he has come Joav leaves the office, his knives clinking against each other in a secret compartment, somewhere under his belt.
He slams the door on his way out. I hear the thump of his footsteps shaking the stairs, one at a time, all the way down to the ground floor. I should send someone to lay a hand on him and bring him to a stop—but I know few will take that risk.

At my age I should expect nothing but respect. But when my own son walks away from me, my resolve immediately falters. To spite me, he smiles flirtatiously at Abishag, my lovely new concubine, till she tightens her robe around her waist and turns her head away, hiding her blush from him, and perhaps from me, too. Then with a youthful vigor, Adoniah bangs the heavy iron door deliberately behind him, which makes Goliath’s sword clang against the wall, right here over my head. 
The rattle shocks me into trying to overcome the fright, the sudden quaking of my bones. 
I adore my son, which lures me into seeing myself—my own image, only more invincible—in him. So what if he is rebellious? I must have been the same way at his age. Back then, did I not leave my father, exchanging the safety of his home for something unknown, for adventure? Did I not defy his charge for me to remain there, in Hebron, and support him in his time of need?

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