Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Why should I loosen my hold on power?

In recent years I have been granted rest from all my enemies around the land, but peace has brought no calm to my heart, because God knows how many plots are being hatched, at this moment, by enemies from within. 

The time when I was considered a menace to the throne is long gone, alerting me to one idea that holds true to this day: the crown is always in danger of being snatched away. So in my present position I should not tolerate any hint of revolt. 

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? 

Never before have I considered how the old man must have felt, left behind in fragile health, in a crumbling house, with not one of us children staying there to keep him company—no one but loneliness. 

Her face still rosy with a sense of embarrassment, Abishag wipes the little smile from her lips and curtseys before me. She is obedient, perhaps even fearful of me. Plumping herself on my blankets, she goes back to holding the inkwell for me. 

I dip the tip of my feather in it, glancing at the veins marbling my thinning, nearly transparent skin. Is this my hand? Why is it trembling so? It seems to be my father’s, and so does my voice, when I utter the words as I scribble them, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away, through my groaning all day long. For day and night, your hand was heavy on me. My strength was sapped, as in the heat of summer.

My father is gone. Finding myself now in his place is a humbling surprise. I know I deserve it.

So I ask myself, how can I blame my son? His mother keeps telling me that he is restless, which must be my fault, of course, for not giving him a role or any kind of training in governing the land. It is too early for that. I mean, why should I loosen my hold on power? I am still the king, am I not? So I keep telling her that I am training him in patience. Adoniah is still young. His life is ahead of him. He can wait a little while longer.

The Edge of Revolt

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"It's a tragedy of classical proportions full of pride, hubris and the inevitability of the fall. 
Bob Sterry, in my mind one of the best narrators working today, brings the story to life with all the warmth, nobility and eloquence it deserves. A story you won't want to miss."
Aurora Dawn, Audible reviewer

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