Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)
TITLE: A King's Flower
By Amy Verlennich
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The thought of her secret being revealed, and her husband finding out, made her weak. She sat to keep from falling, as recent memories flooded her head. She could still smell the flowers…
As she took in the unfamiliar surroundings, it was obvious no expense had been spared to make her at ease and ready for the premeditated moment. Candles glowed and petals were meticulously laid on the bed. The smell of the various flowers was intoxicating. Desire had beckoned to her, and it saturated every part of the room. She could almost feel the blood coursing through her body as her heart beat wildly in anticipation of the awaited moment.
Time stopped as the door opened and he walked into the candlelit room. His silhouette was impressive, and the sheen from threads and fabrics in his robe bragged of highest authority.
He walked toward her with purpose. She tried to control the trembling inside that grew with each step he took. Closer… closer… until inches separated their bodies. She bowed to her king and then felt his hand bring her face to meet his. As their eyes met, his attraction was exposed as he caught his breath.
“You’re even more beautiful as you stand here before me. I’m certain my eyes will never again look on such beauty.”
He leaned forward and she felt his breath on her face as he paused for a brief moment, his eyes looking away. Was he having second thoughts? His eyes quickly met hers again and, as his lips found hers, their imprisoned passion was at last released.
She sent word of her pregnancy, unsure of what would happen. She recalled her husband’s kind face. He had been gone for so long. How would he respond to her betrayal? Death seemed easier than the reality of the situation, and she silently wished for it to come.
<i>So many lives forever changed by one night…</i>
Her mind drifted to the eyes of the man that preoccupied her dreams. His eyes had burned with a passion she had never experienced before that night. She knew her husband loved her… he loved her as much as he knew how, but his love was shown only by the provision of food, shelter and clothing. Passion had never once entered their arranged marriage.
She had overheard women at the well discuss love-making while giggling with excitement, and each time she left; her pail full of water and her heart empty. She tried to be grateful for such a devoted husband, knowing the kind of love those women talked of would never be hers to experience.
But then, as if an answer to her cries, she was summoned…
As she sat on the familiar bed, the room blurred through her tear-filled eyes. Her empty arms no longer held their child conceived in shameless longing. After seven days of sickness, he died as punishment for their sin. She found herself once again, calling death to come.
<i>One night brought so much regret, shame, and sorrow…</i>
Her husband had been killed months ago in the war. Never learning of her unfaithfulness, he died loving her. She would forever carry the guilt of never having his forgiveness. Her life had become a series of consequences, and she pleaded to be washed clean of the sin. As tears yet again filled her eyes, she threw her face into the pillow.
Entering the room, he came to bring comfort in the arms of his love and the passion of his kiss. As they wept tears together, he tenderly kissed her neck, and whispered, “I will never tire of your beauty and smell. They are more pleasant to me than any flower. I love you, Bathsheba…”
<i>But at such a high price and with so many scars...</i>
As she responded to her husband’s consoling touches, she wondered if the past would ever forgive them and let them move on. She closed her eyes and gave herself to her king, as her concerns disappeared in his passionate embrace…
<i>(Taken from 2 Samuel 11:1 – 12:24.)</i>
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