Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Writing a Letter (handwritten correspondence) (10/21/10)
TITLE: DESCENT INTO DARKNESS
By Karen Elengikal
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The bright morning sunlight pierced through the royal bed chamber’s columned terrace flooding light and warmth into the room. Usually David enjoyed basking in the morning sunshine to reflect the day’s activities. But today the disheveled, brooding king’s demeanor reflected a trapped madman, rather than a man of noble stature.
Lifting himself from the magnificently crafted timber chair, he roughly removes the embroidered turquoise robe, flinging it across the marbled floor and begins pacing the chamber’s courtyard.
David turns his head to investigate the sound of hurried footsteps.
“Sire, once again your servant has remained in the palace overnight without returning to his home.”
Sensing the tense atmosphere, the messenger bows deeply before making a hasty retreat.
Agitation furrowed the king’s brow as he stopped abruptly at the desk cluttered with an assortment of keys, maps and scrolls. Taking an ornate golden chalice, David presses it against his lips in deliberation as a sudden change of emotion engulfs his disturbed soul. Groaning loudly, he violently throws the cup across the floor, the red wine spilling and spreading out like a pool of blood.
Torn between lies and deception and the honor of a close companion, David pounds his fists on the table in anger. Darkness shrouds his heart and emotions. Lifting his head, David’s gaze fastens on the sword of Goliath, mounted on a stand and held a place of honor on this desk - his greatest war trophy. David’s memory briefly re-visits that victory over the giant in his first military battle.
WAR! A sudden inspiration captures David’s mind. The good and evil both die in battle! … finally, a solution! David visibly relaxes as Uriah’s fate is decided.
“Summon the scribe!” David shouted as he sweeps the maps and scrolls from the desk with his arm.
“Put the parchment and quill there and get out!” David ordered the scribe, pointing to the space cleared on the table.
Spreading out the parchment and taking the quill, David dips the sharpened end into the ink and addresses the letter to Joab, Commander of the Armies of Israel.
Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die. Send me immediate word of the battle.
While the ink dried on the parchment, David heated the red sealing wax.
Sighing deeply, the strain of the last week’s strategizing for a suitable escape from his dilemma, drains from David’s face.
Taking the scroll and rolling it tightly, David pours the wax across the parchment’s edge then firmly presses the centre with his royal signet ring.
“Bring Uriah into my presence!” David commands the soliders guarding the entrance.
David stands rigidly, musing over his choice of words to Uriah.
Arriving a few minutes later, Uriah enters the king’s chamber accompanied by the Captain of the Guard. Smiling at the opportunity to see his friend once more before returning to the battle field at Rabbah, Uriah honors his sovereign with a salute.
Stepping towards Uriah, David greets him with a warm embrace, placing the sealed letter into Uriah’s hand.
“Give this letter to Joab. Go in peace, my friend.” David whispers deceptively into Uriah’s ear.
“Go, in peace.” David repeats as Uriah turns and strides from the room without a backwards glance.
An adaptation of 2 Samuel 11:1-14
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