Carrying Death in His Hands Part II

To read Part I of this short story, click here.

Death in His Hands Part II.

The walls of their home danced with shadows as Uriah and Bathsheba sat by candle light and rehearsed the story of their individual lives until they moved in step once again.  Uriah, said very little about the fighting that had taken him away from, Bathsheba, many months ago.  Occasionally she would ask a question that moved closer to the memories of combat, to which, Uriah, would respond by questioning the King’s decision to call him home, away from his men, away from his duties.

David & Uriah by Rembrandt

Bathsheba, could also not bring herself to mention the unseen battle she was engaged in just a few months ago; a battle that led to her surrender, led away like a captive to the sinful desires of a King whose eyes fell on Bathsheba one day as he walked the balcony of his palace instead of the fields of war.  She recalls every detail of that night with a strange mix of fondness and regret. She remembers all of the moments along the way to her King’s bed when she could have stopped, whatever the cost, she could have stopped….why didn’t she stop?

As they continued to talk, Bathsheba felt the tension draining from her body. With each kiss, each touch, she was reintroduced to the man who years ago took her hand and brought her to his house.  The hour was late, and so she rose, took the hand of her husband, and led him to their bed. Uriah first walked willingly behind her, then stopped suddenly, as though he recognized the moment.  “Bathsheba….I….can’t” he said quietly. “Tonight, as I sit by your side, my men, my brothers, are sleeping under the stars, burying the dead and preparing for another battle.” “How….how can I live with you in this house as though I were unaware?” Bathsheba stared into her husband’s eyes with great longing….but even greater admiration.  Uriah, leaned forward and kissed her on her forehead, lingering for just a moment to breathe in the fragrance that was unique to his wife. He then turned, moved toward his bag, and spread out a bed on the ground.

“I’m pregnant, Uriah” Bathsheba whispered as she watched her husband prepare for bed. “I’m pregnant with King David’s child….I’m….I’m so sorry”.  She could not speak the words any louder, just as she could not foresee the series of events that an evening with the King would set in to motion, and the devastating consequences for everyone involved….

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Carrying Death in His Hands Part I

After a month away, I am back to writing. I decided to start my blog again with a retelling of a familiar (maybe too familiar) story in the bible.  You can read the story in 2 Samuel 11 by clicking here.  

Carrying Death in His Hands.

Uriah, stood in the doorway of his house….his bones ached from exhaustion, his mind tortured by images of battle, his senses taunted by the sights and smells, and familiarity of home.  He could see her by the open window, rays of afternoon sun flirting with her black hair that hung like curtains around her neck. Just the sight of her frame brought back memories of a life outside of war, and filled Uriah’s eyes with tears as the longing of his heart found expression on his face.

David & Uriah by Rembrandt

“Bathsheba” He whispered through parched lips.

Bathsheba’s hands froze in the dough she was kneading. She looked up but could not wrestle her body to face him. “Bathsheba?” Uriah spoke firmly this time, leaving no doubt she could hear him. She turned toward him, eyes pooling with tears; she wiped the remnants of dinner preparation on her gown as she bounded toward him. Uriah dropped the sack in his hand and ran to hold her. The force of his hug consumed her and sent them both stumbling across the room. He pulled back from their embrace to study her face again. Bathsheba’s eyes were a mixture of colors and textures; splashes of joy and hope; streaks of shame, shades of regret.

“What’s….what’s wrong Bathsheba?” Uriah asked, confused by the mixed greeting in her expression.

Bathsheba wrestled her face into submission, forcing the corners of her mouth to rise against their will until she presented him a smile. “it’s….it’s just been so long, and….I wasn’t expecting you….I have nothing ready, nothing prepared for….” Uriah placed his hands on each side of her face, and guided her lips toward his.  “I’m home….with you….everything is….perfect”.

Uriah embraced her tightly. Bathsheba knew that everything was far from perfect. The child growing inside of her, was now a constant reminder of the double life she had entered into. As she held her husband, she could see the walls of the King’s Palace behind him, invading the open window of their house, dividing the couple joined in embrace, and conquering a love she once believed was as strong as death.

She needed to tell him….he needed to know the truth….