Adventure Christian Historical Fiction

That boy gives me no rest. But he will not wear me down. I will seek him, I will find him and I will kill him.

Dare I say he is worse than those uncircumcised men! Those uncircumcised men, who are like a plague that won’t die, like a nightmare that won’t end. They just keep coming back. Honestly, no sooner we send them galivanting back across the desert to Gath, no sooner they come right back for more. Either they’re gluttons for punishment, deluded or they need to fire their advisors.

They underestimate me, they make a mockery of my kingship. Clearly, they haven’t learnt their lesson. Clearly, they haven’t realised the sheer might of my influence, the skill of my army and the unmatched wisdom of my men. They don’t know it but I have allies everywhere; I have intel in the cities and in the desert. Men who know better than to side with heathens, men who keep watch for my success and the winning side. I have friends in high places- and I have a friend in the Most High Place if you get my drift. How my enemies believe they will ever truly triumph is beyond me; they don’t realise who they are messing with…

“What is it, boy?” I recognise the messenger trying to breach my security circle. He is a ruddy youth, but to his credit, a stealthy runner always keen to please me. Although his slenderness is no match for my right-hand man, who simply uses his shoulder to bat the boy back.

“Space for the king,” Abner barks.

“Abner,” I almost smile, as a yawn escapes. I gesture for another guard to shuffle backwards to block the sneaky sunray from my eyeline, “Give the boy a break. He’s only doing his duty...”

“As am I, your Kingship”.

I’m charmed but instruct him to stand down. The boy staggers in, falls at my reclining feet and announces that he knows the whereabouts of my enemy.

My security circle flinch instantly at the news.

But I scoff. Which one? I say aloud, slightly bemused.

It’s only been a few days since I sent the latest batch of Philistines packing.

We are camping in some unknown place in the middle of the desert, waiting for our next rumble. With little intel from my friend in the Most High Place - he’s been acting up lately, not his usual talkative self, not even to the priests – I am forced to rely on my eyes on the ground. So far, they have proved to be faithfully useful.

“Your greatest enemy of course. David, your Majesty”.

That boy.

I instantly sit upright, colliding with the human parasol, and command Abner to prepare my horse immediately. The announcement produces a low hum of excitement within my circle, and in no time at all, the fever ripples across the camp. As I am shrugging into armour, my circle struggles to control the tidal wave of willing soldiers who are descending upon us, antsy with adrenaline. I see thousands of eager eyes saying "Pick me, pick me". Every man wants a slice of the glory, a medal on their chest. But I know exactly who to choose, how many to pick. Only the elite are fit for this job. I don’t want bystanders, I want mercenaries.

So, after a brutal selection process, I am on my way once again with three thousand at hand. I am a King forsaking the comfort of his luxury abode until my mission is accomplished – until I, like a wolf hunting a goat, pursue that shepherd boy and slay him like the kid he is.


The messenger comes frightfully to my horse’s side, keeping in remarkable step with my beast’s magnificent stride.

“Tell me again, boy," I peer down at him, “You said he is En Gedi? You are sure of it?”.

"Yes, your Majesty,” He nods with certainty, though his trembling face says otherwise.

Abner grunts. He is always moody. He is an impeccable fighter but has the manner of a hormonal teenager at the best of times.

“What is it now, Abner? Why do you always sigh?”

Abner’s eyes lower. His tanned face, flecked with dust, is ashen with his misery and the effects of the dry air.

“We’ve been wandering in circles for days, Majesty,” he admits and steals an accusatory glare at the messenger, “I have seen that same tamarisk tree many a times…”

“Ha, you are confused! Drink a little water, perhaps your mind is playing tricks on you, man”.

The soldiers, who are within earshot all chuckle at my dig. But Abner, who is normally amused by my jabs, isn’t so playful today.

There is truth to Abner’s complaint. I am equally frustrated, though I do well to hide it from my men. We have indeed been riding for some time. The cheer of the three thousand behind us has dulled and jovial singing has been replaced with the occasional whine for shelter or food. The sun is ruthless on our heavily armoured bodies; I can feel sweat cooking on the surface of my skin.

My second in command’s horse suddenly pulls up in line with mine. I notice the messenger is almost crushed between us, but say nothing. Abner can act like a teenager if he wishes. I won’t get involved in his pettiness, he can fight his own grievances.


“Yes, Abner,” With my eyes to the heavens, I answer. Wearily now, because his presence is beginning to irritate me.

“Perhaps we are lost- ".

I refuse to look at him and raise my hand with authority instead to cut him off.

“We have the best guide in the land, Abner. You have little trust; little patience! If you want to serve your King better, take a ride up to the guide, won’t you? Perhaps you can, instead of ruining my peace by snivelling like a lap dog, make yourself useful and enquire about our arrival time?”.

He opens his mouth but decides smartly to restrain himself. Good man, I say and slap his back with encouragement.

Abner breaks away, rising and falling ahead to where the guide – a wandering old sorcerer - has started to wrestle with uneven ground in the distance.


The terrain around us morphs, some hours later. The familiar sights of the flat golden plains mature into a distinct landscape of rocky cliffs, pinpricked with holes for caves and dotted with thorn bushes and brambles. We approach, men and beast both kicking in protest at navigating the difficult ground.

I wonder for a moment, as I force my ride through the prickly shrubbery, if I’d have been more victorious pursuing the enemy solo. My chosen entourage are proving to be a hinderance rather than a blessing.

I wonder if my intel in the heavens is purposefully trying to derail my plans, as my own horse suddenly stumbles between a gap in the earth, throws me off in the process and almost crushes my head with its hooves.

The fall takes me by surprise. I am shaken of course, but not damaged. My armour softens the blow, taking the hit from the sharp rocks below. It could have been worse; I could have been thrown off a cliff.

But I cannot and will not die. Not before my mission is complete.

I am thankful, for the first and only time, when my useless entourage come immediately to my rescue, and burly arms reach down to bring me to my feet again.

“I am fine,” I tell Abner quickly, prohibiting him from assisting me by readjusting my suit myself. I decide I am unable to bear any more conversing with him for the day; his sullen countenance is offensive to me.

Upon my rejection, Abner subsequently takes out his pent-up energy on my horse, berating the beast for his stumble. I do nothing.

Instead, I turn towards the setting sun, and squint through the mass of muscle to catch a glimpse of the guide. But against the horizon, he is a matchstick so far away. He has not noticed he is now leading no one and no one offers to chase him down.

The grim expressions around me suggests that my men are tiring.

It is just as well.

It is late, and fortunately for my men’s grumbling stomachs and aching limbs, my own body signals an urgent need for a pit stop…

The caves around us apparently mark the perimeter of En Gedi. The guide eventually returns to us to confirm we are in the right place. I feel almost overwhelmed as I take in the awesome scene before me; an expanse of innumerable dark spaces, luring the weary sojourner into its mysterious clutches.

My men continue to move with intrigued caution, until we realise before long, that we are not alone. Wild goats emerge from within the depths, bleating in alarm at our own herd invading their territory. At the sight of the grazing animals, shoulders relax.

"What can these mere animals do to us?!," I hear my men sigh as they dismount, tease the goats with branches and poke around the holes. 

This holy place certainly seems like friendly ground.

But, even more importantly, if this is En Gedi and the messenger and guide are right, we are on the cusp of finally locating my enemy. And this time, I cannot encounter distractions of any kind. The last time I was within David's reach, those uncircumcised men decided to try their luck at invading my land whilst I was away.

This time, I will not let David slip through my hands again, not when I am so close.

So, I send a man to find me a suitable spot quickly. Not even my bodily functions will stop me from accomplishing my mission. I will relieve myself and then we will scout this land from top to bottom until we weed out the boy and his outlaws.

The scout returns to me, triumphantly.

“Good news Majesty! I have located the perfect place for your comfort”.

I allow him to lead the way, leaving my second to instruct the others. Abner is visibly tittering on the side-lines. His eyes dance back and forth in the lowering light. He is a guard dog that never rests, full of bite, full of suspicion.

My bladder groans against the pressure on my abdomen as I climb after the scout, lifting my overworked legs high to clear the rocks. We tread slowly, moving higher and higher, the air growing thin from the altitude. I quietly appreciate the scout’s respect for me as a King and muse over the irony of seeking out such a lofty place for such a lowly task.

Goats clatter up and down the crevices just out of sight. I am relieved – no pun intended- when my assistant helps me through a narrow pass and reveals a deep hole chiselled perfectly for a human to nest inside. Perhaps the Most High has decided to finally show his chosen a little grace after my ungracious fall earlier.

I reward the scout with dismissal after dumping my armour into his open arms. He moves a stone’s throw away to stand guard and cover my moment of vulnerability.

My teeth chatter as a chilly breeze whistle through the cave. I crawl deeper and then in safety, cower, squat and allow my tensed body to release. The rhythmic splashing of warm fluid feels comforting to my racing mind.

I close my eyes and allow myself time to just think and be alone.

Perhaps too much time because my thighs and feet begin to numb in the squat and I jerk awake, drool drying on my chin. I laugh to myself and hope the scout didn’t catch me snoring.

Back outside, my scout is shivering clutching at my bronze for dear life.

Majesty; he manages an address, although he is clearly frozen through. I pity him an ounce. For a life of service is a life of discomfort. Even I must be inconvenienced in order to serve my people and rid my land of pesky thieves and anarchists. Speaking of…

"Let us be going," I say with newfound energy from my power nap and privy stop. The scout rises and lifts my belt to my waist. But then he stops.

“What is it now?”

“Majesty,” he stutters pointing at my clothes, “Your robe – you’ve, you’ve been exposed!”

And he quickly looks away, horrified by this discovery.

I feel my face burn red.

With his eyes turned, I dare to inspect this exposure, cursing my terrible fortune. Can this plight get any worse?

The scout is right. My garment is missing a sizeable chunk of fabric. Severed with threads bared, the jagged edge whips wildly in the wind. Dangerously close to my manhood.

We travel back down the rocks towards the men in an awkward silence, broken only by incessant goat bleating and the scout occasionally assuring me he will source a new garment before we set off again.

I am utterly humiliated, tugging at my defiled tunic.

But what’s more, I am also frustrated and startled:

1. Frustrated, because I failed to detect my own exposure. I did not feel the wind against my unarmoured body. In that small moment of vulnerability, I allowed myself to be disarmed - my legs are still numb from the potty squat.

2. Startled, because these supposedly friendly goat-filled crevices are not at all what they seem. I am perhaps a fool to underestimate this landscape and should know better as a recipient of assumption after battling those arrogant heathens.

No one dares to look, let alone make mention of my robe mishap back on the ground. Someone finds me a new piece, but I am too distracted by my troubled thoughts to dress, to eat or devise a strategic plan. Even the burning desire to hunt for my enemy, in this prickly place, plays second harp to my increasing unease.

It bothers me greatly that I cannot figure out quite what or how my tunic was shredded.

Did I catch it on a rock? Unlikely.

Did a hungry goat take a bite whilst I was snoozing? Inconceivable.

Did I with sheer might pull it back, in my urgency, so hard that it tore clean in two? Impossible!

As I am wallowing in my grief, the ruddy but stealthy messenger sprints into view. This time, he dives out of reach of my dispersed circle, who are now all too busy looking upwards into the cliffs to notice new movement on the ground.

I am about to entertain the messenger. I have learnt that he has been a constant source of encouragement, surely an unexpected ally in this traumatic journey.

But despite his slenderness and quickness, another message - a shrill cry- undercuts him and slices through the air.

“My Lord, the King! I am here!,” shouts the voice in the wilderness.

I sit upright just as the messenger falls at my feet, panting from his run.

“Who is that?” I demand of the messenger, not waiting a moment for him to catch his breath. The voice is distinctive. Its not unknown, but I cannot place it. “Who dares to address me so boldly? Who dares to encroach upon me and sneak into my camp?”.

I notice my men are drawing weapons instinctively in response to the undetected arrival.

The messenger's face turns upwards towards me. And although he is heaving, he is certain.

“Why, your greatest enemy of course. It is David, your Majesty.”

Now, I feel my entire body numb.

Yes, this trespass has confirmed it. David, son of Jesse, shepherd boy turned vigilante is my greatest enemy. The greatest of all time. The true G.O.A.T.

The very one I seek has come seeking me. And he has found me. And surely he will kill me.

And of all the things I have come to learn during this saga, no intel, friend in high place or even I, in all my might and glory, couId have ever foreseen, estimated or expected this. The underdog surprises the Goliath once again.

I have to hand it to the boy. Either he is a glutton for praise, highly strung or I need to hire his advisors.


Inspired by 1 Samuel 24:1-8

August 04, 2023 21:36

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19:30 Aug 10, 2023

I really enjoyed this. You've got some skills. 💪


Kelita Sim
08:55 Aug 17, 2023

Thanks Cecilia! That's so kind to say that, love that. Yes I personally really enjoyed retelling and rewriting this biblical account. Gave me a chuckle that's for sure


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