David swung the rock from his sling. It cut across the sky. Clouds held a thick blanket over the world but with a crack, the clouds split open in an instant to make way for the missile. Blue sky poured down and the sun glittered down upon all. The dazzling sheen blinded all in witness as it ignited each and every object as if they were dormant stars come alive. All took on this glimmering appearance except for the rock itself which retained its dour colour. It continued to fly towards Goliath, a gigantic man who found he could focus on nothing among the thousand glitter suns but a small brown unassuming object that was growing larger by the second.
Goliath found peace in the intense spectacle for he knew at once he had no hope against it. For he was a man who had held more power than any other and when God was nowhere to be found they looked to him, and so he also held more responsibility than any other man. The heavy burden of his body could, at last, be put to rest. He had a certain satisfaction that he could at last rest but also in the conviction that his killer David’s burden was now just beginning. Smiling, he imagined the pleasure his soul would feel when it could wander free from the thunderous footsteps which had followed him all his days.
The rock impacted with Goliath’s skull and he was dead before his body went limp. The sheer weight of Goliath’s body had compensated for the lightness of his spirit, which when released shot towards the sky with such speed it caused a gust that left both the Israelites and Philistines breathless.
A moment of silence passed from sheer disbelief. The shepherd boy David had slain the seemingly invincible Goliath. Suddenly the Israelites broke into a cheer and charged at the remaining Philistines while David blinked several times as if waking from a strange dream. Men came forth to congratulate and honour him, he noticed they stopped short of actually patting him on the back. Perhaps they think I am yet another mirage, David thought and looked to the towering body of Goliath which still had not yet fallen. Perhaps Goliath is as well and we’re just grains of sand animated by a trick of the light, created by the thirst of another man’s mind.
The illusion was broken as an Israelite finally did grip his shoulder. The man wore a gown heavily embroidered with colours that the shepherd David had never seen only in dreams and the rare poppies that grew in the lowlands.
“Our wise man says he is so massive that his body will not fall for a hundred winters,” he spoke proudly. David looked briefly at the man who recoiled slightly, taking his hand off David’s shoulder.
“You are a champion, why don’t you speak or at least smile at victory?”
David grimaced at the word victory but still held his silence.
“Don’t you see who I am? How dare you-”
“I know who you are,” David lied and for the second time that day he asked God for guidance.
“You are Jonathan, son of King Saul. Your father is as contemptible as the towering giant above, they are both killers of the innocent.”
Jonathan looked to see if anyone had witnessed the public shaming of his father, he found no one had heard it, “I agree with you… privately of course.”
David replied, “Do you forget God is in witness to all events?”
“Yes, just as you forget that you’re now counted among the killers you condemn.”
David turned to walk away, ashamed.
Jonathan let him leave and sent a soldier to follow him. I’ll let him wander and clear his mind, he thought. It began to rain which Jonathan gave no notice of until he looks down to see his feet were speckled with a pink liquid. He smelt his hand, he reflexively retched his head away, the stench of spoiled blood stuck to the back of his throat. In disgust, he spat on the ground and looked up to see the Goliath’s morbid grin miles above, looking back down at him. A crimson fountain of was blood pouring out of the puncture that David’s stone had made in the center of his forehead.
David also looked up to see the source of the strange rosy shower raining down but was distracted by the screams of the remaining Philistines who struggled to flee as their legs sunk into the desert ground that was rapidly becoming a blood soaked swamp. The Israelites drowned them in their champion’s rancid blood which had mixed to create a putrid swamp. The mere dozens of the Philistines survivors climbed up the mammoth legs of Goliath where the Israelites, at last, gave up their pursuit. They clung to the branches of his leg hairs which had become slick with blood, several fell down, cutting through the blushing mist to the dirt where their enjoyment of broken backs was ended swiftly by Israelite spears.
David sat upon a rock and watched all this. He felt the rock under him, its smooth exterior had been a long project of the sand spitting winds that prickled his naked calves, the rock sapped heat from his legs. Even as he felt all this, he felt separate from the rock, and by extension the entire earth which formed the foundation upon which it sat. The soldier sent to follow him was just flesh, eyes and a mouth that bite its own lip – was this truly a man, or what he remembered a man was? He watched the stars cross the native sky until at last the sun rose again. He slept an hour or two under a dead tree, barely getting any rest as he was plagued with dreams of the carved toys he played with as a child. His childhood was spent with those toys, that he gave gibberish names and forced to love, betray and fight each other. In his dream they turned on him, growing as large as Goliath who was still falling above them, his carved toy of a bathhouse woman, which he had named childishly Bathsheba, picked him up (as he had done to her so many times before) and whispered to him, “Now you will dance for me, you will not see me nor my crossbar, string and all that I shall move you with – not until later which I will look forward to.” She turned him around so that he lay face down in her palm, “let me bestow some strength so that you may spin and squawk with vigour for the rest of your days, King David.” And David shouted and swore as he felt his back crunch as she twisted his spin like a whirling dervish. She put him down on the ground and he woke.
Jonathan sat not too far from him and walked over when he saw David had woken up, “My father, King Saul summons you, he wishes to congratulate you and bestow you with a prize greater than the sheep you wish to retu-“.
Angered by his presumption David hit Jonathan across the face, gripped him at the collar and spoke with the cold intimacy of a master to his dog, “I will not return to Judah with you, I will finish the Philistines here, they are cornered up there on their champion’s corpse. And you will help me.”
Jonathan”s pride was injured by the action, and as his face turned to a snarl David rose his hand to strike him again but Jonathan caught the hand and gripped it as brothers do in greeting. His snarl turned into an impassive expression with his brow furrowed and then again turned into a grin.
Over the next few days the pair made preparations for the Israelites to scale the corpse of Goliath.