Youth and Age. And Lineage.
It was my warmth, youth and beauty that led me to care for the king.
So elderly, so frail and fragile – unlike anyone I had ever seen before. He was a great king, but the past was chronicled in scrolls and his present days were long and weary for him and the nights were long and cold.
His servants covered him with blankets, and I slept beside him, warming his cold flesh. My hot, soft youthfulness engulfed him. I gathered his chilled bones in my arms. Comforting the king – bringing him through another night to be king for us another day.
In the darkness, with the moonlight, I would wake and look at him. I could see the shape of his skull under loose translucent skin, with the history of Judah written in the lines and creases on his face. I reached out my hand to smooth his ancient head, to sooth his aged being, to trace the past with my fingers. His hands were dry, the nails yellowing. Each hand seemed to still hold an invisible spear, shaped by a lifetime of conflict and victory. When I pressed myself into his body, I felt coolness, before my skin responded, flooding him with life.
When he was my age, he was out fighting giants, they say! Today a giant would crush him. He is a weak man.
But how can that be? He is the King!
Soon there came the day when one of his sons decided that he would be the king instead. He just … announced it! As if he could be his own kingmaker!
The mother of the true heir came to see the king. I went about my business as she told him what his son was doing. I kept my eyes lowered in the presence of that lady, the one whom my king had loved so much. She was still beautiful and passionate now, pleading the cause of her son.
She was scared, I could tell, about what would happen when he died – with her son the rightful heir, they would be in great danger if another was on the throne.
My king gave the kingdom to her son. That night I held him close, knowing that his last lines were being formed.
The presence of youth cannot stop death, but death cannot stop the line of kings.
The new king kept me safe, and valued me as he valued his kingdom.