Author: Steven Shrewsbury
Featured Book Release
A Tale of Goliath
March 3 to March 9, 2014
Character post from Shield bearer of Goliath in PHILISTINE
Yes, I’m Abimelech, shield bearer of Goliath. Don’t call me Abi, only my master does.
While it’s true I’ve known him my entire life, being a youth assigned to the household of his mother at Gath, I’m not certain it’s worth anything to tell more about him. Certainly, there are tales a plenty in bars, ballads, drunken songs and outright lies to keep one company without further embellishment from me.
We did grow up together and I am a larger man than most. My parents were bigger people, probably why they assigned me to watch him as a youth, but as he outgrew me in all ways, we still maintained or friendship. We knew he’d be a special man, given that his father came from beyond the stars. Yes, it is true that I saw that persona, six wings and all, but I’d rather not discuss it.
I took to military life and training probably better than Goliath did. Being his shield bearer doesn’t mean I am his slave, although I do call him master at times. He is my commander, my Lord and controller, but I don’t wash his feet or get him women. His desires, orders and commands of me over ride anything the military leaders issue. They understand this duty and don’t try to get in the way. I’m a loyal soldier to my folk and thus, it works well for all.
One reason I carry his shield is, well, I can. A normal man, even a soldier, couldn’t. I’m a head taller than the rest and my body much brawnier than a typical Philistine. I wasn’t bred for this purpose but it fell unto me. Yes, being with the giant legend has it’s perks and I don’t deny the fear we invoke is an incredible addition to life.
My role in the climax of the recent civil war isn’t important. Yes, I slew those my master sent me to destroy. I killed, dressed as a priest, and I removed the cowards that dared spite my master’s shadow. They will never again and others who think of drawing a blade against us will hesitate in the future. Yes, the monsters and demons we fought in this adventure are wild…the three breasted priestess of Moloch got want she deserved, peeled by her guardian demon as he ascended. It was a pleasure slaying those 100 Egyptian archers, too. What of it?
This life is good, exciting, full of action, women and wine. What does the future hold? More of the same, for there is no tomorrow. I trained hard as a soldier, a swordsman and with my mine in schooling to be able to serve my folk and my master. I’ve traveled beyond the Pillars of Hercules and seen wonders over the borders of the Earth few men ever could. If one thinks it is a bad thing to kill at the bidding of my master or the military, you are weak and deserve the slavery you long for.
What if my master dies? That doesn’t occur to me much. I shall seek revenge on his killers and burn his body, not leave it for the flies…but, frankly, if something kills my master, I have no doubt it would kill me as well. Yes, I plan to die with my master as living without him might be unthinkable and empty.
I don’t fear death nor do I fear the gods of others. I’ve seen gods manifest and know they are there. Some say they are but a pack of demons playing games and there is but one true God. I oft wonder if that is so and if it is a huge game for us peons. None of that matters to me. I know my place on the board and that is more than some have. Many spend their lives crying over not knowing what to do with their lives. That is the voice of a weak man, that is the voice of a pathetic whelp…that is the voice of a slave.
Yes, the adventures are not over with my master and I. We do not fear the armies of the race of slaves that have settled in our new homeland. Rumor is, we are going to head to the valley tomorrow and then we shall crush these Hebrews once and for all.
About the Author: STEVEN L. SHREWSBURY lives, works, and writes in rural Illinois. Over 360 of his short stories have appeared in print or electronic media along with over 100 poems. 9 of his novels have been released, with more on the way. His books run from sword & sorcery (PHILISTINE, OVERKILL, THRALL, BEDLAM UNLEASHED) to historical fantasy (GODFORSAKEN) extreme horror (HAWG, TORMENTOR, STRONGER THAN DEATH) to horror-westerns (HELL BILLY, BAD MAGICK, and the forthcoming LAST MAN SCREAMING).
He loves books, British TV, guns, movies, politics, sports and hanging out with his sons. He’s frequently outdoors, looking for brightness wherever it may hide.
Goliath. A name grander than even the man himself. You’ve heard of his infamous end at the hands of a shepherd as written in a famous book, but what of the life of the man himself? What book tells his tale?
A warrior among warriors, a son of a god, a living legend. Goliath, the warrior champion of the Philistines. On the battlefield, he runs like a horse, wields killing instruments no normal man may heft, and revels in the fear his presence evokes. Off the field, his will is immutable, his trust invaluable, and his appetites unbearable. Goliath. This man knows no challenge.
But such a reputation will not discourage all men. Scheming rulers and generals, prophetic priests and powerful cults, dauntless warriors looking to make their own legend. Monsters. Gods. For one seemingly unkillable, at the very least, these things can ruin an otherwise pleasant day.
Along with his shield bearer, Abimelech, and soldiers more in awe than they are useful, Goliath will set out on missions for kings, face foul magic users, and walk in the shadows of mysterious halls. History tells us Goliath died at the hands of an Israelite.
Goliath may have something to say about that.
Philistine is the first Tale of Goliath, set in the same world as Steven Shrewsbury’s novels such as Overkill and Thrall, and his Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul short stories.
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