If you missed part 5, here’s the link: https://pmgilmer.com/2017/11/18/my-name-is-hadesh-part-5-by-p-m-gilmer/
From Part 5: Both relieved and happy, we followed Benaiah as he led us up the steps into the palace. I was tempted to turn around and stick out my tongue at the guards, but I had never walked up such steps, so thought it better to pay attention. Huppim practically skipped up these stone steps while the rest of us carefully put one foot in front of the other. But, if we thought our troubles were over, we would soon be disappointed.
My disappointment was not with the palace itself. I wanted to stop and gape at the walls, which were painted with scenes from stories I felt I should know if I could just stop and think for a minute. I even wanted to stare at the floor and ceiling (having never seen such), but we had to keep up with Benaiah who walked briskly down a hall, past servants and other soldiers. Once we reached a crowd of people standing outside two large doors, he stopped.
“I’m afraid this is as far as I can take you,” he said, waving a hand towards the crowd. “As you can see, there are many who want to see the king, so you just have to wait your turn.”
We stared at the people who stared back. “But, we could be here all day,” I said in dismay.
Benaiah shrugged. “True. And even then, I can’t say if the king will see you. He obviously can’t spend all his time listening to petty complaints.”
“Our complaint isn’t petty!” I protested, before I had a chance to think better of it, but Benaiah did not seem offended.
“Didn’t say it was, but I’m sure there are many which are. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to see the king myself.”
And with that, he made his way through the crowd which parted for him, somewhat grudgingly. I thought of trying to follow him, but the glares from those already waiting made me step back.
I looked at my companions feeling a bit hopeless. Had this just been a fool’s errand after all?
Jemima noticed my despair and smiled. “I tried to tell you the king wouldn’t see the likes of us. Are you ready to go home now? Your babe is dead, and we should be making arrangements for him; not dragging his poor body through Jerusalem. Besides, we’ve wasted enough of these kind gentlemen’s time.”
“No!” I spoke louder than I intended. Realizing everyone was watching and listening to us, I thought to be quieter and not draw more attention to ourselves, but then changed my mind. Perhaps it would be better to have some witnesses.
“No,” I said again, somewhat quieter but still firm. “You want to leave because you’re afraid the king will see the lie in you and realize the baby you’re holding is mine. We will not leave until we see the king, and I will not let you out of my sight until we see him.”
She snarled at me; then, she, too, became more conscious of our audience. She looked at them apologetically. “Sorry if we’re disturbing you all. As you can see, my friend here is highly distraught. She rolled over on her baby last night, smothering the poor thing, and now she’s trying to claim my baby as her own. We’re hoping the king will see the truth of it and set her poor mind at rest. We know she didn’t mean to hurt her child, but there it is. These things happen, and I’m certainly not going to give her my baby just to pacify her.”
Oh, how I wanted to snatch her by the hair and yank it out by the roots. I took a step towards her, and she took one back. The crowd murmured a bit, but no one wanted to get involved.
Huppim patted my arm. “Now, now,” he said. “We will wait with you to see the king if it does take all day. He will set things right. You’ll see.”
I let him lead me away from Jemima, while Muppim kept watch over her and the baby. I took a deep breath, knowing it would not help my cause to be fighting like an alley cat when the king saw us. I would need to keep my emotions under control.
Part 7 coming on Saturday, 11/25. Happy Thanksgiving!