Instead of a regular author interview, today I have a special character interview with Goliath, the legend and main character of Steven Shrewsbury’s Philistine.
Thank you for taking time to speak with me today.
GOLIATH: I’m drinking after a long day, sitting, already and the women from the whorehouse aren’t here yet. Go ahead.
What do you find is the most challenging aspect of being labeled Champion of the Philistines?
GOLIATH: It’s different than being a legendary warrior or merc, in that while I’m bigger, and live on my reputation, I also have an army to back me up. True, I do get alotta little dicked fighters who can’t hit a cow in the tit with a ceramic jar out to try and kill me to make a name for themselves. Many of them aren’t worth killing.
So, you let them go with a warning?
GOLIATH: No, I let my shield bearer, Abimelech, crush them. He’s the one to watch out for. He’s trained to fight and doesn’t slay women in the bedmat with his manhood. Unfortunately, those he covers entertain thoughts of him meeting their sires, and who really wants that? I’ll pass on thoughts of love.
You’ve traveled much in your life, and not just in this region.
GOLIATH: I really don’t want to tell the tale about raiding down the Nile in the long ships again.
No, I heard you and Abimelech once journeyed beyond the pillars of Hercules, far across the sea beyond the edge of the world.
GOLIATH: (drinks) That’s true, but there isn’t an edge to the world. Another one begins.
A what is that one like?
GOLIATH: (shrugs massive shoulders) A great deal like this one, full of men and women controlled by priests and kings, stone structures to be in awe of, and blood sacrifice to visitors from the sky. Maybe someday I’ll tell that tale to a proper scribe.
Uh, well…I take no offense at that.
GOLIATH: I don’t care. Anything else?
A great deal. What is your relationship with the Kings of the Philistines?
GOLIATH: Sexual (hand slaps the ground next to where he reclines and a few of the drinking soldiers near him roar with laughter) I’m just jerkin’ yer chain, son. I wanted to see the look on your face. Besides, they’d walk different if that were the case. I dunno, I take their orders when I so choose. I am in the army, after all.
So you don’t disobey orders?
GOLAITH: (eyes intense) I think they know when not to ask me to do stupid things, but I follow orders.
Is there anything you fear?
GOLIATH: Questions from scribes, naw, that ain’t so. I fear immortality, of living forever on this godforsaken world of petty men and their fights over ground and gods.
You have no fear of death?
GOLIATH: I wouldn’t be champion if I did. Whatever lies beyond this world, I’ll deal with it when I close my eyes forever.
Is your mother well?
GOLIATH: (eyes narrow at me now) Why wouldn’t she be? She’s still revered at Gath.
You were in the military as a youth, correct?
GOLIATH: I was as big as most men as a child. Lessons came hard, but I endured them. I’m still learning. Unlike Sadik over there, the young soldier, he still isn’t bright enough to keep his pecker out of a beehive in a knotted tree.
What do you have left to do in life?
GOLIATH: What a question. Everything I feel like doing. I would like to travel again, by sea.
Do you desire to see the entire world, unexplored?
GOLIATH: There are times I don’t care where I go as long as it ain’t here.
Do the armies of the Hebrews concern you?
GOLIATH: Do they concern you? I hear they have a King now, hah, imagine that, a King over a race of slaves. What a jest by a folk with only one god.
What god do you pray to?
GOLIATH: Whoever is listening when I cry out in pleasure. (soldiers nearby laugh)
Is it true you were the one who helped capture the Ark of The Covenant years ago?
GOLIATH: (shifts on the ground and adjusts his back on the tree) What happened with that totem in the temple of Dagon was not funny, nor what visited or folk in the form of disease soon after. They can have that damn thing back and that is why we sent it away.
After these events of the past months…
GOLIATH: The insurrection with Samien and all?
GOLIATH: Life is what it is. Civil war didn’t seem to civil did it? His army was a confederation of bastards, anyway, but all the Moabites ya can wave yer peter at couldn’t stop us in the end. Is this about over?
Are you happy?
GOLIATH: I’ll be happier when you shut up, more wine arrives and the girls get here. Happiness comes in small does. Grab some while you can. Ya never know when yer number is up.
That is how you want to die, hangover and the scent of a women still on you body?
GOLIATH: Ya act like that is a bad thing. Begone.
The Philistines, a mysterious warrior people known now for mainly one man: Goliath. The giant.
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.