Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stories from King David and the Spiders from Mars #4

In “The Sons of Zeruiah,” Megan Arkenberg re-imagines the story of Joab and his brothers Abishai and Asahel but with a supernatural twist. Zeruiah's sons are a type of vampire and they accumulate power from consuming the blood and organs of the dead, including their own brother Asahel. Power accumulates in the body like mercury in a fish. The more powerful the victim in life, the more can be gained from consuming him and without the eating, the power goes to waste, as Abishai tells Joab after Abner murders Asahel.
“If we don't do it, he's lost,” Abishai says. “Gone to the crows and the dogs and the worms. Wouldn't he rather feed us, Joab? Wouldn't you, if you were dead?”
Set during a time of muskets (maybe the eighteenth century), the story roughly follows the Biblical narrative. Abner kills Asahel; Joab avenges Asahel and later kills Absalom during the uprising against David; Joab will fall to Benaiah. The accumulation of power becomes a principal motivation, particularly for Abishai. Joab, the story's protagonist, does not appear to share his brother's lust for power but finds he cannot ignore his innate lust for feeding. Arkenberg creates some memorable if very bloody images.

To learn more about Megan Arkenberg and her work, check out her website or her blog Bitter Irony. “The Sons of Zeruiah” is the fifth story in King David and the Spiders from Mars. To win a paperback or ebook copy of the anthology, enter the May Giveaway: King David and the Spiders from Mars.


  1. I really like Megan's idea of mish-mashing vamps and the bible! Cool!

    1. Yes, it certainly allowed for some interesting imagery that Megan carried off beautifully.