Holofernes, Upon His Very Recent Beheading by Judith of Bethulia
Ouch, girl. I mean seriously, ouch.
And I don’t just mean ouch in my neck area, where once my big manly head sat, before you severed it with a sword that like honestly how did you get in my tent with a sword? I also mean ouch in my heart.
Okay, maaaaaybe I invaded Bethulia, which is, like, your home or whatever. And maaaaaybe we started systematically killing all the able-bodied Jewish men. But listen, if King Nebuchadnezzar asks you to sack all the western nations that refuse to assist Babylon, you sack a bunch of western nations. If he asks you to bring a bunch of fresh grapes and individually feed them into his mouth using your mouth, you’d better hope your baby birding skills are up to snuff. Not that that’s ever happened. Point is: What choice did I have?
When I saw you hip-bopping your way toward my tent, all bedecked in those shiny jewels and flowy robey thingy, I thought daaaaaang, she’s fine. When you stopped in front of me, squeezed my bicep, and shoved your knee between my thighs I thought daaaaang, didn’t I just kill a bunch of people she knows? But I only read the first two acts of Richard III, so I just assumed everything turned out all right in the end. I was shocked, SHOCKED I say, when you proceeded to get me drunk and cut my head off.
One minute you’re lounging on some fluffy Assyrian pillows filled with the finest down Assyrian geese can produce, the next you’re…well I’m not actually sure what happened after that, which is probably a good thing because I can’t imagine that having your head slowly sawed off by a dull blade is particularly pleasant.
Maybe I should have seen it coming. Maybe I should have been more concerned that you refused to check your military-grade weapon outside the tent. Maybe I should have paid more attention when your maidservant kept ominously drawing her finger across her throat while making unbroken eye contact with me whenever you weren’t looking. Perhaps I shouldn’t have taken it as mere coincidence that, upon glancing at the daily calendar you’d left sitting on the table, today’s entry read, “Cut off Holofernes’s head, 11 p.m.”
Anyway, I see that you’ve added insult to injury by presenting my once proud head to the Hebrew troops, rallying them toward a victory over my army. Great. Just great. If you hadn’t already lopped off my noggin I’d be a total dead guy right now.
But I have to hand it to you, Judith. I took one look at you and all I saw was a bangin’ bod. I regret having been born 26 centuries before the feminist movement, or I might have realized that you are so much more: a righteous hero who single-handedly took down the commander of the Assyrian army. I would applaud you if you’d left my central nervous system intact.
Join Katie and her fellow authors from The Tangential at Nerd Thursday, at the MIA on October 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. Free.