Young, naive, Private Edwin Childs follows his beloved employer to the front line of WW1 and is quickly left with Captain Hollins dying in his arms and a bullet wound in his own shoulder. The dying Captain asks how he can help Edwin, and Edwin requests twice the officer's courage. A rush of energy fills Edwin leaving him shell-shocked and his bullet wound gone. Nightmares full of prophesies of death plague his sleep, but no one believes Edwin, thinking him weak and a coward. When those prophecies are fulfilled and men of his battalion start dying, Edwin realises his power. Laying his hands on the wounded means he can absorb their pain, but it comes at a price he isn't willing to take and he becomes selfish and arrogant. Becoming hardened to the war, he sees a reflection of his old self in a new recruit and realises how much he has become what he despises. When Edwin predicts a 'cloud' of blinding death, they think he has finally lost it. Men fall when the gas clouds come, but will Edwin become what he fears most, or will he make a leap of faith and sacrifice himself for others?
Kings 2 is about the fall of divided kingdoms and there are numerous parallels throughout the book to WW1, such as the blinding of the Syrian army (2K 6:18) and the first gas attacks of Ypres in 1915. The story of Elisha fascinated me, especially the transference of power he receives from Elijah. The admirable relationship between the two prophets (Elisha not leaving Elijah's side) was my starting point to create the character of a Private orderly following his Captain to the front line. To create some plausibility in the story I decided to focus on how my young character might react with fear to the transference of power without understanding it's nature and consequence. The story is a personal journey for Edwin; he learns to deal with his fears, understands how power corrupts him and finally he sacrifices himself for others. Taking a leap of faith means Edwin becomes the man he always wanted to be, a likeness of his beloved employer Captain Hollins. The themes of power and sacrifice are timeless and my narrative shares many aspects of Elisah's story, whilst the setting of the trenches gives a poignant reminder of the drama and conflict of war.