This is a guest post from my brother, Bryan.
Jesus of Nazareth sat stroking what would eventually become a beautiful and lustrous flowing beard and picking loose snags from his 100% cotton robe. No mixed fabrics in the house of the lord, his father had said. The beard would come in due time. At the age of thirteen, his face was more reminiscent to that of smooth porcelain, yet to germinate rich fields of facial flowings. Jesus was addressing Scribe.
“So tell me, think it’ll be a best seller?” Jesus’ eyes were wide with excitement and he neglected to pause for a response. “My dad says that in the future there’s some book by an Austrian guy, which I don’t even know what that means, but it’s about some hussy who gets a tattoo of a dragon or something and does some damage around town, and that the whole world sweeps it up…just can’t get enough of it. I want this book to be like that.”
Scribe shrugged, sprouting a little frown, “honestly buddy, I don’t think so. The grammar I can help you with, but the story… the way it is right now…just isn’t doing it for me.”
“Well that’s easy enough,” Jesus responded, “spark it up. Hell, you’re a scribe, add something wild,” he said.
“Like what?” Scribe replied bleakly, wishing he hadn’t been charged with the task of jotting down his adolescent friend’s musings. He had his own stories to tell. About the seasons changing and the soft sand of the landscape, he wanted to write about the desert eagles and the way their wings would catch the wind to hover effortlessly above the ground, casting eyes to the nervous movements of edible creatures that burrow in the earth without haste.
Jesus looked to the sky for a moment in deep thought. “Something with frogs,” he said.
“Hell yeah,” Jesus confirmed, “frogs and a big-ass storm, with lightening and rain and power and all sorts of meaning behind it. Maybe it could have raindrops the size of frogs or something. Nah, more than that…” he struck a serious expression, “make the skies pour down frogs like a goddamned plague; make them hop out of the rivers and streams and lakes in the thousands. No. Millions. Until they coat every square inch of earth. And that’ll mean that I’m seriously pissed and that things are bad, and they aren’t gonna get much better for a long time.”
Scribe blinked dramatically. “Um, alright. When do you want that to happen in the story?”
“I don’t really care, probably in the first part. Just take notes for now.”
In walked rotund Mary, with a sleep still tickling her eyelashes that nearly concealed her rage. Not the mother to fuck with. “Jesus H. Christ!” She cursed, using his full name in a tone that commanded no objections. “I told you boys three hours ago it was time for bed. And I don’t want to hear another word. Scribe, I trust you recall the last ass-paddling party? And that time I gave you both a choice!” She warned.
“Dammit mama,” Jesus whined, “I’m 13 years old, you can’t spank me no more. And the sticks you use leave splinters! And we aren’t tired yet. And we’re writing the story of my life!”
“You’re gonna be writing the story of your death if I hear another peep.”
“But mama I was—
“I don’t want to hear no buts, you hear me? Once you turn eighteen you're on your own. While you’re in my house: MY rules. That goes for you too, Scribe.”
Mary gave them a convincing glare and slowly shuffled to the other room. Jesus and Scribe sifted to the earthen floor, they punched sacs of grain into pillows and watched the fire spark in the corner of the room. Several hours passed…
“Scribe,” Jesus whispered.
“I know where I want to put that part.”
“Your mom’s gonna kill us man, keep your voice down.”
“You know when the Egyptians are keeping my minions prisoner? And I’m about to go all agro and raise hell ‘cause I want them to be set free so that they can worship me more appropriately?”
“Yeah,” responded Scribe.
“Right then. Write it so that Moses tells the Egyptians that if they don’t stop fucking with me and mine, I’ll fill their homes to the brim, like honey jars, but it won’t be honey, it’ll be frogs! Millions of frogs, they’ll bounce and plop and flop and go all ape-shit all over the place and then-” and then Jesus got carried away in his excitement and his voice exploded, his vocal cord concerto carried over the crackle of the fire, trembling in the wind as it blew to the other room where a great beast was lurking, in the dark, not in a mood to be stirred.
“I said keep your voice down, man.” Scribe’s words fell an octave in volume, “she’s not beyond bludgeoning what isn’t rightfully hers, you know. Last time the ass-paddle party-stick was a god-damned tree trunk!”
“Yeah, my mom’s got big arms.”
“They’re not really fat though, it’s all muscle, huh?”
Mary’s hefty leg entered the realm of Scribe’s periphery. The earthen floor flinched as her elephant foot stomped the lingering dust to death.
“Oh, shit,” Scribe whispered.
“Oh shit is right,” Mary glowered. “On one side of the coin, young men, is an oak beam as big around as your collective torsos. The other side of the coin represents a new device, one that not even you’ve seen yet, Jesus. You boys gonna choose, or should I just flip the coin and see where we land?”