join the dead

It’s hard being a weird asshole like me.

My tastes have become so narrowed that I really have to wring out the internet to find something I want to read and watch. Thankfully I came across Joseph D. Newcomer’s book Diminishing Return last year and I’ve been a fan ever since.

I finished reading the anthology From the Dead, which features the work of many other wonderful writers, and the Darkest Day over the weekend. It was just what the doctor ordered.

So what are these stories about?” You might ask.

Not sure. don’t know how to read 🤷‍♂️

So you’ll have to check them out yourself.

But to give you a taste: you know, like, how your mind starts to wonder on a long car ride so you start coming up with strange scenarios: what if I get mindfucked by a drier monster? Or, what if Elon Musk manufactured another 9/11? And now imagine if these outrageous scenarios became full fledged stories, much like that delightful episode of Black Mirror where the Prime Minister fucks a pig on live TV.

That’s the work of Joseph D. Newcomer. That’s Dead Star Press.

You can find these works and other merchandise here at Dead Star Press.

You can also follow him at https://josephdnewcomer.com

The first coming (part vii)

Finally the conclusion to a disastrous story. Let’s just hope we’ve seen the end of this “Christian erotica” sub genre.

Just want to tell you guys that you are all disgusting, deplorable people for making me write this.

“Now that’s what I call a successful camping trip!” John said as he way laying in the hospital bed.

“But John,” Alyssa said, “you were mauled by a bear and violently killed three people. How was that in anyway successful?”

“Well I had a good time.”

The doctor came into the room with a huge smile on his face. “Great news everyone,” he began, “John you will never have use of your right arm again.”

“How is that good news?” John asked.

“Now that you no longer have use in that arm, the excess blood can flow into your massively large penis. You can now achieve a full erection.”

John began to weep for joy. “Thank you Jesus! I knew this had to happen for a reason.”

Alyssa walked up to his bedside and held his hand. “I’m happy for you John,” she said, “maybe you can share some of that happiness with me.”

“What do you mean?”

“John, I kept trying to tell you in the woods: I love you. I want to spend my life with you.”

John squeezed her hand in response. “I feel the same way Alyssa,” he replied. “I was afraid that because my penis is so big and you saw me shit all over myself, I didn’t think you’d like me.”

Alyssa smiled and put her hand to his face. “I love you for you,” she said, then kissed him on the mouth.

But Alyssa couldn’t help but wonder: “Let’s see if what the doctor said is true,” she said. She placed her hand right on his weiner.

John began to pitch a tent underneath the covers.

Then Ted, Geoff, and Becky came into the hospital room. “Hey hey!” Ted said, “We heard the good news.”

John’s boner was standing at full attention, plain as day. Ted placed his hand on John’s penis and began to pray. “Dear lord,” he said, “I just want to thank you for healing Brother John. Please use this wonderful penis for your glory. Amen.”

“Amen!” Geoff said.

“So what are you guys doing?” Ted asked.

“John and I are getting married!” Alyssa replied.

“Hallelujah!” Ted exclaimed. “Were you two about engage in premarital sex?”

“I was thinking about it,” Alyssa said.

“You know that you can always come to me for advice,” Ted said, “I’m your pastor, and I’ve seen a lot of things. And let me tell you: if you’ve never had 14 inches inside of you, you need to be prepared.”

“This is true,” Becky said, “perhaps we should give you a demonstration.”

“Oh?” Alyssa replied.

Becky stripped away the sheets over John, which exposed his bare 14 inch erection. “As your fiancé, Becky,” Geoff said, “I should help you.”

Geoff removed John’s gown and began licking his nipples. “Aaaaaamen!” Ted declared as he began masturbating his penis. Geoff and Becky stripped off their clothes and climbed on top of John.

Becky placed John’s ginormous member between her legs while Geoff sat on his face and got his ass ate out. The two lovers on top began passionately kissing. “I love you baby,” Geoff said to Becky. “I love you too.”

The doctor walked into the room and slapped Alyssa on the back. “Love’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?”

Two weeks later, John and Alyssa were married. While consummating their marriage, Alyssa experienced her first orgasm. Which is why this story is called The First Coming.

They lived happily ever after.

***

Geoff and Alyssa’s parents died of starvation in a North Korean prison three months later.

The two grieving siblings never received their parent’s remains.

The End

First cuming (part v)

Just to be clear, I hate this story. But you’re making me do this.

I take no responsibility for the things I write.

John laid a dead boar, which he strangled with his hands, next to the fire. Him and Alyssa were lost. Their canoe was destroyed in some rapids and they were camping for the night by the river’s edge.

Their clothes were drying by the fire. While Alyssa was smart enough to pack a change of clothes, John was forced to wear a loincloth while he cut up the boar. Alyssa tried not to stare at his huge ballsack.

“Care for some boar?” he asked.

“No thank you. I’m a vegetarian.”

“That’s Liberal poppycock,” he said. “Man was meant to senselessly kill animals.”

Ignoring the comment, Alyssa noticed a scar near John’s abdomen. “How did you get that?” she asked.

“Vietnam,” he replied, “I got stabbed there behind a whorehouse 10 years ago.”

“What about the scar on your thigh?”

“Botched circumcision.”

John started tearing into the boar’s leg with his teeth. Blood was dripping down his chin, past his neck, and onto his man chest. Alyssa tried to keep her passions at bay. She had never before witnessed such a specimen of manliness.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked him.

“Hmm,” John pondered. “I think so. I was in an arranged marriage while I was in a Satanic cult. But I haven’t had sex…with a woman…since then.”

“Do you ever want to get married?”

John read between the lines and started to smile. “Well,” he began, “I haven’t found a woman that can handle me yet.”

Alyssa chuckled. “I’m glad that I’m lost in the wilderness with you,” she said.

Moments later, the two heard a faint sound of a banjo. Alyssa was slightly unnerved. “Relax,” John said, “nothing out here can hurt us.”

The sound continued to get louder.

Before they could respond, three men with shotguns stood outside of their camp. They were rednecks, hillbillies. They wore no sleeves and their teeth were rotting out of their faces.

“Hey there, that’s a pretty girl you got,” one of them said.

“Don’t touch her,” John said.

“It’s not her we want,” another said as he walked up to John. “We just want a slice of that meat.”

John reached for his Bowie knife, but the first redneck lowered his gun. “Don’t think about it,” the man told him. The second man grabbed Alyssa then he tied her to a tree with a belt around her neck.

The ugliest redneck ordered John to stand up. “Now gimme that meat,” he said.

John’s back was turn towards Alyssa. The ugly man dropped to his knees then ripped away his loincloth. John’s buttcheeks were exposed to everyone. The two other men were cackling uncontrollably with their shotguns aimed at a helpless Alyssa.

She could see the ugly redneck’s face while he was on his knees. He had a look of surprise. But before he could react, John grabbed his head and put his mouth up to his crotch. The man began to gurgle.

“Now wait a minute,” one of the his buddies began to yell.

John turned around, swinging the ugly redneck with him. He was choking the man…with his penis down his throat.

“Let the girl go!” John yelled.

“The fuck’s wrong with you?” another replied.

Finally the redneck turned blue and John let him fall to the ground. Before the other rednecks could get off a shot, a buck naked John grabbed the dead man’s shotgun. When he fired, a redneck’s brains were splattered all over Alyssa’s face.

The last surviving redneck began to panic. He missed John completely with his erratic shooting. As he lost sight of the naked man, he dropped to the ground.

“I got your girl man!” the redneck yelled. But John snuck up behind him with his Bowie knife.

“Drop the gun,” John ordered. The man complied and began to uncontrollably piss himself.

“I’m sorry,” the redneck said weeping.

“Only God forgives,” John replied. Then he slit his throat.

Blood once again splattered all over Alyssa’s face.

After untying Alyssa from the tree, John dragged the three bodies into the river. “I swear, my penis wasn’t erect when it was in that man’s mouth,” he told her.

Alyssa was shaking from all the excitement. A still naked, blood soaked John kneeled in front of her and took her hands. “I’m sorry you had to see all of that,” he said.

“I’ve never seen something like that,” she replied.

“A man’s head get blown clean off?”

“No, your gargantuan p-p…”

“Penis? Yes, it’s 14 inches. Girth of about 5. Or 5.27 inches to be precise. Doctors said that I would never achieve a full erection. It takes too much blood flow. That’s why I don’t have a girlfriend. Oh the burdens I carry with such power.”

John stood up and grabbed a bag of trail mix. “Care for some nuts?” he asked.

Alyssa ran up to John and wrapped her arms around him. “Stay with me tonight,” she said, “I don’t want to be alone.”

“Alright,” he replied as he munched on some cashews, “but it’s supposed to be cold tonight. To keep warm, we must sleep completely nude under a sleeping bag.”

Alyssa nodded and stripped off her clothes. It was the first time she was ever naked in front of a man. Meanwhile, John continued to shovel cashews into his mouth.

Alyssa climbed into the sleeping bag and John followed after. They laid together cheek to cheek…ass cheek to ass cheek that is…and she enjoyed the warmth emanating from his body.

“John, I got to tell you,” Alyssa said, “I’ve waited my entire life to meet a man like you. I know we’re not married, but I want you to take me. Take me here. Please.”

A loud fart bellowed from underneath the sleeping bag. John was fast asleep. Disappointed, Alyssa continued to lay there, wishing…

…wishing to feel his arms around her.

TO BE CONTINUED….

the 1st coming (part iii)

Look, I’m trying to get to the good stuff (all the nasty sex). But I’m trying to get there organically, alright? Give me a break.

At the campfire, Geoff was playing Nearer, My God, To Thee on his acoustic guitar.

“Maybe you should put that away,” Alyssa told him.

Nine church goers were attending the camping trip in total. Brother Ted walked back to the camp after reliving himself in the river. “Woo! That water’s cold!” he declared.

He sat down at the edge of the fire and took out his Bible. “Being in nature reminds me of the awesome power of God,” Ted said. “But 1 John tells us to hate the world and everything in it. All of it will be destroyed in the Second Coming. None of this matters.” He then grabbed a trash bag and dumped its contents on the ground.

Alyssa tried to get close to John, but it appeared that she had competition. Sister Becky was close to Alyssa’s age. She was the touchy-feely type, laughed at every joke…even when a joke wasn’t being told. Most men responded to her flirty nature, but John was different. Alyssa tried to eavesdrop on their conversation.

“When I returned from Iraq, I successfully underwent conversion therapy,” John told Becky, “I haven’t had those kinds of feelings in nearly 2 years.”

“You’re such a brave man,” Becky responded as she gently touched his arm. Alyssa typically wasn’t the jealous type, but Becky was really trying her.

Everyone began roasting marshmallows and hotdogs but John took out a pork shoulder. He could have easily pulled back the plastic film covering it but used his Bowie knife instead.

“Shouldn’t you cook that before you eat it?” Brother Ted asked. “Nonsense,” John replied as he tore into the meat with his teeth, “God gave our bodies everything we need to digest raw pork.”

***

Alyssa woke up in the middle of the night to relieve herself. She walked a few yards from the camp and squatted behind a tree. While peeing, she heard painful grunts coming a few feet away.

“Who’s there?” she whispered into the dark. But All she heard was more grunting.

When she finished, Alyssa stood up and began wondering towards the direction of the sound. Behind another tree was John, pants around his ankles, squatting in agonizing pain.

“Are you okay?!” she asked him.

“I feel like my guts exploded!” John replied. He was blasting out one fart after another.

“I’ll go get help!”

“No!” John exclaimed, “I can’t let them see me like this! You gotta help me!”

“What can I do?”

“Just stay here with me.”

Alyssa knelt down beside John and held his hand. He started expelling an ungodly amount of diarrhea out of his anus. The stench was almost unbearable. When he finished, he looked up to her with his bloodshot, watery eyes.

“Thank you,” John said. Alyssa gave him a smile.

Afterwards, he stood up and washed his fecal-covered buttcrack in the river. When he finished, he walked back to Alyssa. As he took her by the hand, he said to her, “You can’t tell anyone about this.”

She nodded in return.

The two went back to their tents. As Alyssa climbed into her sleeping bag, she thought about John and thanked God for giving her such an intimate moment with him.

The next morning, groups were pairing up for the canoe trip. Becky approached John to row down river with her. He paused and scratched his forehead. “Uhh, actually I was planning to go with Alyssa,” he told her.

Becky stood up straight. “Alyssa? Really? But I assure you that I’m a much better rower than her,” she said.

“Good! That’s why you should go with Geoff.”

As Geoff was putting on his life jacket, John grabbed him and paired him with Becky. “Good luck!” he told him, and paddled off with his sister.

“Geoff’s not gonna like that,” Alyssa said, “he’s the jealous type.”

“Sorry, but I figured that I owe you an explanation for last night,” John replied.

“None’s necessary, John. You see, I get the bubble guts too.”

“I don’t think you understand,” he said. “I have IBS…Irritable Bowel Syndrome. So you understand why I hope we can keep this a secret.”

“But why John? Why?”

“Because…,” he gave a long pause, “I was laughed at as a child. Everyone called me Mr.Poopypants. I couldn’t walk 10 feet without poop running down the back of my legs. I had to tape up the bottom of my jeans to prevent turds from slipping out and everyday my pants would fill up with poopoo.”

Tears began to well up in John’s eyes. “Everyone thinks that I’m some kind of hero,” he continued, “but in my own mind, I’m always gonna be Mr. Poopypants.”

With his back against her, Alyssa wrapped her arms around John’s body and placed her head just below his neck. “You’re not Mr. Poopypants to me, John. Your secret is safe. But maybe you should stop eating raw pork.”

John placed his left hand top of Alyssa’s that was resting on his chest. “I’m glad I’ve finally met someone like you,” he said.

TO BE CONTINUED…

on being a lazy sack o’ shit

If any “alcoholic” tells you that it is easier to quit alcohol than to quit nicotine then you know that they aren’t a real alcoholic.

Quitting nicotine has been the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Sure, I got pissed off a lot. I cried a few times. Hell, some days I’d even stare into the void and ponder ways to kill myself. But I overcame it.

And through these trials and tribulations, I’ve come to realize something: this blog is a pain in my ass.

As usual, I keep coming across the same old solution: I need to stop doing so much.

Is life a race?

You’re damn right it is. I want to get all this living over with. But why make life more painful than it needs to be?

That’s another thing that pisses me off…why does it take so much for people to be happy? You’re breathing right? You can pay the bills, correct? You have access to internet pornography? What fucking more do you need?

“But I gotta feed my kids 😭,” you say

Or

“I gotta have insulin for my Type II diabetes 😭.”

Don’t worry about it. You know why? Cuz God provides.

“God will provide for my crippling gambling debts 😀?”

He sure will.

Of course I don’t need God. I’m much too powerful for that bullshit. But you do.

It takes real strength to admit weakness. At least keep telling yourself that. As for me, I have no weaknesses.

But the point is you gotta recognize your own weaknesses before you can start making improvements. And I’ve realized that my so called “weakness” is trying to take on too much responsibility.

So actually, I don’t have a problem at all. I’m just a too damn good of a person.

So say ‘no’ to paying your bills and staying healthy, and ‘yes’ to more drugs and internet pornography.

I’m just doing what my therapist told me to do 🤷‍♂️

paris tx

There are few scenes in the history of film that hit me harder than the Super 8 sequence in Paris, Texas.

Rarely do films like this get made. Especially now. Not without a dose of heavy handed social commentary and violence.

That’s not the case with Paris, Texas. It’s subject is simple: one man’s inability to face his problems. All of this juxtaposed against the vast American landscape that’s both empty and crowded…dead and alive. Wim Wenders’ vision of America is embodied by the character Travis, played by the enigmatic Harry Dean Stanton.

The first time I watched this, it was almost like a religious experience. I was 10 or 11 years old and stayed up late while watching cable to see some tities. Fortunately, nothing was on Cinemax so I switched over to HBO. Paris, Texas was playing.

I don’t know why I kept watching it (probably because you see some Aurore Clement side boob), but next thing I know, I was fully engrossed in the story. It was the first movie where, when it ended, I didn’t know what hit me.

It was probably at that moment when it occurred to me: THIS is why people love movies.

Some people hate Paris, Texas. Some say it’s too slow. Some don’t like Travis because he abandoned his family.

I personally like movies that take their time. And if you don’t like Travis’ decisions, it’s not like the movie presents him as mensch.

In fact, Travis…along with his wife Jane…are presented as two VERY troubled people. From the perspective of Travis, he had to leave at the end because he was utterly broken. I would go as far as to say that Travis’ entire existence consists of (unintentionally) ruining people’s lives.

This film is not only about Travis trying to reunite his wife and child (Hunter), but it’s also about ruining the lives of his brother Walt and his wife Anne who took custody of Hunter during his disappearance.

Another heartbreaking scene is when Anne fails to convince Travis and Hunter to return home, and she goes to lie down in Hunter’s bed. Even though Hunter wasn’t her actual son, she was still attached to him. And that’s the last scene Anne is in, never to be mentioned again.

But Wenders’ direction mixes realism with a childlike perspective (which resembles Travis’ emotional state) quite well. So, I think, that permits me to have a pessimistic interpretation of the ending: there was no way that Jane would maintain custody of Hunter, and Hunter would return to Walt and Anne with a better sense of his “real” family, which would likely cause further damage to everyone involved. Meanwhile, Travis, once again, ran away from it all.

Is my interpretation correct? I dunno. But that’s how art works.

So do yourself a favor: stay up late one night and watch Paris, Texas.

according to Simon (part iii)

“What happened to your face?” Jacob asked as I met him at the Cyrene’s inn.

“I was attacked by one of Herod’s thugs,” I said. “They’re onto us. So watch who you talk to.”

“You didn’t tell him anything did you?”

“I told him I was a friend of Joseph’s. After that, he left me alone.”

“Shit,” Jacob said and rubbed his face. “Well good news is I met with Ananias and his wife Sapphira. Remember them?”

“The one’s from Rome?”

“Yeah. They sold some of their property in Judea. They gave the money to John to distribute to the widows outside of the city walls. It’s finally happening Simon!”

“Don’t let it get to your head!” I told him. “You still need to lie low.”

Just then a big burly fellow with six other men busted through the door. “Χαιρετίσματα Jacob,” the booming voice said.

“Hello Stephanos.”

“You’re Stephanos?!” I exclaimed.

Stephanos looked over to me and back over to Jacob. “Who’s dis?” the man asked in his Greek accent.

“Relax, he’s Simon,” Jacob replied. “He was a good friend of Yeshua’s.”

Stephanos looked me up and down. “I heard you were arrested,” he said to me.

“No, it must have been another Simon,” I replied. “I’m from Bethsaida.”

Stephanos was confused. He looked back to Jacob. “I was told that Ananias gave you money. Our women and children are starving too-“

“Now Stephanos,” Jacob interrupted, “I know where you’re going with this. But Ananias was very clear: he wanted us to use this money to help the widows of Jerusalem.”

“Because we’re Greeks we’re not as important as the Hebrews?”

“I didn’t say that. Please listen to me. I’m only respecting Ananias’ wishes.”

Stephanos was furious. “We’ve been in the streets for days while you Hebrews have been coward up in your homes! Do you support us or not?!”

“Of course I support you!” Jacob yelled then took a deep breath. “I get how you feel, Stephanos, I really do. But you gotta understand our situation. Herod and Pilate aren’t too concerned with the Greeks right now. But they are after us. We can’t be out in the streets and we don’t have the money to spread around to everyone. I’m sorry. But Ananias is a very successful man from Rome and a diaspora Jew just like yourself. If you go to him and explain your situation, he can probably provide you with some assistance.”

Stephanos stood silent for a moment then muttered something in Greek. He walked up to Jacob. “μη με σταυρώνεις,” he said. Then him and his six men left the room.

“You should’ve stayed away from him Jacob,” I said.

“I know.”

“And Stephanos is a convert. To Ananias, he’s still a Gentile. He’s not giving him the money.”

Jacob began rubbing his temples. “I need a drink,” he said.

We went down to the tavern where Levi was scribbling something down. “What are you doing?” Jacob asked him.

“The Greeks wanted something to tell the people back in the Decapolis. Something about Yeshua.”

I looked over the writing. He didn’t write much but it was all in Greek. I couldn’t understand a word of it. Jacob was puzzled. “Where did you learn to write Greek?”

“In school, here in Jerusalem” Levi replied, “I had to learn it along with Hebrew.”

“Maybe we should drop the subject of Greeks for the time being,” I said.

We sat silently drinking our wine for a few minutes. There was a commotion on the streets. Andrew came running up. “They’re about to stone some of the Greeks!” he screamed.

Jacob and Levi instantly got up. “Aren’t you coming along?” Jacob asked me. Against my better judgment, I put down the wine cup and followed them.

A few blocks away, a crowd was gathering. Some were shouting. Others gawked out of morbid curiosity. Moments later, Temple guards began dragging out seven Greeks. One of them was Stephanos.

Behind them followed a few members of the Sanhedrin, including Joseph. Standing beside him was Ananias.

“Thief! Thief!” Ananias shouted. “These men conspired with Yeshua to rob the Temple and overthrow the Romans!”

My heart began to sink. This was a setup.

The guards threw the Greeks in front of Herod’s black-cloaked mercenaries who had their spears ready. Meanwhile, the Roman guards stood back smiling at the whole affair.

A judge from the Sanhedrin stood among the crowd and faced the accused. “Conspiracy, sedition, robbery of Ananias,” the judge said, “are these accusations true?”

It didn’t matter what Stephanos said. And he knew it. From his knees, he laughed and looked at the crowd. “You stiff-necked people,” he said, “your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him—”

“God help you,” the judge said.

With those words, the mercenaries plunged their spears into the bellies of the Greeks. A pool of blood formed in the middle of the crowd.

Levi screamed in horror and ran away.

But the crowd was just getting warmed up. They picked up stones or any disposable object and began hurling them towards Stephanos. He got bruised and battered and knocked in the head a few times but kept crawling forward.

Among the mercenaries, I recognized a familiar face: The scars….the scabs…the wiry frame. It was him alright. It was the man that attacked me a few days earlier.

And Stephanos kept crawling towards this man as the stones were raining down on him. When he reached his feet, Stephanos grabbed the man’s cloak and got to his knees.

I was too far away to hear anything, but Stephanos was clearly saying something to this man. Judging by his face, the figure was stunned by what was being said. But before the figure could react, a member of the crowd smashed a rock into Stephanos’ skull.

The man in the black cloak stood back with blood and brain matter splattered all over his face. He was in a daze.

Before the crowd could mutilate the bodies, Joseph stepped in to quiet them. That’s enough!” he yelled. “The perpetrators of the Passover sedition have been caught and punished! This matter is closed! Please return to your homes!” As the crowds dispersed, the Temple guards started dragging the bodies outside of the city walls.

Jacob and I returned to the inn in silence. We didn’t know what to make of what just happened. “Do we leave Jerusalem?” Jacob asked.

“Why?” I replied. “It looks like Joseph and Ananias took care of our problem.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

according to Simon (part II)

“Simon saw Yeshua come back from the dead!” Andrew said.

“I didn’t see Yeshua!” I replied. “How did you get to be so stupid?”

Andrew and I were meeting with Jacob and Levi at the Cyrene’s tavern after returning to Jerusalem. “What did you see?” Levi asked me.

“Look,” I said, completely ignoring his question, “I only came back to Jerusalem to bring Jacob back to Galilee. I already got Yeshua killed, I can’t let the same thing happen to his brother.”

“I’m not going back,” Jacob said.

“Why not?”

“This might come as a surprise to you Simon, but people actually believe the Message. You thought the Romans could never be driven out of Judea, but everyone took notice of Yeshua. Including the Greeks!”

“The Greeks? We were only in Scythopolis for a few days. We barely spoke Greek!”

“Yeshua made quite an impression on them.”

“Yeah, they’re saying that he did all kind of shit,” Levi said, “healing the blind, casting out demons and sending them into pigs, making the lame walk…”

“Are you sure they’re not confusing him with one of the thousands of other lunatics that wonder around the Decapolis?”

“I’m telling ya Simon,” Jacob exclaimed, “these Greeks have some goddamned imagination. They think he’s some wandering miracle worker! There is some guy named Stephanos who followed us all the way from Scythopolis. He’s been screaming in the streets! He’s pissed about the crucifixion!”

“You guys didn’t talk to him, right?”

“Well…”

Right then, Mary walked into the tavern. She had the look of death on her face.

“What’s wrong?” Jacob asked.

“He’s gone.”

***

All of us ventured outside of the city walls to Joseph’s tomb near the Mount of Olives. The women were weeping. I walked inside the tomb and Yeshua’s body wasn’t there.

“The Greeks?” I asked Jacob.

“How would they have known where his body was?”

Joseph was stomping down the hill up ahead. I looked over to Jacob. “Let me handle this,” I said.

Joseph was only a few yards away when he started yelling. “You guys have been an epic pain in my ass!”

“Now Joseph, calm down,” I said. “I’m only here to collect Jacob and bring him back to Galilee. I swear. I’m not here to cause trouble.”

“Like hell! All the Jews are gone but now the streets are crawling with Greeks! Ever since Passover ended, they’ve been piling into the city!”

“I know, but we have nothing to do with that.”

“Bullshit! This idiot here…” Joseph cried, referring to Jacob, “has been seen screaming on the streets with that lunatic Stephanos. And now all of you are grave robbing!”

I shook my head as I looked over to Jacob. “Joseph, we didn’t take Yeshua’s body. Mary came here this morning and it was gone. As for the Greeks, I don’t know what to tell you. We’ll leave Jerusalem and maybe this will all blow over in a few weeks.”

“Too late. They’ve been threatening the Sadducees and Pharisees because apparently, Yeshua was railing against them in Scythopolis! I know you were there Simon. So this IS your fault!”

Damn it, I thought. I looked over to Jacob. “This has gotten out of hand. We’re leaving.”

“If all of you are leaving, you better do it quick. The Sanhedrin wants this fire put out now! Herod is bringing in mercenaries from all over the empire. A few of them might be here now. You’re probably as good as dead,” Joseph said.

“Then that means you too,” I told him. “You’re as guilty as the rest of us.”

Jacob spoke up. “It doesn’t matter where we go. Do none of you see what’s going on here? The moment Yeshua spoke against the Romans and their collaborators, we had a target on our backs. We knew the risks. And we accepted them. Because look around you: lepers, beggars, widows, children sleeping on the streets. We can’t continue to live like this. Even the Greeks agree! Yes Yeshua is dead, but that doesn’t mean the Kingdom of God is dead too. We continue to fight for it or we die in the streets.”

Joseph was silent.

“It’s time for you to take a stand Joseph,” Jacob continued. “You’re either with us or you’re with Herod.”

Joseph looked down to the ground and thought for a moment. “I have no love for the Romans,” Joseph said, “but I want no more bloodshed. So I ask all of you: stay away from the Gentiles. They aren’t our problem. Let them take the fall for this Yeshua situation. If you can do this, I can keep the Sanhedrin off your scent.”

“But Joseph,” Jacob replied, “a lot of them are Jewish converts. We’re in this together.”

“Listen to me Jacob: stay away from them. And please, for the love of God, lay low!”

With those words, Joseph walked away. Jacob was beside himself. “What does he expect us to do?” he said to me, “we can’t just wish the Romans away!”

I put my hands on his shoulders to calm him down. “Jacob, he may be onto something,” I said. “Let’s face it: we don’t have the power to get the Romans out of Judea just yet. Our only choice is to play the long game. Alright? Now you might be safe in Jerusalem for the time being, but you’re gonna have to live to fight another day. Also, keep quiet about being Yeshua’s brother. Okay?”

Jacob nodded. “Are you going back to Galilee?” he asked.

I smiled. “No. I gotta keep you out of trouble,” I replied.

All of us went back into the city walls individually. As I was returning to the Cyrene’s tavern, a strange man in a black cloak pulled me into an alley and put a dagger to my throat.

“I got money in my satchel,” I said to him.

“I don’t want your money!” the man replied. He was a short, wiry figure with rashes and scabs all over his face. “I recognize you!”

“Well I don’t recognize you.”

“Don’t play with me! I saw you with that man in Caesarea.”

“What man?”

“Yeshua you fool!”

“Who?”

He punched me in the stomach and I fell to the ground. “Why are you in Jerusalem?” the figure asked.

“I’m just a fisherman. I’m here in town because of Passover. I’m leaving tomorrow, I swear!” I said as I was gasping for air.

“Liar!”

“Why would I lie about that?!”

He kicked me in the face and I fell flat on the ground. The man continued his interrogation.

“Who do you know here?”

I crawled back to my knees. “Joseph, alright! He’s from Arimathea! He’s on the Jerusalem Council!”

“Can you confirm that?”

“We can go talk to him now!”

The man put his dagger back into his cloak and he helped me off the ground. He also dusted me off. “I’m sorry about the confusion,” he said. “There’s a lot of insurrectionists around. They always cause trouble around Passover. Can never be too safe, ya know?”

I wiped the blood from my mouth. “Indeed.”

“Alright, well you take care now,” the man said.

He walked up to the edge of the alley, looked to his left and right, and disappeared back into the city streets.

TO BE CONTINUED…

according to simon (part I)

Time to shit or get off the pot.

I’ve had this story in my head for awhile and just now acted on it.

I originally wrote an introduction but then said fuck it. All you need to know is that this is historical fiction, perhaps my least favorite genre, but this blog is all about challenging myself as a writer. So I’m giving this a go.

Just imagine if you were some nobody that got caught up in an incident that you believed had little significance, but it was actually the most important event in all of Western Civilization. I want to explore how reality turns to myth. I guess that’s the impetus behind this story.

I dunno, we’ll see how this goes…

Ain’t promising nothing.

***

Jerusalem, Circa 30 CE

Roman Judea is under the governorship of Pontius Pilate. Yeshua from Galilee has amassed a small yet devoted number of followers as messianic fervor sweeps the region. After causing a ruckus at the Jerusalem Temple during Passover, Yeshua is tried and sentenced to death by crucifixion.

With their leader dead, the followers of Yeshua await their fates…

…one such follower, and childhood friend of Yeshua, is Simon, the fisherman of Bethesda…

Joseph (of Arimathea) knocked me on my ass. He continued to berate me as I laid out on the ground.

“Do you know how hard it was for me to not turn you over to the Romans?!” he screamed. “All of these young ones,” Joseph then pointed to Thomas, John, Andrew, Levi, Jacob, and Mary, “…you and that idiot friend of yours could have gotten them KILLED!”

I leaned up and wiped the blood from my lip. I couldn’t feel a thing. I was too drunk. “Don’t worry Joseph,” I said, “you’ll never see my face again.”

“You’re damn right I’ll never see your face again! You have until sun up to get out of Jerusalem. If you’re not gone by then, so help me God YOU’LL be crucified next!”

Jude spoke up. “What about Yeshua’s body? Surely you didn’t leave him at Golgotha. It’s the Passover.”

“Do you know what I had to do Jude?” Joseph asked. “I had to talk to Pilate. Yeah! Face to fucking face! Luckily for all of you, he barely remembered this morning’s fiasco so I was permitted to take him off the cross. As for the Sanhedrin…they’re PISSED and will probably be looking for you guys. Which is why you better get the fuck outta here!”

“Just tell me where he’s buried,” Jude replied.

“I’m not telling you!” Joseph said.

Levi spoke up. “Just tell him father.”

Joseph took a deep breath to cool himself. “Because my idiot son here was an admirer of Yeshua,” he said, “his body has been placed in my family tomb TEMPORARILY, at least until all of this shit blows over. Then I will remove his remains. Now: please leave the city.”

Joseph departed the tavern and took Levi with him. The rest of the group stood around aimlessly. Jacob helped me off the ground. “Do we go back to Galilee?” he asked.

“I sure as hell am!” I replied.

“But…what about…”

“What about what?!”

“The Kingdom of God?”

“The Kingdom of God? Jacob, your brother is DEAD! He’s not coming back! If you know what’s good for you, you will return to Galilee and kiss your mother and tell her how sorry you are for your older brother’s death.”

Jacob began to weep and I instantly regretted my words.

He was only a kid.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “this was all my fault. I shouldn’t have agreed to come to Jerusalem. All of this could have been avoided.”

“I can’t go back,” Jacob said. “I can’t face her.”

He told me that he was staying in Jerusalem. I didn’t know what else to say to him. So I patted him on the back and he departed the Cyrean’s tavern. I thought I’d ever see him again.

“I’m going to Damascus,” Jude said, “I’ve got some connections there. Maybe now just wasn’t the time. I….”

“Let it go Jude,” I interrupted.

“But Simon, maybe this was just the beginning of something big…perhaps the end for the Romans.”

I laughed. “Are we experiencing the same reality? We just got our asses handed to us. Do you really think we can bring down the Romans?”

“Why are you here?! Did you not see all of those followers in Capernaum? In Cana? In Caesarea?!”

“I was his friend, Jude. I knew all of this was getting to his head, but I said nothing. I let the rest of you talk him into coming to Jerusalem. I said nothing. I let him go to the temple. I knew what he was going to do. But I said nothing. Well now I’m telling YOU something: go back to Damascus or wherever you’re from, and forget all of this happened. And I will go back to Bethesda where I will regret for the rest of my life that I was never able to bring Yeshua’s body to his mother.”

“And what of the Romans? What will you do if they ever find out what you did here?”

I laughed again as I drank another cup of wine. “They don’t care enough about me,” I said, “but if they did ever find me, I will tell them to send me to Rome so that I can tell the Caesar to kiss my ass.”

Jude shook his head. “Goodbye Simon.”

“So long Jude!”

As I was filling the wine skins, Thomas approached me. “Should I go to Egypt?” he asked.

“The world is your oyster, Thomas,” I said, “I’m going home.”

The two of us embraced for the last time. I thanked the Cyrean for sheltering us then my brother Andrew and I left the tavern. Maybe it was the wine, but as we were leaving Jerusalem, I was seeing Yeshua’s face everywhere. The guilt was unbearable.

Andrew wasn’t at all affected by the day’s events. As we traveled the road back to Galilee under the cover of night, he was cackling. “Boy, Joseph licked you good,” he said.

Andrew was a simple man.

“That’s because he’s a member of the Sanhedrin,” I replied, “if they ever found out he provided aid and cover to us, they’ll stone him for sure.”

As we stopped along a creek bank for the night, I laid out my bed. As I walking away towards the tree line, Andrew asked where I was going.

“Gotta take a shit,” I said.

As I got out of earshot of him, I kneeled down behind a tree and vomited. I closed my eyes for a few moments. All I could envision was Yeshua’s smiling face. Then I wept uncontrollably.

Finally I stood up and walked back to the camp where I found Andrew picking his nose. “Boy I can’t wait get back to fishin,” he said.

I laid down on my bed, looking up to the sky. “We’re not going back to Bethesda,” I said. “We’re going back to Jerusalem.”

TO BE CONTINUED…