Chapter 2: The Big Resurrection
I turned my head toward the sound. The motion brought a sharp jab of
intense pain behind my eyes. I heard my name again, a little clearer
My eyes opened. The light hurt, but I kept them open. For a minute
she was just a dark blur, then the fuzzy edges went away. "Hello,
turtledove," I slurred.
Mary Magdalene's mouth parted in a slow smile that had all the
happiness in the world wrapped up in it. "Glad to see you back,
"It's...good to...be back." I flashed her what I hoped was a rakish
grin. It must have looked more like a grimace of pain because she
immediately shushed me.
"Don't talk. Martha said to keep you quiet if you woke up.
Otherwise she'd chase me away."
She dropped her hand over mine. I held it for a long time and if she
took it away I never knew about it because when I awoke again it was
She smiled at me again. "Pete's outside. Shall I ask him to come in?"
She got up and went to the door. I heard her speak to somebody,
then there he was grinning at me foolishly, shaking his head.
"Some messiah you are, bubbelah. Looks like you've been worked
over by a legion of demons."
"Just two or three that I know of." A brittle laugh escaped my
dry lips - it felt like a Roman spear in my side. "How long've
I been out, Pete?"
"Three days." A scowl of concern beetled his wild eyebrows.
"We thought you were really a goner this time."
"You thought I was really a goner LAST time, schmuck."
His furrowed forehead relaxed and he broke into that foolish grin
again, "It's a fair cop, Rebbe - you know the hearts of men."
"Well, I sure feel like I've been dead for a couple of days."
I was starting to feel nearly divine again. The part of me that
was human sizzled with the burning-hot hatred I'd felt on the
cold stone floor of the Nazareth synagogue, just before I went
down hard for a 3-day nap. The Son of Man was pissed - righteously
pissed, and I wanted to feel my tormentor's spines snap beneath
my sandals. But the Son of God was cool and businesslike; the
private dick in me smelled a mystery. "Who did this to me, Peter?"
"Dunno yet, but the Apostles are out shaking down every stool
pigeon in Galilee trying to find out. Our friends in the Sanhedrin
are keeping their ears open too. If Caiaphas is involved in this
somehow, they'll hear about it."
I raised myself up painfully on one elbow. My skull pounded with the
effort. Mary rose up half-way out of her chair and started toward me.
I held her back with an upraised palm - "I'm okay, baby." I turned back
to Pete and waited for a second until he stopped quivering in my
blurred vision like a plucked harpstring.
"The dame mentioned Judas," I remembered, "She was talking crazy - said
he wasn't dead - that some other thieving zealot took the judgement for
him on that tree."
"That's nuts, Boss," Pete replied skeptically, "We all saw him dangle."
"Yeah? How close were you to the body?" I fixed him with a glare from
my one, unswollen eye.
He began to stutter, "W-we were right next to him!"
Outside in the middle of a dark, Galilean evening a cock crowed three
"Jesus!" he exclaimed, clearly exasperated.
"That's my name," I shot back, "Don't wear it out."
Next - Chapter 3: Vengeance Is Mine