Continued from Part 10
I stand in the Box of Hades
Holding the hand of Eve.
While the Multitude tears Adam to shreds.
Over and over and over again.
Time seems to stop.
Or perhaps speed up to infinity.
We are frozen somewhere between horror and awe.
By the depths of his sacrifice.
Somehow, thought resumes.
Something snaps me out of my reverie.
Was it a shout from Adam?
Some movement from Eve?
I remember his final command, to save his Bride.
Who suffers no man to rescue her.
From whence no mortal ever returned.
What could a Son of Adam like myself possibly do?
Especially having surrendered the Master Key of Peter!
And then I realize.
I do know one who is neither man nor mortal.
And I’m pretty sure she owes me a favor…
Continued from Part 9
I stare at the Multitude gathered before Eve, here in Hades’ Box at the End of the World.
Waiting to tear us limb from limb.
Ernie: Father, forgive me. I didn’t know what I was doing. I am not able to drink this cup.
Adam: Fear not, my son. I did. I AM!
Continued from Part 8
Father and I have been taken prisoner by female guards.
I have no idea what is going on.
I wonder if we were betrayed by Hades, when he opened the Box in his Office.
Then I see Adam.
He no longer looks like a truant Child.
He looks like a Man who has stared Death in the eye.
And Death knelt at his feet and called him Master.
I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid.
Then I realize stupidity is inevitable, whenever Man sees Woman.
So instead I start to pray.
Pray he does the Right Stupid Thing.
Continued from Part 7
As expected, the Office of Hades is locked.
I use the Master Key to open it.
Adam and I enter.
The snappily dressed figure at the desk grins.
He looks surprisingly relaxed.
Maybe he did take that vacation after all.
Continued from Part 6
Where the Hades should I go now?
All the people I care about aren’t here yet.
Jesus warned me I only had a brief time with the Master Key of St. Peter.
How the heck am I supposed to empty out Hell?
Which one person could I reach or succor that could make an outsized difference?
Oh. Duh. I guess there’s a reason I bear his name.
Continued from Part 5
I stare at the desk.
As I have for days.
I know I must open it.
But I am terrified of what I might find.
Of what I could become.
I finally reach a trembling hand towards the first drawer.
Suddenly there is a knock on the door!
I nearly crap my pants.
I call out in a shaky voice.
More by reflex than curiosity.
I dare not even imagine who might be coming for me in this place.
The Office of Hades.
“Who is it?” I croak.
“It is I,” replies a voice.
But, surely not here?
It must be a trap.
But I am already trapped.
And I never thought to lock the door.
What have I got to lose?
Continued from Part 4.
I nod to the security guard as I enter the lobby of the 666-story office building.
Surprisingly, the personage I seek has an office on only the 33rd floor.
I walk through the metal detector, smiling apologetically as the arrow through my heart sets off the alarm.
The guard rolls her eyes and waves me through.
I suppose they get all kinds here…
Inspired by Correcting Jesus
Dear Peter, Its okay.
I know you’re scared that
I’m going away.
This is quite likely the most foolish and arrogant story I have ever attempted: trying to improve upon how Jesus responded to Peter’s rebuke.
Nevertheless, if I am to take Him at His word that we will do greater things than He did, I have to start somewhere…
Continued from Part 3
The arrow penetrates my heart.
I feel horror, but no pain.
I black out.
A man wearing a toga and a sweatband stands over me.
H. How are you feeling?
E. Um, not bad for having an arrow in my chest. Can you give me a hand with that?
H. Hmm, I can probably cut off the end of the arrow. And rig up a brace to hold your cracked ribs together enough for you to breathe. That should keep you going.
E. Wait, aren’t you the god of healing?
I know how Adam must’ve felt
When Eve ate the Apple.
That’s why he ate.
Because he would rather
Die with her
Than live alone.
Satan head-faked him.
She wouldn’t have died.
Or God could have raised her
If he’d only managed to endure
Until God showed up
Eve was deceived by desire
Adam was deceived by despair
That is what kept them
From reaching for
The Tree of Life
Continued from Part 2
Ernie: Seriously, Aphrodite, can you give me a break?
Aphrodite: Hey, I’m on your side. I’m not doing this to you.
Aphrodite: But I have a sister…
Our tour bus is heading back to the hotel.
We thought we had a chance.
We hadn’t known each other at all when this started.
We were just a random group of strangers thrown onto a team.
But something improbable happened.
We fell in love with each other.
We became a troupe.
We started winning.
We dared to believe we could win it all.
Until it all fell apart.
In response to the recent storming of the US Capitol.
I hate it.
I hate You.
Look at You. “All powerful.” “All wise.” “All loving.”
Yeah, right. Have You seen this world?
Worse, have You seen those who dare to call themselves Your people? Your representatives? Your priests?
A story of Law and Grace
With a mule.
They capture me.
Take me into a dungeon.
Make me dig.
I break free.
Shove them into an abyss
Including their little black dog.
Ignoring their screams for help.
I open the steel door and lock it behind me.
Then turn a corner in the corridor.
There is another door up ahead.
I am always escaping, but never free.
Then I meet Jesus.
He sends me back down.
I don’t want to go.
But I obey.
It seems to take forever.
I finally get to the last door.
I look inside.
I see the tormented soul in the ditch.
It is me.
To the tune of Psalm 22.
Oh Lord! How long must I wait? How long will you leave me in dismay?
The one I love has turned against me. Her teeth rip into my skin. Hard sticks break my bones.
Lord, I am not innocent in your eyes. Who can stand before your perfect justice? Who can measure up to your standards of holiness?
But I have humbled myself before God and man — and woman! I have searched my heart and confessed my sins against those who have wronged me. I have repaid good for evil, and forgiven those who plotted against me.
Lord, look down with mercy upon your servant, who trusts in you. You alone are my hope and salvation. I am like one struck dumb. All my words are turned against me.
Save me O Lord. You are my only hope.
Continued from Part 1.
I follow Jesus through the back wall of the temple, marching straight toward where the goddess awaits.
She is there, unsurprised by my presence. Beautiful, beyond all earthly beauty. A slight mysterious smile on her lips. She is wreathed in a flowing gown that enhances rather than conceals her perfect figure.
“Welcome back, Ernie. Are you here to worship?” she mouths seductively, as her gown fades to transparent.
I smile grimly, pulling a sword from my belt.
Continued from Part I.
Man and Woman were walking by a range of hills. Suddenly, a gleam of light caught Woman’s eye. She glanced up, and saw a beautiful blue sparkle high up on the side of a cliff. “Oh my,” she said, “how lovely! I wonder what that is?”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Man ran over and started climbing. Woman held her breath as his fingers and toes sought out tiny ledges to hold onto, and gasped once when he almost fell. But before she knew it, he had retrieved his prize and was kneeling before her, holding up a nearly transparent rock that glittered with all the colors of the sun.
That night by the fire, while she was admiring her gift, she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “You were so brave, today. I bet you aren’t scared to do anything!”
Man stiffened. Without a word, he got up and walked away into the darkness.
The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal GOD had made.
He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?”
The Woman smiled and said to the serpent, “Not at all. Actually, God did not tell me anything.”
The serpent was puzzled. “Wait, you mean you think you can eat from any tree in the garden?”
“Yes, that’s right,” she said, humming to herself as she sniffed a flower.
“This is too easy,” murmured the serpent. “Well then, have your tried the fruit from this tree here in the center? It is the best in the garden. In fact, it will make you smarter than your husband, as smart as God! You really need to experience it for yourself.”
The Woman saw that the tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that it would make her wise.
She half-reached an arm towards it…