Sunday, April 24, 2011
Just for EASTER: an excerpt from CALAMITY
“Do you know what today is?”
“Is this a trick?”
“It’s Good Friday. The day Jesus was nailed to the cross. He had to carry his own cross; he was beaten, whipped, tortured, humiliated. He bore this brunt with a heavy heart but a steady back and solid feet. He may have fallen on his way to the delight of hecklers, but he always got back up again. He marched to Golgotha, the place of the skull, and was nailed to the cross. You have heard this?”
“Yes. And I’m sorry it happened but--”
“Do not weep for him. He was crucified for us, Anthony. We should rejoice. On that cross, he agonized with the final dying breaths of life. It is believed he was nailed to the cross at noon and was dead at three. Do you know what he said before he died?”
“Of course. He said, ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?’”
“No,” Ellis said. “He said, ‘It is finished.’ Do you know why that’s important?”
Anthony kept quiet.
“Jesus knew what was going to happen. He knew of Judas’s betrayal; he knew of Pilate’s washing of his hands; he knew of the torture; he knew of his death. He knew of all of this long before it ever happened. He was an emissary from God; his mission was to show man the path to empowerment.”
“His death did that?”
“When he died, an earthquake rumbled throughout the land, tumbling buildings, cracking open tombs. That was the sign.”
“That Man fucked up again? First Eve in the Garden and now a pack of bloodthirsty Jews?”
“No. It was the sign that man could finally find the righteous path and harness the unequal might of God’s empowerment. Jesus was sent to show us the way and he did, if we are willing to look and not fear the suffering that may come along the journey.”
“What do you want me to do?” Anthony wanted to fall asleep or die or something.
“Today is a holy day. The power is out there waiting. Do you see the time?”
Ellis gestured to the digital car clock: 3:00.
“Good timing,” Anthony said, hoping it would be much more flippant than it came out.
“There are no coincidences, Anthony, only curious things we can’t explain along the path God has set for us, if we choose to take it.”
One of the men exited Anthony’s house. He rolled the duffel bag on its tiny wheels down the driveway. The bag was stretched so tightly that one of the side zippers hadn’t made it all the way shut. A piece of bloody sheet stuck out like a mottled ghost-white tongue.
“There’s something you need to do,” Ellis said.
“Get new sheets?”
“Kill your wife.”