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Fiction #531
(published March 24, 2011)
On Beginnings
by Ben Murphy
"All right, all right, cut him down."

"Actually, this one's nailed up, sir."

"Nailed up?!" Pilate shouted. "Jesus, what are we, barbarians?"

"Don't be so hard on yourself," said Jesus.

"Christ, what an asshole," muttered Pilate.

"Actually, we kind of had some plans," said Peter.

"Well this hurts a really lot," said Jesus. "Like, ow ow ow."

"Well, still, I mean, you're practically dead, so why not, you know, go all the way, as it were. The full monty and what not."

"Well, I wouldn't want my being alive to screw up your dinner party."

"Actually, it wasn't so much a dinner party, it was more a religion, really."

"Look, am I taking him down or not?" asked Pilate.

"Actually I'd be taking him down," said the guard.

"Shut up," said Pilate.

Jesus ignored them. "We're all Jews, why do you need another religion?"

"I'm not," said the guard.

"Shut up," said Peter. "We were all just kind of thinking-"

"Who's we all?" asked Jesus.

"Me and some of the guys, that's all. We were just kind of thinking that maybe we'd do this new thing, try that out a little bit. . . "

"This again?" said Jesus. "Please tell me we're not back to this. And I'm not entirely sure I've made quite clear the level of pain getting nailed to a cross entails. And this stupid crown certainly isn't helping."

"I think it looks cute," said the guard.

"Shut up," said Pilate and Peter.

"I haven't got all day here," said Pilate, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Well could you just stay up there a little longer and maybe think about it a little bit?" asked Peter.

"I don't want to kvetch or anything, but right now, at this particular juncture, I can think of about a million things I'd rather be doing than thinking while nailed to a cross. I don't believe I can possibly describe to you the pain I'm in at this very moment. In fact, I'd probably have to describe the amount of pain to you as indescribable, really, if I'm being honest."

"Will you please just cut him down?" asked Judas.

"I'm not entirely sure you get to have a say in all this," said Peter.

"Ooh, this is getting fun," said Pilate.

"It wouldn't really be cutting him down since he's nailed up. . . " said the guard.

"Shut up," said everyone.

"Well maybe I'm feeling a little twinge of the guilt, happening here, is that so wrong?" asked Judas.

"Well maybe we wouldn't be in this whole mess if somebody didn't have to go run to the police."

"I'd like to point out that I'm still nailed up here, and I'd really rather not be," said Jesus.

Judas ignored him. "It was more complicated than that! And maybe you should just shut your fat face."

"Ya, or what? Huh? You gonna go run to the po-po again?"

"I can't feel my toes. Guys? Guys? I'm trying to wiggle my toes. Are they moving?"

"I'll wipe the smug right off your face, you prick. Any time, any place."

"Ya you'd like that, wouldn't you? Some hot man on man action, that'd really twirl your toga, wouldn't it?"

"I'm feeling kind of light-headed up here. It's very unpleasant. Did I mention that? Being nailed to anything is probably unpleasant, but I can really only speak to the unpleasantness of being nailed to a cross, which I would characterize as very unpleasant indeed."

"What, so now I'm gay? That's your big come back? Oh no everybody, Judas is gay! What a great burn!"

"Well sorry I'm not clever enough to flex my pecs and look tough, since that is evidently the best you're capable of. Who wears a leather jacket over a toga, anyway? Honestly!"

"Uh-oh. I think I'm going to pass out. Little help? Anyone? Well crap."

"Well I don't think it's my fault that I look good in leather. And you know you'd be all over this look if you could, wait, what just happened?"

"I think he just died," said the guard.

"Poke him and find out," said Pilate.

"Not with the pointy end, you ass!" shouted Peter at the guard.

"Well if he wasn't dead before he is now," said Pilate.

"He was dead before," said the guard glumly.

"Well great," said Judas. "While you were whining Jesus died. I hope you're happy."

"While I was whining?" Peter shouted. "You're the whiner! I'm writing in my book how big a dick you are!"

"You're writing a book? Ya, like anyone will ever read that. I'll write my own book that's about all the stuff Jesus and I talked about when you weren't around!"



"Stop being so immature."

"You stop being so immature."

"Stop talking."

"No you stop."

"No you."

"No you."

"I think we've witnessed something special here today," said the guard.

"Shut up," said Pilate.

Ben Murphy writes from Brooklyn, NY.

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