The Biblical Times

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hi, after a long absence here is a religious themed comedy of sorts..hope all will enjoy!

Submitted: October 06, 2013

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Submitted: October 06, 2013

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THE BIBLICAL TIMES

Judea – 27 AD – Scoopus sat on the frightfully uncomfortable stone tablet outside the office of Dominus Editorius of the Biblical Times.

Whenever Dominus summoned you, it was never a good thing. The man’s hard, cold features seemed as etched into his flesh as the stories published on his stone tablets. Scoopus had never heard Editorius once..not even once..compliment a writer on a good story, good technique, marketability, timing..nothing. The man seemed impervious to compliments and obsessed with criticism.

“Scoopus!” he heard from deep within the office. “Get off your robe and get in here pronto!”

His office was comprised of cold grey stone reflective of the man himself with some sparse sketches of naked women, some at a waterfall adorning the walls. No colors of course, just bleak, black outlines of nameless, faceless women.

Scoopus also detected the familiar scent of the burning olive branches the old man smoked regularly.

Dominus sat on what appeared to be a marble throne, bare feet hoisted up on a large desk made of the heaviest granite around. He puffed furiously on the end of the olive branch sending wisps of brown smoke skyward to fill the room in a palpable haze.

Editorius wore his traditional brown robe while he preferred his staff to wear the less eye-catching white robe with yellow sash around the midriff such as what Scoopus bore.

His long flowing white beard reached his mid-torso which accentuated his thick grey eyebrows that appeared to be intertwined over the bridge of his nose.

In his gnarled arthritic hands he clutched a stone tablet, about ½ inch thick that clearly was the story Scoopus had submitted for this day’s edition of the Times. He idly waved his hand indicating that Scoopus was free to sit on a small piece of stone that hadn’t been swept of pebbles on the seat.

“Scoopus,” he began, shifting the branch to the left side of his mouth, “What are you giving me here? Like what do you call this garbage?”

“Sir?” Scoopus asked, painfully aware of his present intimidation.

Editorius swept his legs from the top of the desk and assumed a standing position, still tightly grasping the tablet.

“I mean this..” he gestured, “This thing you call a story..what I am I supposed to do with it?” His eyes left the tablet and stared into Scoopus’ bright green pupils.

“Well Dominus, it’s my story. It’s cutting edge.” Scoopus deeply swallowed causing his Adam’s apple to bob profoundly.

“Cutting edge? Cutting edge? That’s a laugh!” hollered Editorius. “I mean let’s go through this together.” He idly scratched his skullcap as he read, “Okay let’s see here… yada yada revolutionary Jewish prophet… dum de dum.. “witnesses say”.. blah blah heal the sick..perform miracles..like, here’s what I mean, turn water into wine? Walk on water? Give eyesight to the blind? Like what kinda garbage is this? Where is the proof kid, the proof?”

“Proof, Dominus?”

Editorius rolled his eyes heavenwards. “Yes proof! Writing isn’t all about smoke and mirrors my dear boy. Yeah sure the stories will grab people’s attention and make ‘em remember it fine, but what makes this different from some show they can see by Sigfried and Royus at the Coliseum? Give me evidence. Give me proof that the miracles happened!”

Scoopus stared down at his sandals. He knew the story was good. The Jewish prophet Jesus was certainly headline material and while he couldn’t exactly see Dominus gushing over it, he at least figured his reception would have been a tad warmer.

“Alright, what should I do Dominus?” he said with a sigh.

“Do?” Editorius’ bushy eyebrows rose towards his receding hairline. “Do? C’mon here. Time for a lesson.”

He quickly strode around his desk and grabbed Scoopus by his arm, nearly throwing him off the stone slab. The branch in his mouth was now little more than a stump, so he angrily tossed it to the ground.

He and Scoopus exited the office and Dominus gestured to his right hand side.

There were two reporters franticly etching words into small tablets using hammers and chisels.

“Scoopus, this is Biceps and Triceps. Boys, this is Scoopus. Watch these two. Their arms move like there’s no tomorrow. They give eyewitness accounts…their eyewitness accounts of all the celebrity gossip around town. Then they haul ass back here and etch like there is no tomorrow.”

Triceps proudly lifted his tablet. The headline read “Judas to wed Kardashian…Marriage in Hell?”

“So you see?” continued Dominus, “Dust off those sandals and start pounding sand. See this guy Jesus do his thing and write it in the first person..I saw this..I saw that.. it makes for a more believable story.”

Dominus thrust the tablet into Scoopus' scrawny arms and shooed him out the door. As Scoopus was leaving, he heard Dominus shout behind him, “And don’t come back until it’s done right!”

*****

Scoopus’ eyes frantically searched the crowded streets for the prophet Jesus. He had heard that Jesus often stood upon a pedestal directly outside the Coliseum preaching to large groups of people about purity of heart and spirit and his amazing healing powers directly from God.

Sadly, on this day no prophet was to been seen outside the Coliseum. In fact, the only person around was a blind man and his camel feebly attempting to peddle small lanterns made of brass.

Scoopus searched down the narrow sidestreets, nearly being knocked over my screaming children frolicking in the hot sun. The weight of the slab he held under his armpit was starting to make his right arm muscles cramp, so he transferred the weight to his left. He wiped his sweaty brow and made his way back in the direction of his hut to try and figure out how he was going to pull this altogether and make some shekels from old man Dominus.

Just then a bright momentary flash caught his eye. He squinted, but could not make out the source of the brilliance. He raised his hand to his brow and was able to make out the figure of a man peacefully sitting on the ground, his back against an old olive tree which shaded him from the heavy sun’s rays.

The man wore an astonishing white robe, similar to his own, but this robe shone. This alone was the source of the brightness that surrounded him. He had beautiful long brown locks of hair which cascaded onto his narrow shoulders. He did sport a long beard, but it was more refined and dignified in comparison to the unruly mane growing from Dominus’ face.

This, this was the prophet Jesus. This was the man that will make his story front slab news! All he had to do was witness a miracle firsthand and his job was complete.

Scoopus trotted up to the man laying peacefully under the tree.

“Prophet Jesus? This is you?”

The man slowly turned his head and his eyes locked with Scoopus’. He smiled and warmth emanated from his very pore. “Yes my child, it is I, Jesus of Nazareth.”

“Ah, great, great,” Scoopus said as he knelt down beside the prophet. “Name’s Scoopus Writus, Biblical Times. I tried doing a story on you, great stuff really, but my editorius says I need to witness a miracle, so could you..k’now..do one for me?”

Jesus appeared quizzical. “Do one for you? Like what did you have in mind?”

Scoopus shrugged. “I dunno..like a burning bush, man wrestling an angel, turn a staff into a snake.. just something I can say I saw for the story to go to print. Maybe have my uncle Cheapus pick up a check for once…just joking on that one.”

Jesus smirked and reached out to grasp Scoopus’ hand. He had a feather-like touch, but his grip was like iron.

“My child..there are miracles every day. Fresh water, singling birds, sunlight, these are all God’s miracles. You cannot just ‘make them happen’ for fodder.”

Scoopus tried to withdraw his hand but Jesus’ grip held tight. “But you did do the things I wrote about right? Like water into wine? Walking on water? Those things did happen right?”

Jesus displayed a wide smile exposing his ivory white teeth. “They were done for a purpose. Not for entertainment. They were done to help people and educate them about God. Not for front page headlines of some rag.”

Scoopus nodded and finally Jesus withdrew his hand. He slipped the slab back under his right armpit and thanked the prophet for his wisdom.

Jesus said nothing in return, just closed his eyes and smiled, still reclining under the olive tree.

That night in his hut, Scoopus lit a candle and took a small pebble and began to etch a new story onto a fresh slab. He entitled it, ‘DAY TO DAY MIRACLES – AN INSIDER’S STORY”

FIN


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