I originally posted this story in August, 2014, on my old blog. It was written by a coworker of my daughter’s who discovered our flash discussions. By this time, my kid had asked for a list of possible prompts she could choose from. He checked out the list as well.
Kevin used the prompt – take a myth and give it your own special twist. This is one of my favorite prompts because I feel this is the very heart of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Word limit was set at 1000, and he presented a very interesting tale he entitled The Carpenter.
The bastard claimed to be God. His mother was pregnant before she married, and everyone knew the groom was not the father. The bastard first claimed God was his father, and later claimed he himself was God in the flesh. His delusions of grandeur would have been no more than psychosis had the rest of them not believed him.
He spoke to us and said the most bizarre things:
“I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
“For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
“Unless you hate your family you cannot join me.”
“Eat my flesh and drink my blood. My flesh is real food and my blood is indeed drink.”
A couple of people claim he went into the desert and faced the devil, and won. It is said the devil offered him riches and power, but this man made the devil go away. I still wonder how anyone knows what was said when it was only the Carpenter and the devil in the desert, and the Carpenter wrote not one word.
Others say he faced a man with many demons, who were so afraid they fled out of the man. What kind of person can scare hundreds of demons? A meek, humble man? Absolutely not! The meek are the favorite abiding places of demons. No, the one who makes demons tremble must be someone more powerful and more evil than they. He must be one who is truly to be feared.
He even said, “Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” But supposedly there is no fear in love, and God is love. This man could not be God! The Carpenter’s own words condemned him, yet his followers grew!
There have been many accounts about the Carpenter as the beginning of the one ascribed to a “Luke” proclaims. In addition to the ones in the book, there are “gospels” by “Timothy,” “Paul,” “Mary Magdalene,” “Peter,” and even one ascribed to yours truly. Yet supposedly thousands were fed by him and healed by him, but we have not been blessed by one account by any of them. Not one.
Of course, the “multitudes” were a lot smaller. At first he thought there was only one basket of bread and fish. We passed it out when some of the people brought they own catches and purchases and shared with each other! It was a great day to be eating in the sun together, strangers suddenly becoming fast friends. But they wrote the Carpenter did it. “Matthew” and “Mark” said he did it twice!! How did they expect anyone to believe that the sword bringer who destroys families would unite strangers?! You may as well believe in talking snakes.
The Carpenter even kicked over tables and whipped merchants who were changing currency! “Turn the other cheek”?! Only so he could hit that one too.
He had to be stopped.
I spoke with the authorities and arranged the meeting and even assisted in the apprehension of the crazy Carpenter.
Long story short, he was arrested , killed (the Carpenter died on a cross. How’s that for irony?), and put into a nameless mass grave with the other poor and homeless, never to be heard from again.
But a few decades later people started writing stuff and then the trouble began.
They say the Carpenter came back to life after three days. And let me tell you, that Friday night to Sunday morning is NOT three days!
Some say he was buried in a rich man’s tomb; wouldn’t this rich man have access to his own tomb? There goes the “resurrection” story.
Some say an angel opened the tomb; some say an earthquake opened it. One tale says Mary the Magdalene did not even recognize her close friend, but thought he was the gardener! My personal favorite that only good ol’ “Matthew” tells us was that when the Carpenter died many dead people rose from their graves and walked the streets of Jerusalem. Did I mention that some of these stories were funny?
Funny perhaps except for the fate of yours truly. I was an eyewitness to this madman’s actions. I saw his psychosis at work. I acted while the rest followed him like lemmings. I put an end to the evil. And how am I remembered? I hung myself from a tree. Or, I threw myself done on rocks until my guts came out. Even the writers couldn’t agree what happened to me as long as the point was made: the whistleblower was dead.
So the madman is remembered as a god and the concerned citizen a betrayer. Even today people still eat bread and drink wine as a substitute for the man’s flesh and blood, a sort of cannibalism by proxy. I suppose some things are easier to swallow than the truth.