Short Story IV: Immortal (40 days)

“Aaron! Don’t just stand there! Help us out!”
Aaron looks at Mary and his face shows a lot of doubt.
“Do you really think we should do this?”
“Hey! It’s his plan! We are only the servants who play it out, just like he asked”
“But… It’s lying… It’s a scheme…”
“Aaron! If you’re not helping us, fine. Go home. But never come back to us. You’re done. And he won’t like it one bit. You’ll be punished.”
Aaron still doubted the event that was taking place, here, in the middle of the night. But after a few seconds of overthinking the situation, he helped the others. “I’m going to regret this…”

It was a dark Saturday night. Too dark to really see… But it had to be done secretly. No one could know about this. It’s was his big plan.
Seventeen men and three women were pushing as hard as they could, against the huge rock.
It moved very slowly, but it moved until they heard him say: “It’s about time people. I’m dying in here!”. John chuckled: “Good one, Master…”

Felix, one of the taller men, asked: ”So now what, Master? We’ve freed you, do we get paid and go home? Are we going to travel with you?”
The Master answered: “No, my good man, all of you have done your job and you will be rewarded well. But remember, no word of this to anyone! Ever again. What happened tonight has to be erased from your memory, never come back up again. Understood?”
“Yes, Master” everyone replied.
“Okay, now everyone go home. To your families. I will make sure your rewards will be there within 40 days.”
The seventeen men and three women bowed before their Master and turned around to take off.
“Mary! Wait! Not you… I need you for a second…”
“Yes, Master”
The two of them waited until everyone was out of sight.
“Oh Manny…” Mary wrapped her arms around his waist.
“Aargh!!! Don’t grab me like that!! Aaah… Careful… Easy… It hurts…”
Mary took a step backwards.
“I’m sorry… You need to take care of these wounds…”
“I know… I will see Zacharias tonight…”
“Yes… Do that…”
“Oh, my sweet woman… I missed you… ” He held Mary’s face in his hands and placed his lips on hers. Mary replied his kiss with a sigh.
“I love you so much…” she said.
“I love you too, Mary. I will come back soon. I promise. I need to take care of a few things. In a couple of days I will bring you something. You have to keep it safe. Store it away, bury it for all I care, but it has to be in a safe place. It’s of the utmost importance, that this will not be revealed for a long time. Keep it safe until I return.”
“I will… Don’t worry. You can leave it to me; I’ll handle it with care… but… What is it if I may ask?”
“I can’t tell you. And you must promise me to never open it!”
“Okay. I promise. On my mother’s grave.”
“Good.. Good… You know what to do tomorrow morning, right? Peter and…”
“Yes… I know.” She interrupted him, “I know.”
“Do we need to get over it again?”
“No, I got it…”
“Good. Now give me a kiss. I have to be on my way. It’s a long walk…”
“Yes.. Be safe, my love…”
“I will.. Love you…”
“Love you too…”
Mary kissed him again and held his hands.
The Master looked at the sky, then looked at Mary and walked backwards, still holding her hands in his. Slowly they slipped out of hers, touching her fingers, until he was too far to reach. He turned around and walked away into the darkness.

Late in the following afternoon, Manny walks down a sandy road and runs into two young men.
He hides his face, not to be recognized. The two men are talking about what happened almost two weeks ago. While passing him they greet him and ask him where he’s going.
Manny says he’s meeting friends, talks some more to them and asks if they needed anything.
“No sir, we’re fine. Just a little hungry, that’s all. We’re going over to that village and see if we can work there for food.”
Manny says: ”Guys, guys… Here… take some… I have enough.”
He’s taking a loaf of bread out of his bag and breaks it in half. “Take this…”
The men look at each other and then back at Manny. “Thanks mister… Thanks a lot”
“Don’t mention it”
The men accept the bread and thank him. Manny resumed his journey.

It’s already late in the evening when Manny meets up with most of his friends: His accomplices.
In this particular place where most of their meetings took place, Manny walked towards the head of the table and said: “Friends! Are you all here?”
He looked around and counted them. “Hey where’s Tom?”
Simon stood up and said: “Master Immanuel, if I may speak…”
“Of course Simon… Tell me. Do you know where he is? I thought my instructions were perfectly clear.”
“Master… Tom had feelings of doubt. He did not want to be part of this….”
“Okay… I will deal with him later. For now, let’s discuss the next part of the plan.”
Manny explained the men what they would have to do for the next few days.
After everybody knew their part, Manny left again.

A week later, when Mary is cleaning out her kitchen, he walks in.
Looking into the kitchen, he sees Mary standing there with her back towards him.
He smiles and tries to sneak up behind her, very softly, very slowly…
Thinking to himself “She is such a beautiful woman… I’m truly blessed to have her….”
Mary is putting some pots away and she has no idea who’s creeping up behind her.
The Master lifts his hands and grabs her by the waist.
Mary drops a pot and a high pitched scream escapes her mouth. She turns around and looks her lover in the eyes. “Jesus! You scared the hell out of me!” Mary yells while playfully pounding her fists on his chest.
” Hahaha, I’m sorry!”
“No you’re not! Jack-ass!”
“Here’s the package I want you to keep.”
“Oh… Yes… I will find the perfect spot for it.”
“I have no doubt you will, Mary”
“Oh, Aaron told me to thank you. He received his payment and he was very content with it.”
“I told him it would be worth it…”
“Yes, but he was unsure. And I get it. It’s quite a job we pulled off…”
“Indeed, my love. But we’re not finished yet. This will take months, if not years to come out. But we’ll be long gone by then.”
“Yes…”
“So… I’ll be on my way. I still have a month’s work to do.”
Mary looks at his wrists and says: “Oh god… Manny… Does it hurt?… How are you feeling? You look different…”
He looks down to his arms and turns them around.
“It’s okay, baby… Not too bad… I have some good herbs for them.”
“And your…” She looks down.
“Hardly feel it anymore…” he says. “Don’t you worry about a thing, Mary… I’ll be alright and before you know it we’re out of here…”
Mary asks him if he will stay overnight but he refuses. ”No… you know I have a strict schedule. I really need to be going. Did everything go according to plan?”
“Yes..”
“Okay, good. I had some troubles with the guys… Tom bailed on us. I need to find him.”
“Of course”
“So… I really should be leaving now. Bye baby, I’ll be with you soon”
“Bye Manny…”
Thirty days later, Immanuel had summoned his friends. They were not meeting in their usual place, but this time he had asked them to meet him on the top of the Mountain of Olives.
They all sat down on the ground as he started to speak to them.
“Friends! This is the last time I will gather you around. I will be leaving tonight, heading to France. You have all received your payments and your orders. These next ten days Matthias will see to it that everything will go as planned. If there’s any problem, you can go to him.
I have given Mary something to keep safe. I will return for that after the storm has settled.”

Peter whispered to Judas: “That fucking whore… What is she that we are not? He has been treating her like she’s better than all of us. She’s a woman for heaven’s sake…”
Judas said: “Yes… I don’t understand what that’s about. He’s probably banging her…”
“Now… All of you go back to Jerusalem. Spread the words, write it down. Do whatever you need to do. I will be on my mission to take my vengeance to Pontius…
You shall receive more power when I return; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth… Now go!!”
Immanuel watched the crowd leave. Then when they were all out of sight he turned around and traveled to the West. There was a boat waiting for him in Azotus.

Six years later on a dark, cold winter night in France, an old man walked around in his garden, looking at the moon.
Then a voice behind him yelled: “Pontius!”
The man turned around when he heard his name and saw a dark shadow.
“Who is it that calls me by my former name?”
“The man you have sentenced to die! And finally I can get my revenge!”
“Who… Who are you?” Pontius stammered.
“You really have no idea, do you… I have traveled the world to find you: Rome, Vienne, Greece and now France. You are a hard man to track. I have been through hell and now I finally can face the man who destroyed my life, my marriage… I could have meant so much to the world. But now…”
“Who..who..”
“Shut up, you filthy killer. You have killed too many… You have gotten away with so much. No be prepared to meet your doom.”
Immanuel took out a blade that reflected the moonlight in Pontius’s eyes and walked towards him.
Pontius took a step back.
“You can’t run anymore, old man. Tonight, you die!”
With a thrust, Immanuel struck the old man in the chest.
“You nailed me to that cross! You left me to die! But I didn’t!”
“You!?! Rex Iudaeorum?!? The… The Nazarene?”
“Yes… Look in my eyes and accept your fate.”
Pontius looked away in shame and died…

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