Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jesus Murphy: The Early Years (Prologue, Ch. 1-3)


The front doorbell sang a christmas tune and echoed throughout the modest family home. Joseph Murphy quickened his pace to greet his guests, stopping in the kitchen to kiss his wife on the cheek. They exchanged a smile and Mary returned to her preparations.

Three silouhettes outlined the glass door and Joseph recognized them as Mary's brothers. He cleared his throat and swung the door open.

"If it isn't the three wisemen!" He laughed as he shared hug and handshake with his brothers-in-law.

Joseph greeted them inside and took their coats. Michael, the eldest brother, looked like Mary in every way. He had the same dirty blonde locks, piercing blue eyes, and a smile that could charm the crudest of hags. He removed his top coat and handed it gracefully to Joseph.

Martin, the cadet, bore striking ressembles to his father. He had curly black hair and dark eyes that accentuated his sombre looks. He insisted on boosting his creep factor by sporting a rather lenghty trench coat and studying to become an embalmer. He neither smiled nor grinned when Joseph joked about his moody fashion.

They made their way towards the kitchen to see Mary. Malcom, the youngest of the brothers, was being himself by scanning the art that accentuated the home. He was the artist of the family and his fashion style betrayed that. Unlike his brothers, he kept his fair hair short and tailored. He often had odd objects hanging from his neck paired with eccentric t-shirts. Today, dried snake skin with a neon pink shirt with the logo of some emo band.

Malcom's eyes lit up when he stepped in the kitchen. "Mary!" He squealed and gave her a extended hug.

"Mal, how are you? Oh Tintin!" She smiled and hugged her brothers. Between them she saw Michael, lingering in the hall. She knew there would be tension and she had been ready for the eventuality.

"Joe, give them some wine" She said and kissed her husband. He understood what she meant and distracted his brothers-in-law. They quickly began a conversation about Malcom's first year at college.

Michael attempted a smile as his sister walked up towards him. He ran his hand through his hair and cleared his throat. Mary stopped a few feet from him and extended her arm. She waved her fingers, gesturing for him to accept the hug.

"You can't stay mad forever" Mary said, dropping her arms when she realised Michael wasn't going to embrace her back. She sighed. "Goddamnit Michael, are you ever going to get over it?"

He exhaled deeply and looked his sister in the eyes. She always hated when he did that. It reminded her too much about her father. Michael was fourty years old, fourteen years older then she was, and his stern expression often spoke of authority. Mary looked away as he spoke.

"I accepted the marriage, Mary. And I came here because it is christmas. But how can you do that?" He spat out, pointing at her round belly. "He's a carpenter, Mary, and has no income and no assets under his name. How can you -"

"Shut it, Mike." She whispered, interupting her brother. "You listen to me. This is my house. My home. I love that man and he loves me. We built a life for ourselves, you should be happy."

"I am and -"

"I wasn't finished." She continued, brushing her rebel strands of hair behind her ear. "If you can't respect Joe and I, you are not welcomed here." She said, finally looking back into his eyes. And for once, it was he that looked away.

"Maybe I should go look for a hotel room, then" He said, somewhat sadly.

"Maybe you should" Mary answered matter-of-factly.

He grabbed his jacket from the closet and walked out of the house. Mary sighed and lingered in the hallway for a few minutes before returning to her kitchen. When she walked in, the boys were laughing togheter around a bottle of wine. It made her smile. She rubbed her belly with affection and was about to sit down with her family when she felt a throbbing pain in her abdomen.

"Are you okay, hun?" Malcom asked, getting up from his chair as Mary bent over, clutching at her belly.

The pain came again. Then again. Mary let out a cry of horror as blood began dripping down her canary-yellow dress.

"OH GOD! CALL 9-1-1!" Joseph screamed as he cradled his wife into his arms.

She was screaming and trashing in her husband's arms, unable to remain still. He told Martin to get the keys to the truck as he ran towards the door. Mary called for God and her bloody hand streaked the wall as they passed. She knocked over the wreath that hung on the door and the last thing she saw before blacking out was the blinking christmas lights.

 - Chapter 1-
Christmas Day Birth

I don't remember when it was that I first began feeling special. I can estimate that it was sometime around my twelfth birthday. I could be wrong. Sometimes I would lay in bed and look up at my ceiling and find patterns in the paint splatter. I never thought it meant anything, that it was somehow a litteral maping of my destiny. The signs were everywhere and I was too blind to realise them, caught up in my own little world to notice that the world was calling me. So it forced me to notice.


"Jesus!" Mary screamed as the nurse wrapped the baby in the blanket and walked out of the delivery room. "His name is Jesus!"

"You need to rest, ma'am. You've lost a lot of blood." One of the doctors said, his voice muffled by the mask that covered his mouth. He spoke gibberish with another doctor then walked back to Mary. She noticed he was holding a syringe.

"No, please. I just want to hold my son" Mary was pleading with them, struggling against their firm grips. She kicked and screamed ignoring the pain that pulsed down her legs. One of the doctors held her arms down as the other came down with the syringe. Mary felt the prick, felt the liquid coarsing through her veins, felt her world shrink around her until it vanished into blackness.

Joseph Murphy was pacing up and down the bright white corridor, biting away at the skin around his nails. Malcom and Martin we're talking togheter near the vending machine. Joseph was just about to join them when he felt a hand rest on his shoulder. It was Michael. He was holding two cups of warm coffee and handed one to Joseph. He declined.

"How is she?" Michael asked, somewhat remorsefully. 

"I don't know. I'm still waiting for the doctor." 

A man dressed as Santa Clause was attending to the patients, cheering them up with Ho Ho Ho's. They stood there in silence for a few minutes. None had anything to say to the other yet their presence was comforting. Michael had his hands in his pockets and Joseph remained stiff, the skin around his eyes irritated. He had never cried this much in his life. He had returned home to get some spare clothing and fell to the floor in tears when he saw the blood-smeared wall.

"I'll be over there" Michael said, indicating the vending machine where his brothers stood.

Joseph nodded and continued pacing. People were walking past him, some staff some patients, and his thoughts were the only thing distracting him from the sterile smell of Nazareth Hospital. Soft Christmas carols were lost in the background. He was so deep in his mind that he didn't hear Doctor Amasa calling his name.

"Mr. Murphy?"

Joseph snapped out of his thoughts and asked the doctor how Mary was doing; was she okay, what about the baby, is the baby okay, is Mary okay? His eyes expressed his desperation. Doctor Amasa's thick eyebrows frowned and sunk towards his eyes as he lowered his head and sighed.

"I'm sorry. Your wife didn't survive the childbirth."

- Chapter 2 -
Death And Abilities

Some would call me lucky, others blessed. I prefer to say that God gave me life for a purpose. My mother died during childbirth yet I somehow survived. Knowing what I know now, I would have much prefered death to living a life with a spiteful, alcoholic father.

The blame started early on. It was my fault, of course, that my mother died during labour. The blame eventually turned to anger. I would often come home and receive the back hand across the face, the lashes of his leather belt. His hatred ate away at his soul, tore him up from the inside until he couldn't take it any longer.


"There you are Jesus. I was looking everywhere for you." Mrs. Hanover said, grabbing the boy by the hand and walking back towards the big yellow bus.

He was resisting, pulling away as she pushed forward. Mrs. Hanover stopped in front of the rows of evergreens and kneeled down in front of Jesus. She grabbed both of his hands and stroked them tenderly.

"Is something wrong, Jesus?"

He shook his head sideways without looking up at his teacher. He had a frown and his brow was messed up. Later, Mrs. Hanover described it as "something out of a horror film, you know, those Japanese ones". The elderly woman looked away for a second and when she brought her attention back to little Jesus, he was all smiles. She raised her eyebrow in surprise and rested her hands on his shoulders. His long curly blonde hair tickled her frail fingers.

"Where were you, Jesus?" She asked. She could see he was troubled, bothered.

"In my happy place. With mom." He answered smiling.

He shrugged and walked past Mrs. Hanover. She looked on in confusion as she watched Jesus board the bus to head home. As the big yellow bus rolled past her, she spotted Jesus waving at her, a large grin plastered on his face.

Jesus waved goodbye to his friends on the bus and gave a special hug to the bus driver before walking down and out of the bus. He strolled slowly through the garden, picking at the strawberries. He sat down near his favourite tree and rolled up his jeans into shorts. The spring sun had warmed up the valley and sweat beads had formed in the back of his knees. He looked up at the house that created so many memories for him. He didn't think much of the funny feeling inside him. He always associated it with something he ate.

As he listened to the wind carry the tune of spring, Jesus was in complete denial of the power that manifested inside him. The little boy could only imagine his father drunk, hurt, but his denial prevented him from seeing what was actually waiting for him inside the Murphy Family home.

A beautiful orchid-coloured butterfly fluttered past him and he followed it towards the house, watching it fly in every direction. He felt as though the winged creature was guiding him home, telling him he needed to go in now. He smiled and pushed his long hair back and stepped inside the house.

"Daddy, I'm home!!"

Jesus closed the door behind him and ran towards the kitchen. His big blue eyes rested firmly on the deceased body of his father and tears swelled up inside them.

 - Chapter 3 -

I never met my mother. I was the unlucky one who missed out on her distinctive laugh, her charming smile, and caring touch. Everyone I encountered had nothing but sweet blessings for her and some swore she was a gift from God; one too precious to be kept her on Earth. My father, on the other hand, had started out a gentleman, a real town favourite. After my mother passed on he became sour and vile, taking up heavy drinking as a hobby and raging father as a passtime. Maggie would often tell me that he was the reason my - how can I phrase this - "special skills" were opressed. After his death, I became aware of the world around me.


The waiting room was quite silent when Martin walked in. His eyes moistened with tears when he spotted Jesus sitting alone by the water fountain, a distinctive sadness to his posture. His long curly blonde hair was shadowing his grim face, giving him an unwated maturity.

Martin walked up to him and rested his hand on the little boy's shoulder.

"Hey cowboy," Martin attempted a sympathetic smile, hoping his nephew would look up at him. But Jesus didn't and kept his attention on the marble tiles below.

A young woman walked out of a private office with a clipboard and asked Martin to accompany her inside. He told Jesus he wouldn't be long and they would be out of here shortly. Jesus nodded.

The young woman, Madonna Riviera, closed the door behind and gestured to Martin to have a seat. She adjusted her purple glasses and took a seat across from Martin. She brushed her blonde hair from her face and read off her clipboard. She looked up at Martin.

"It's nice to meet you, Mr..."

"Mr. Christ. Martin Christ."

"Your nephew is a very special boy, you know that, right?"

"Yes. My sister told me about...the arrangement."

Madonna smiled. She removed her lilac blazer and hung it on the antique brass coat rack. The whole office had a very masculine décor. Martin knew this wasn't her office. She was an Agent and had most likely sedated the actual staff. She walked up behind him, a stern expression painted on her naturally pale face.

"You are aware of the responsabilities you will have to undertake from now on, right?" She asked, walking back to the leather chair.

Martin was quite clear on the job that awaited him. Taking care of a child was daunting enough and Jesus wasn't just a regular child. Martin's palms were moist and he rubbed them quickly on his ripped black jeans. As much as Madonna was buttoned up and serious, Martin had a darker, artistic, laid back style that somewhat worried the Agency. He was surprised they had chosen him over Michael, the more mature, serious brother.

" Are you positive that I am the right one? I'm studying embalming. You guys haven't made a mistake? Michael is far -"

"Michael," Madonna said cutting him off, "might be the more...obvious choice, but you are the rational one. It might not be easy at first, but your heart is in the right place. If Jesus is to become who is destined to be, it shall be due to your guidance. We believe in you, Mr. Christ." She winked, and Martin could notice a sparkle in her grey eyes. He would later describe it as a reassuring light.

"Will you guys be watching him? I want him to lead a normal life." Martin insisted, which seemed to please Madonna judging by the smile on her face.

"Your protective instincts are charming, Mr. Christ. That is exactly why we have chosen you." She walked over to the overly large dramatic window and looked out, crossing her arms behind her back. "I might want to remind you that his life will be anything but normal"

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