Friday, May 20, 2011

Jesus Murphy: Blog Story (18)

 - Chapter 18 -
Back to Bethlehem


The landscape that surrounded them was familiar, even welcoming. Jesus remembered this place so vividly, memories of his childhood flooded his mind. He hadn't been here in eight years, ever since they went on the run from the Sicarii.

Jesus had been with Martin for less then a year when their protector, Madonna Riviera, up and vanished from the small fishing town of Bethlehem, leaving them unprotected and vulnerable. Jesus was young, not yet an adolescent, when he healed an old man's injury. He was unaware of this special ability until that day and news quickly followed of a boy who could heal wounds. 

Threatening situations soon followed and Martin decided best to run while they still had the chance. His nephew was too immature and uneducated in the matter to truly grasp the reality of the threats. His abilities, however great they were, could be used for darker, more sinister deeds. Martin explained this to Jesus and promised to elaborate more when the latter would turn sixteen.

A promise Jesus intended for Martin to keep.

They arrived exactly where Jesus expected; Martin's house. It had changed through the years. The past owner's must have disliked the country feel of it and updated the features. The red tin roof was gone, replaced with the usual black, sparkling shingles. The stucco had been painted a dark blue, giving the house a sombre shade.

"I don't like what they've done with the place" Jesus remarked as they pulled into the driveway.

"I'm glad we're on the same page. I'll need some help getting this place back to shape" Martin answered, bringing the car to a stop.

It was silent in the car. Martin gave a friendly punch on Jesus' shoulder making the latter one laugh. "Welcome home, cowboy."

The moment Jesus stepped inside the house, he was overwhelmed by the smell that rushed at him. The placed looked like a wreck. Everything was gutted, including the walls. Jesus sighed and stepped to the side to let Martin thru.

"She didn't mention the whole gutting..." Martin said.

"I didn't think it would bother you, Martin Christ." Madonna answered, walking out of one of the bedrooms on the right.

She was just as Jesus remembered; tall blonde with the expression of a snarling bulldog.

"You left us when we needed you the most!" Jesus lashed out unable to control the anger that boiled inside his pit.

"You haven't told him, Martin? How are we suppose to suceed without trust?" Madonna said, looking directly at Martin.

Jesus could sense the dissapointment in her voice. Something stirred in his gut. Regret.

"I want to talk to Jesus alone" She continued.

Martin nodded in approval and stepped outside, leaving Jesus alone with the Agent. Madonna removed her lavender jacket and made her way towards the kitchen. Jesus followed her into what probably used to be a kitchen but was now just another empty space.

"You probably feel a lot of anger towards me Jesus and I understand. I'm shocked that Martin hasn't explained to you the importance of my departure. Had I stayed, this world as we know it wouldn't be. You have to trust me, Jesus."

Jesus listened to every word she was saying even though he didn't want to hear anything she had to say. He knew she was using her own abilities to make him focus on her words.

"I'm back now and that's all that matters. I am not going anywhere and I promise that. Nobody remembers what you did and I personally made sure of that. The Agency has placed a protective barrier around the city. We shouldn't be having any problems for a while."

Something about her had changed. She wasn't as stern as he remembered nor as stuck-up. Jesus felt comforted by her words, reassured even. As if the past nine years of running, hiding, and fearing capture had never occured. He would never forget Joan, he wouldn't let that memory fly away.

"So what happens now, then. We just live a normal life?" Jesus asked, shifting uncomfortably.

"Not exactly. Normal doesn't apply to people like us, Jesus. I want to show you something"

Madonna walked into the space that would normally be reserved for the dining room. There was an antique oak table in front of the patio doors, a laptop resting on its freshly polished surface. A photo of a boy took up half the screen. He was surely Jesus' age and looked very average. Short brown hair, fairly straight features safe his curved upper lip.

"His name is Goliath Zane. I think you should befriend him at school, get to know him a little." Madonna suggested, smiling at Jesus.

"You sure don't skip a beat. What's the reason?"

"I just think you guys can learn something about each other. You see, you're going to heal him."

"Really?" Jesus remarked, somewhat arrogantly.

"Yes, really. Don't be smug." She said, frowning at him. "In a way, he'll heal you too. What you need to attend to in his case you need to work on yourself first." She said, closing the laptop and walking out of the room. Before Jesus could even ask what that was, Madonna answered his question.

"Anger, Jesus. Work on it."

Jesus couldn't see her face as she stepped outside but he knew she was smiling.

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