Travis: The 13th Apostle
Travis sat with the group listening to the conversations. Random conversations that Travis normally avoided, but today was supposed to be THE day. Jesus had already talked to him about it, alone. No one else knew what the plan was. The thought worried Travis, who only started following the man after he was kicked out of Perry’s Pagan Posse, a rogue gang of thugs bent on thievery.
So, Travis watched Jesus sitting regally in the center of the table. Travis snorted. Jesus was always looking good. Hair well groomed, flowing down to his shoulders in golden brown tresses. Beard framing his face and lips, but also well-groomed and slightly tanned skin. Looking different from everybody else born in the entire area, Jesus was a marvel, and if he told the story, there was a reason. God was his father, so he said and it was this guy that kept Travis fed, so it was better not to disagree with that. Yet, he did like Jesus. He was funny and treated him like a little brother, often confiding in him a bit more than he did with the other apostles. Thus, this was why Travis felt obligated to talk him out of this plan of his…or his father’s.
Finally, he saw a break in conversation and decided that it would be good to get this on over with. Jesus will most certainly be annoyed and Travis knew Jesus could have a temper if he wanted after watching him go apeshit once, flipping tables and everything. Jesus got up from the table graciously, after telling them what them how they should eat of his body or something and was walking away with Mary. Travis excused himself, and ran over to catch up with him.
“Jesus! We have to talk, man.”
Jesus halted his stride and turned to him and smiled. Mary, sighed impatiently. “What is it, Travis, though I think I know what you want to say.”
“Yeah, ahh…might we talk about it…alone?” Travis glanced at Mary, who sneered before walking off down the hallway. Travis despised her.
“Ok…what?” Jesus said simply after Mary was out of earshot. The façade was down.
“Look…I know we discussed this plan of yours before, but I really think it’s a bad plan. I mean…really.”
Jesus sighed. “My father said that this was the way to do it. I listen to my father. You know my father right? God…creator of the world?”
Travis swallowed. “You do know that crucifixion really hurts, right? I’ve seen it happen. These guys are going to really screw you up.”
“Pfft…I’m the son of god, remember? You know I just said that, right? I’ll be fine, they can’t hurt me. Did I ever tell you about my days of youth? I was an actor, you know.” Jesus said a smile.
“You don’t have to pretend with me. You’re scared, right? These guys are gonna kick your ass!”
“That is part of the plan.”
“Getting your ass kicked should never be a part of a plan, Jesus. Is your father insane?!”
Jesus fixed Travis with a stern eye. “You watch how you talk about my father, Travis. He is God!”
Travis paused searching for a different way to get his point across. “Then, can’t he come up with a plan that does not involve you getting the shit stomped out of you?” Jesus glared at him. “Look, can I be frank with you?”
Jesus smiled. “Sure, Travis.”
Why is he smiling? “Look man, I have to be honest with you. I find it odd that the only way this plan is supposed to work is for you to be beaten and tortured to death. Your father is god. I saw you cast demons into pigs. Is there no other way to do this? I mean, you could take over the world and people would worship you.”
“You NEVER question my father, Travis. I’ve told you this before.” Jesus said…while smiling. “He made the plan. This is a part of the plan. It’s the plan. Plan. My father’s plan!”
“But, Jesus, man, come on! You’re going to die!”
Jesus’ smile broadened. “Well, only for three days.”
Travis hadn’t heard this part. “Three days? What do you mean?”
“Well, and you better not talk about this, after I die on the cross…this is after I say something really heartfelt and dramatic…” Jesus paused to build suspence. “I will rise in three days! Pow!”
Travis’ mouth dropped. “So, wait…are you going to die and come back or will you sort of pass out or what?”
“The first one, amigo!”
Travis pondered this with lips pursed. “But these people are going to believe that you made the ultimate sacrifice for their sins, but if you die and come back you actually haven’t sacrificed a thing! In fact, you know what’s going to happen. Isn’t that more manipulation than anything?”
“I still died, man.” With a chuckle no less.
“But you come back.”
“I KNOW! Ha haaa!”
“Well, it seems…I think…I don’t have anything to say…” Travis said with an exasperated sigh.
Jesus placed his hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry, bro. It’s going to be fine.” And as if on cue….here comes Mary. She gave Travis another sneer. And they walked off.
Later, as Travis watched Jesus carry the cross up a hill, bloodied and battered, with the crown of thorns on his head. He couldn’t help but feel horror at what had happened to his friend. Even after Jesus winked and flashed him a smile, then dropped back into character and pretended to be in pain hauling the cross up to the hill that would be his final stop.
Travis watched the crucifixion. He watched Jesus hang up there, beside two guys. He heard the, “Why have you forsaken me?” and even saw Jesus finally “die.” He went home and tried to come to terms with what he knew and what he saw.
Three days later…guess who shows up at Travis’ house. If he hadn’t been expecting it to happen, he might have been surprised, but as Jesus was fond of his own renown at this time, Travis expected nothing less than a grand flourish. And he was not disappointed.
“BAM! Told you I’d be back!” Jesus said triumphantly from behind Travis, startling him.
“So, how was it?”
“The cruxifiction? Piece of cake,” Jesus smiled, “I told you not to worry.”
“So now what?”
Jesus was marveling at this hands which no longer had holes through them, smiling to himself…as he often does. “Being immortal is so cool, man. What do you mean, ‘what now?’”
Travis spread his hands. “What happens now? I mean, you did all of this for a reason, right?”
“Oh, ok. Yeah. Pop is handling all of that. But, I got those people to eat crackers symbolizing my skin and wine symbolizing my blood. Can you believe that? Creepy, huh? Jesus chuckled. “Got that from a ritual I saw once. I’d tell you about it, but I’m not supposed to talk about what happened with me during that period between…like 12 or something and 30…so..you know how that goes.”
Travis’ brow furrowed in confusion. “Umm, no I don’t know how it goes. You’re the son of a god—“
“Yeah…how do you just skip a good chunk of your life like that, man? In fact, with all the excitement following your birth, I’m surprised that you’re early childhood was so uneventful.” Travis said.
Jesus’ smile dimmed just slightly. “The fuck you trying to say?”
“Umm…Nothing.” Travis said hastily. “I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on.”
Like a switch…the light returned. “Well, I’m sure there will be a LOT of changes now, man. People will change…the whole world will change! It’s smooth sailing now! All I need is for people to spread the word and then write a long book. I mean…LONG! Taking like over a millennia to finish and whatnot. Someone is going to write about my “death”. He did the air quotes himself. “Maybe…a few decades from now.”
“You know, we could have written all of this down for you as it was happening.”
Jesus looked at Travis. “Why didn’t you say that before?”
“I did, you always said we’d do it later.” Travis said.
“Hm…anyway, I can just imagine it. Yup.”
“Think anyone will go to war or kill or be killed over this?”
Jesus thought a moment. “Naaa…pfft. Never!”