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The Wood Cutter Epilogue
by Julie Michaelson
08/15/12
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Pilate
also
wrote a
title
and put it
on the
Cross;
it read,
'Jesus of Nazareth,
the King
of the Jews'.
[John 19:19]
***************
Time: Day of
The Crucifixion.
Place: On a small hill,
beside a few scraggly trees.
Characters: Two
Roman slaves: Valdai,
and his friend, Zadreth.
_______________
"What are you.......
DOING here.....,
VALDAI?"

Valdai turned his head at the harsh
whisper in his ear; it startled him,
since the language he heard was not
in his slave language Latin, but
Greek: his own mother-tongue. The
slaves were never allowed to speak
to one another in their native
dialects; it was only when they were
alone and out of earshot of their
conquerers, and only very rarely.
Immediately, Valdai recognized the voice of his
friend, Zadreth. Valdai had been kneeling,
and gazing up at the Hill of Calvary.
Valdai turned his head back
towards the Hill,
and whispered slowly,
in his native Greek,
and in awe.
"I am worshipping
the King....,
Zadreth."

Zadreth knelt down
also, but not in worship.
He only wanted to keep his
head down, and his figure
unseen. It was dangerous even to be
up here. He whispered again.
"What are you DOING......Valdai?
What are you DOING?"
Zadreth looked up
at the Hill of Calvary
also, but in disgust.
He quickly turned around to see
if anyone had seen him, and his friend.
He whispered once
more.
"Come AWAY from
HERE! Come....AWAY!"

"No."
A tear slid down
Valdai's handsome,
rugged face. He
spoke softly.
"I'm here to worship
our .....King."

Zadreth continued
kneeling beside his
friend: keeping his
head down, and continuing to whisper.
"Are you DRUNK,
Valdai? What is
WRONG.....with you?"

Both men knew that
Valdai had not been
drinking. Slaves
were only allowed water to drink.

Valdai closed his
eyes. He whispered.
"Nothing.
NOTHING... is wrong with me."
Tears now slid down
both sides of Valdai's
sunburnt face.
"I'm here to watch
our King.......die."

Zadreth looked up
at Calvary, again. He
just shook his head,
and turned to his friend.
"Are you.....INSANE?
He's nothing but a
CRIMINAL! He's
NOTHING! COME!
Get AWAY....from here!
COME!"

Valdai turned, and
grabbed his friend's
arm; it was full of
scars from years of
being a slave of the
Roman army.
"I saw.......His ARMY,
Zadreth! I saw His
ARMY!"

"WHAT?
You've had too much
SUN! Get UP!
Get UP, Valdai!"

"I saw His ARMY...,
Zadreth!"
Valdai, still holding
on to his friend's
arm, turned to gaze
up at the Calvary,
again. He whispered.
"I was THERE.....
Zadreth........I was
THERE......cutting down that TREE.....
for His CROSS! I
was there.....in the
north FOREST.....out
there....before LIGHT....putting an
AXE to that TREE...."

Zadreth looked over
his shoulder, again.
He could be punished
just for coming up
here to get his friend.
He looked back at Valdai, sharply.
"SO? That was your
TASK! And, your
master allows you to
work out there, ALONE!
You are... FAVORED!"

Valdai shook his
head; he was a handsome man,
in spite of the years he
had lived since his
youth as a slave.
"NO! You don't UNDERSTAND! I
was THERE.....when
His WARRIORS....arrived!
They were.....THERE,
Zadreth! They....
were THERE!"

"WHO?"
Zadreth chuckled
softly, and whispered.
"What are you TALKING.....about?"

"THOUSANDS...
of them, Zadreth!"
Valdai looked back up,
to gaze at The Cross.
"THOUSANDS!
Huge......big......MEN...
large CREATURES....
MASSIVE...and TALL...
wearing long, white
ROBES......and KNEELING....in front
of the TREE, that I
fell!"

Zadreth, forgetting
his fear for a moment, whispered
thoughtfully.
"Perhaps, you were
ILL?"

"NO!
NO!"
Valdai continued to
speak softly; he kept
gazing at The Cross.
"It was REAL!
I TELL.... you!
I was quite AWAKE!
And....feeling WELL!
I tell you.....they were THERE....in the
THOUSANDS.....
perhaps, more!"

Zadreth didn't speak
for a moment. He
squinted at his friend.
"Did they ...have
WEAPONS?"

Valdai looked away
for a moment, as if
he were staring at
a memory. He
shook his head, abruptly.
"NO!
They were just....
lifting their hands,
and kneeling....
and...singing..
as if they didn't
NEED....weapons!"

Zadreth shook his
head, and sighed. He
put a sturdy hand
on his friend's shoulder.
"VALDAI.......I BELIEVE you.....when
you say that you SAW
SOMETHING....but,
you must FORGET all
this......this VISION......."
Zadreth shook his
head, with empathy.
"It is not GOOD for
you, my friend! You
are about to MARRY...
your master is allowing you to MARRY.....and, you
have good FAVOR
with his house! You
must.....FORGET....all
this.....whatever you
saw! It is not GOOD
for you! Now.....COME!"
Zadreth grabbed Valdai's arm.
Valdai was very strong and
muscular, but Zadreth was a strong
man, also. He plucked at
the leather yoke-collar on his
friend's neck; it was
identical to his own:
sweat-stained, heavy,
and worn. Only Roman
slaves wore the leather yoke.
"Now......COME!"
Zadreth looked up
at the darkening sky.
Ominous clouds had begun
to gather, and thunder
began to rumble in the
distance. The smell of
rain was in the air,
though it wasn't a lovely
smell. It was mixed with
the stench of suffering....
and blood.
"COME!
It looks like a STORM.....and, you
have your TASKS....
to do! AWAY...with
this insaneness!"

Valdai moaned, and
laid his head down
on the rocky soil,
beside his big knees.
"OH!
But......I want to do
SOMETHING.....for
my....KING!
My LORD!"

Zadreth sighed.
He felt sorry for his
friend; something most definitely had
happened to him, and
it had nothing to do
with their Roman
conquerers.
"Perhaps....you WILL..
my friend......perhaps,
you WILL. But.....for
now, you must GO......
GO......before you are
found OUT, here...."
Zadreth looked up at
Calvary, as if trying
to see something else;
but, he only felt
horror, and disgust.
He turned back to his
friend.
"You are a SLAVE....
and........"
Zadreth said, softly.
"And....there's NOTHING......
you can DO... about that."

Valdai continued to sob, unashamedly;
his wide shoulders
shook, and trembled.
He seemed to be in
horrible grief.
"Yes!
I am!
A SLAVE!
And......I must LEAVE!"
Valdrai looked up,
for the last time,
and gazed at The Cross; his voice was
was sad, but strong.
"But, ONE day.....
I will become one of
His WARRIORS, too.
ONE day.......I will...
I PROMISE!"
****************
Jesus
answered,
'My kingship
is not
of
this world'.
[John 18:36]

Copyright 2012.




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