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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)

TITLE: Tom’s trial of trust
By Josiah Kane


Tom was bored, frustrated, disillusioned, jaded. He glanced around at the rest of the band. Pete stood by the window, curtains drawn and lashed tight for privacy, and offered his prayer to a father God who seemed disinterested. The Boanerges brothers tried to boom out the start of yet another boring anthem of praise, but their canticles never caught on as well as their fresh fish. Bart lazed against a stumpy wooden box in the way that he’d once leaned peacefully on sycamores. Phil checked the dead bolt for the thirty-fifth time that morning. And the others were doing nothing at all.

Tom could see that each of his ten companions had reacted slightly differently to the disaster. But somehow they had stayed together. It infuriated him. Couldn’t Pete see that without Jesus the band was nothing? Or perhaps his pride would not let him admit that. Or maybe Pete had his own designs on the leadership. “Yes,” Thomas the Twin reasoned, “He is acting, pretending. He knows we are nothing. His hands held high are a jest. This whole stupid group is as much a joke as a squadron of fish trying to conquer dry land.”

True, when Jesus had been there, things had been different. The miracles were fabulous. Gathering a legion and holding them captivated for three days - then sating their stomachs completely with - as Matti had so elegantly put it - one tuna sandwich per thousand men. Stopping storms, healing the helpless, demolishing demons…. But Jesus had been arrested. Their last crumb of faith had been renewed slightly when he mentioned angelic armies, but no such supernatural swat team had materialized. And now the master was dead—and so was the band. They ought to disintegrate, return to what of their lives could be salvaged, and put the last three years behind them.

Pete was sure that he had seen the risen Lord—but that was typical Pete. It was not that Tom had less spirituality—he just had a little more sense. At that moment Tom decided that he would not waste the rest of his life in a splintered sect. He was not a magus, nor a missionary, nor a musician. Nor was he interested in pestering the Sanhedrin any longer—they all knew the terrible consequences that would have. Pete could preach, John could play, Phil had prayer power, but Tom didn’t care if they continued the ministry of their mentor. He wanted out. “I will not believe” Tom proclaimed, “that Jesus is alive unless I see the scars on his hands and feet! Until then, this circus is not for me.” He stormed toward the door and barged a startled Phil to the side.

He took one more furious stomp forward, but it slipped to find itself on soft skin and sandal straps instead of sturdy slate squares. Tom’s face was engulfed in a spotless white robe. Tears gushed out and streamed into the fabric. His knees collapsed to the floor as his face flew up to heaven—and the startled but smiling face of Jesus. Someone jokingly pointed out how rude it is to enter without knocking, but to Thomas Didymus that someone was worlds away. In his chest love leaped and spirit swelled.

As one knee clunked onto the tiles he burst out “My Lord”
As the second grounded he wept, in guilt and joy, “My God.”
And as his torso folded in toward the twisted legs, Jesus picked him up with holy holey hands. The instant Tom was offered the proof he’d requested, he knew that the kingdom is not a charade, an act played by glum “God’s Gladiators.” The act was over. He could not wait for the action to begin.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 08/21/08
What a different twist on this old story! Nice job! I wasn't sure who was who until finally mid-way I 'got it' good job there! This is a new look at this! ^_^
Leah Nichols 08/21/08
This was fun. I liked the witty commentary on the actions and words of different disciples. :)
Sarah Heywood08/22/08
I enjoyed this! What a great twist on an old story!
Jan Ackerson 08/23/08
A revealing look at Doubting Thomas's motives and feelings.

I'm not sure why you modernized the names, as the rest of the story is set in Biblical times. It threw me a little bit.

I really enjoy speculative Biblical fiction, and this is a good one.
Gerry Bloemendaal10/10/10
I feel that humanising The Word is fun but can also quickly bring in 'false witness.'

You do good here though!