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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: End (02/13/06)

TITLE: A Spear of Blood
By jennifer grigg



The mere sight of him spawns fear. His armor shines brightly in the sun. His helmet crested with bronze; his face stern and rough. This man is an Antesignanus in the Roman arms. His day begins before dawn and ends after sun down. This day he will serve in the ranks of those carrying out the act of crucifixion. This is of no consequence to him. Being in the service of order to prison work has been his lot for many a month now. The pain and agony of others has become second nature. His hands carry the stains of many a victims’ blood. He rises from his cot to begin his day. His head still spinning from the previous nights indulgents. Now he will dress. First the leather dog-skins, then his light weight kilt and breast plate, the small iron dagger hangs to his right, and his bronze helmet sets perfectly on his head. As he makes his way to report for orders, he grabs his spear. This is his primary weapon. The rod is three feet long in the shaft. It has a nine-inch lozenge shaped head of iron on its end. But no matter what he does, this soldier shall not be prepared for this day.
The soldier meanders through the duties of his day systematically. Those to be executed are assembled and ready for their ascension to the hill. As they make their way through the streets, he notes the largeness of the crowd. He inquires to a senior officer of the reason.
“ Nothing special, just some man claiming to be the Son to the God of the Jews,” the man replied in agitation.
Arriving at the hilltop, the young soldier watches as the condemned are placed and nailed to their wooden posts. The cries both from the tortured and those who have come to watch are deafening. He dreads these days. Not for their brutality, but for their longevity. The noon sun has passed; the soldier makes his rounds. It is his position to break the prisoners legs if they linger too much in life; and check to make sure those who no longer move are dead. Blood is already heavy on his hands and the end of his spear. He stops to look upon the man which he had heard the rumors about earlier that day. This King of Kings was still clinging to life.
“Should I break his legs?” he asked the centurions guarding Him.
” Not yet, but come and have a turn at the dice to see who gets the robe.” They respond. He is delighted at the prospect of winning some spoils from the day and so stays. Time passes and the man behind them on the wooden beams cries out and drops His head.
“ I think he is dead.” Says one of the guards. “ You, isn’t it your job to check?” The young man nods. Spear in hand; the soldier walks up beside the cross. Looking up, he beholds the face of the accused hanging lifeless above. He lifts the bronze blade in the air and thrust it into the prisoner’s side. Blood and water pour from the wound and run slowly down the spear’s shaft. The dull red blood creeps over the man’s fingers and drips to the ground. Its touch burns into the soldier’s very soul. Night falls suddenly, and the ground begins to quake. People scatter in fright. The centurions are shouting. Through it all this one soldier stands firmly beneath the cross, immovable is his face on that of the dead. The shaking subsides, he falls to his knees, and clutches his face in his hands, and the spear falls to the ground. The fresh blood covers his face. “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
As Christians we have all been washed in His Blood. The blood shed on Calvary. I can only imagine what happened within the soul of the one who felt it.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 02/22/06
Without spacing between paragraphs, it makes this a daunting task for a reader. Since the Reader is the object and very essence of why we write...I would suggest making this a bit more "Reader Friendly" by separating the paragraphs for an easy read. From the maze however, comes a powerful story well told! I'm glad I ventured into this daunting task. Kudos, my friend, KUDOS!
Jan Ackerson 02/22/06
Nice writing here; you really got under this soldier's skin. I don't think you need the "As Christians..." at the end, it's a bit anti-climactic. And watch the spelling of "indulgence." I always like it when I read a fresh take on a Biblical event, and you did a good job of it. Thanks.
c clemons02/26/06
Not quite believeable if the soldier had no prior knowledge of the man on the cross who proclaimed to be "the son of God". I agree it would be easier to read with paragraphs. Could be interesting with more fleshing out of the soldier.