Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)
TITLE: CSI: Jerusalem
By Ruth Neilson
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“Irresponsible—simply irresponsible!” Saul bellowed. His newly appointed position as fire marshal of the city of Jerusalem was already causing havoc in his life. “Tell me how a group that large could have missed the smell of singed hair? And, for that matter—how did all of them manage to catch their hair on fire to start with?”
Pilate leaned forward, a small smile playing on his narrow lips, studying the paperwork in front of him. “Perhaps they were a little drunk...it is Pentecost and the people do tend to celebrate a little harder than normal.”
Saul simply raised one of his carefully groomed eyebrows. “At nine o’clock in the morning?”
“So, they are party animals! They were part of that group that followed that Jesus fellow around.”
Caiaphas leaned back in his plush chair. He was clearly in deep thought and then he finally righted himself once again, pushing one of his plump fingers into the stack of papers.
“Are there any damages? Anything that we can pin on these people to keep them off of the streets—for the good of the people of Jerusalem?”
Saul slowly shook his head as he gathered part of the stack of papers to him. “Nothing reported. I had my men examine that room from top to bottom, several times...but there is nothing.”
“No ash, soot...not even that smoky smell that lingers for days afterward?”
Saul snorted once. “Nothing, sir. And their leader, Simon Peter has offered the city government an explanation and a public apology...of sorts.”
Pilate tilted his head to the side and frowned. “What do you mean of sorts?”
Saul hesitated for a long moment, before sliding the papers across the table. The room was filled with a silent tension.
“It doesn’t make much sense to me sire, but I have the best religious experts in the city working on this as we speak.” His words tumbled over each other like dry kindling—but were ignored.
Finally, the silence was shattered by the cackling laugh that erupted from Pilate and then from Caiaphas.
“Simon Peter is the craziest of the group. And there is nothing that we can do about him or the others—for now. All we can do is make note of a possible arson attempt on his public record and let them go...”
Caiaphus scowled at the wall for a long moment.
“The owner of the house isn’t willing to place charges and no one was injured” Saul pressed on, gathering his paper work. There was work to be done. There was always another fire to clean up.
As he stood up to leave, one of the temple messengers burst into the room, his clothes askew from running up several flights of stairs and across the temple courtyard. His eyes were bright in disbelief from what he either had heard or seen.
“Whoa, there, kid, where’s the fire!”
“Ain’t no fire this time, sir. Simon Peter and one of his buddies are back ‘gain and this time causing chaos by healin’ one of the beggars!”
“He’s leaping around, shouting, praising God, and just ruining the entire atmosphere of the temple! Something’s gotta be done about those people!”
The moment that those words left the young man’s mouth, Caiaphus and Pilate leapt to their feet and ran out the room. Saul smiled faintly. He was not going to get his hands dirty. At least not yet not until he had more evidence.
“Arrest them for being a fire hazard!” Saul called after the other two men. “They should know better than be encouraging leaping in the temple. That is a children’s game!”
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