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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gossip/Rumors (either or both) (10/28/10)

TITLE: Quo Vadis
By Gregory Kane


[Two men in togas sit at a round table drinking cappuccinos]

Asher: He's gone to Rome then?

Ben: Good riddance I say.

Asher: What's he after, do you know?

Ben: Gonna be made Pope.

Asher: What's one of them?

Ben: Not sure but I think he gets to sit on a fancy chair and wear a mitre.

Asher: A what?

Ben: It's a cross between a hat and an umbrella. Only problem is when he sits down, the guy beside him gets re-baptised.

Asher: That's a bit weird. Still, it's a step up from being a stonemason.

Ben: I'm sorry?

Asher: He carved cornerstones, didn't he?

Ben: Nah, he caught fish for a living. Up north by the Lake.

Asher: Our Rocky?

Ben: The very same. Course he was no good. That's why he packed it in and took up preaching. More money in religion.

Asher: Maybe that's why he changed his name: Rocky Barjona. Got more of a ring to it. Makes him sound like a contender: the Judean Jaguar.

Ben: Too right. After all, who's gonna take you seriously if your name is Simon?

Asher: Yeah, Simon the Snooze.

Ben: How about Soporific Simon the Ponderous Preacher?

Asher: [giving his friend a high five] You're the man!

Ben: (pause) I still think it's odd how he got away with all them lies.

Asher: What do you mean?

Ben: You know, in the courtyard, at the trial. Said he didn't know him, didn't he?

Asher: That's right. Three times, wasn't it?

Ben: I heard four.

Asher: Funny that he wasn't struck off for that. Bit hypocritical if you ask me. Goes and snuffs Ananias for telling porkie pies while excusing his own whoppers.

Ben: I reckon he paid the others off. The way I hear it, once Judas was out of the picture, Rocky took charge of the money bag. And no one ain't seen no certified accounts in a very long time.

Asher: Makes you wonder, dunnit?

Ben: Does.

Asher: Me too.

Ben: (pause) Do you suppose he'll bump into Saul when he gets to Rome?

Asher: Don't you mean Paul?

Ben: That's what I said.

Asher: No, you said Saul.

Ben: Well who are you talking about then?

Asher: Er, old bandy legs.

Ben: Right. I hear him and Rocky had a run-in up in Antioch.

Asher: Hard to imagine Paul jogging with those legs of his.

Ben: No, not a race. A bust-up.

Asher: He wears a bra?

Ben: Don't be facetious. They had a bit of a barney.

Asher: They ate a purple dinosaur? That's hardly kosher.

Ben: Something like that. The way it was told me, Rocky was offered this plate of local Syrian delicacies: eye of newt, and toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog. Then when he tried to refuse, Saul called him a sissy. Don't think Rocky's ever forgiven him, especially not after Mr I'm-better-than-any-of-the-apostles-even-though-I'm-not-one-of-the-original-twelve went and told the Galatians all about it in a letter.

Asher: He didn't?

Ben: Did too. I've got a copy of chapters one and two at home.

Asher: What about the rest of the letter?

Ben: Nah, figured I'd read the heavy stuff once they get the book published.

Asher: Do you reckon Paul's also in the running for Pope?

Ben: He's been published more often and that counts for a lot in some circles. But if you ask me they're running neck and neck. I reckon it'll be a sudden death decider.

Asher: That's one good thing about Paul. He's a cool cucumber. Won't go losing his head.

Ben: Maybe so but they'll crucify Rocky if his temper gets the better of him.

Asher: Too true.

Ben: Don't they have to canonise someone before they can become Pope?

Asher: I'm not sure. Could be a bit tricky seeing as how gunpowder hasn't been invented yet.

Ben: What about beatification?

Asher: Not likely. Have you seen Rocky's ugly mug? And his missus is no looker.

Ben: What'll they call her if he becomes Pope?

Asher: I don't know. Maybe the Popette.

Ben: Saint Peter and the Popettes. I reckon Rocky could roll with that.

Asher: [pulling out an egg-timer] Oops, is that the time? Gotta run. [exits]

Ben: Quo vadis?

Asher: [off stage] Couldn't have put it better myself.

[lights dim]

Cultural Allusions

Quo Vadis is Latin for 'Where are you going?' and the title of a novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz on the life of the apostle Peter.
Rocky Balboa (aka the Italian Stallion) is a boxer played by Sylvester Stallone.
The line "eye of newt" is taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act 4 Scene 1.
If you don't know who Barney is, be thankful for small mercies.
According to tradition Paul was beheaded in Rome while Peter was crucified upside down.

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This article has been read 893 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke11/04/10
This is priceless!! Very funny, very tongue in cheek and creative. Good job!!
Anita van der Elst11/04/10
A couple of terms I'm not familiar with (porkie pies & barney) but I think I got the meaning from the context. And the humor. :-) Very fun read.
Author Unknown11/05/10
I can totally hear the fellas talkin' here. Had to watch my audible chuckling though, I'm in a library.

I liked this-- wouldn't mind a snippet of scenery (maybe before the dialogue-- other than two guys in togas).

also not really sure how the title ties in but it was still pretty good to my ear. :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/07/10
This is hysterical. I loved almost every word. I must say though I did take offense at the disparaging remark made upwards Barney! Even though my youngest is 16 I've been known to watch an episode or two ! Seriously though this was excellent!
Noel Mitaxa 11/08/10
Rollicking good yarn here, old son. The odd pun doesn't go astray either, though is your prophetic mention of gunpowder a device to illustrate the "rifle-ry" among those wanting to be the pope?
Connie Dixon11/08/10
Would love to see this acted out. Great job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/08/10
As a lover of creativity, including puns, I was charmed. I kept wondering what they'd say next. I think my favorite line was, "I think they said four."
Henry Clemmons11/08/10
Some real gossiping going on in this piece. Very lively and unique dialogue. A fast, well paced read. No doubt nailed the topic.
Ruth Ann Moore11/08/10
Very cleverly written!
Cheryl Harrison11/08/10
Enjoyed it right down to your comment about Barney at the end! Good job!
Jody Day 11/08/10
This me laughing out loud in a very quiet library this morning:
:()hahahaha. Loved it.
Lillian Rhoades 11/08/10
A real tickler! Loved the comparison between "pies and whoppers." I wonder what Rocky will say when you guys finally hook up:-)
Caitlyn Meissner11/08/10
I enjoyed this, especially the references to Shakespeare and Galatians. :) I've always wondered how Peter felt about that little incident.
Patricia Turner11/08/10
Saint Peter and the Popettes :) Too, too funny and way creative!
Rachel Phelps11/09/10
I want to put this on stage. I LOVED all the puns and creativity. Well done!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/11/10
Congratulations on your EC! This is one of my all-time favorites.
Carol Penhorwood 11/11/10
Truly a delight to read! (Is this why we love "Gossip/Rumors" so much? :)
Henry Clemmons11/11/10
Congratulations on EC. Great job once again!!!!
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/11/10
Hey Gregory, I'm glad the judges loved the story, too!
Joan Campbell11/11/10
Congrats on your EC, Gregory. This is a delightfully different read - so very clever!