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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Time-consuming (02/24/11)

TITLE: He is Dead, Right?
By Ruth Neilson


"I demand that you post a guard at the tomb."

The sentence broke the silent room and Marcellus looked up from his tablet. A moment passed as he fixed his steely gray eyes on the high priest, before he finally spoke, "Excuse me? You demand what?"

"I command you to post a guard at the tomb. Pilate said to give me whatever I required."

Marcellus sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose for a moment before waving a hand in the air, dismissing the Jew. "Alright, I'll post a guard." He paused and then carefully chose his next words, "I'll put careful consideration into this most time consuming need."

Without another word, the Jew turned and left the chambers. Marcellus paused and looked to his second in command, Seneca, and sighed. "Yet another meaningless and time consuming task that these Jews came up with. Why do they need a guard for a tomb anyway?"

Seneca shrugged. "I agree sir, after all, isn't he dead?"

Marcellus nodded and reached across the table for the roster tablet. "Well, if Pilate said we are to do this for this, can we argue with him? So, tell me, Seneca, who will receive the honor to guard the dead man's tomb?"

Seneca paused and thought for a moment.
"What about Blasius?"

"Blasius? Which one is he?"

"He's the one with the lisp...and he managed to insult the High Priest and the Emperor in one breath. Surely, he deserves this honor."

Marcellus' lips twitched with the effort to keep from laughing. "I agree with that."

"We have only one more man to decide upon for this responsibility then, sir."

"Only two for this most esteemed task?"

"I figured that two would be good enough. This way they can keep each other awake until their duty is over."

"Let's come up with three more for a good solid squadron. After all, he is dead. Marcellus paused and then offered. "What about Gaius?"

"I don't know, sir. Aren't you afraid he'll awaken the dead with his crowing voice?"

"But he is dead. Right?"


Marcellus nodded and scrawled out the two names before pausing. "I want Vitus out there too."

"Why him, sir?"

Marcellus snorted, "Because he somehow managed to sleep through the entire earthquake."

Seneca nodded as Marcellus quickly scribbled the third name down. "Okay...now all we need is someone who can lead and who is in desperate need of a vacation," Marcellus quietly stated as he looked up at his long time friend and second in command.

Seneca shook his head quickly before sighing. "Surely, it will be an assignment that I should take to the utmost respect and pray to the gods that it will end quickly and without incident."

Marcellus finally smiled. "I agree my friend. But for now, look at it as a brief moment of reprieve from these Jews and enjoy it."

Seneca paused for a moment before offering his hand to Marcellus. "Thank you my friend. I pray that you will find that brief reprieve from the time consuming tasks these Jews seem to find for you at least, as long as I am assigned to this...odd task."

"Sounds like a plan, my good friend. Enjoy yourself, but not too much. We can't have you four waking up a dead man, now can we?" Marcellus teased before seizing Seneca's wrist in a sign of friendship and respect.

Marcellus could foresee nothing going wrong with this assignment; after all, a dead man was in that tomb. There was no way he was going to come out of the grave after being crucified.
Matthew 27:62-66

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This article has been read 602 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 03/07/11
Well written story. Good dialogue between the MCs.
Noel Mitaxa 03/08/11
I like the sense of jaded cynicism in the dialogue between the soldiers, but who wath the thaditht who gave Blathiuth hith name when you knew he had a lithp? From that point on it wath a thtruggle for me to thympathithe with any of them...
Rachel Phelps03/09/11
What a fun story. The dialogue switched from feeling old to modern and back again, which threw me at first, but I enjoyed the read very much.
Amanda Brogan03/09/11
My favorite part is where Seneca gets a part in the "time-consuming" job. HeHe! The "list of qualifications" humor is always good for a laugh.
Helen Curtis03/09/11
Excellent! This would be a great church skit - oh, and Easter's just around the corner! How very timely...!
Loren T. Lowery03/09/11
I could have kept on reading. You set a good story telling tone that is at one entertaining, believable; and instructive. No easy task, but you make it appear so.
diana kay03/09/11
funny :-) I could also see this as a little skit in church..... and i can just see a few of our church members as IDEAL for the parts!!
Edmond Ng 03/09/11
I enjoyed the story and the read absolutely. Very well written and engaging, with a possible sad ending for Seneca who would fail his assigned task. This is one task Marcellus did a great disservice to a friend.