Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: SCUTTLEBUTT (rumor or gossip)( 10/03/19)
| TITLE: Who do you believe? |
By Jack Taylor
| ~ 5th Place |
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One sandaled foot stepped out of the sepulchre, leaving its partner hidden inside the tomb. There was no odor of corruption despite the body that had been buried there. The scent of myrrh and aloes confirmed that this was the space. A bent over rose did its best to lend its fragrance to the morning.
“Are you sure you heard it right?” A disembodied voice echoed out of the opening to the cave-like entrance. “The shroud is still here but they could have moved him.”
“It’s my tomb!” the sandal wearer responded. “This is where we brought him. All the women saw us.”
“So, where is he? The dead don’t just get up and walk out. Especially in the shape they left him.”
“I should have asked that gardener near the entrance. I don’t think I’ve seen him around here before. He probably saw who rolled this stone away.”
“Ignore the gardener. Gardeners are paid to look after the dead, not the living.”
The sandal disappeared into the grave again. “I heard from a friend that his followers moved his body. Maybe they think we’re not good enough for them.” The rose shuddered in a gentle breeze.
“That’s not the way I heard it.”
“Yes, but consider the source.”
“You can’t believe everything you hear but you have to believe something.”
“My brother knows one of the men patrolling here last night and he said that the followers stole the body. Who else is going to benefit from all the rumors?”
“I met one of the women at the marketplace and they told me that they heard from other women that they saw him. I don’t know why they had to go and get other spices when we already used up everything we needed.”
“The soldiers say the followers stole his body and the followers say the women saw him alive. Do you think they’re in this together?”
“If you ask me, there are too many people trying to get attention as if they’re in on the latest happenings. This all could be fake news.”
“Do you think I should take this shroud home?”
“Don’t even touch it. You know you’ll get defiled from touching anything belonging to a dead person.”
“But what if the rumors are true?”
“The ones that say he’s alive.”
“I guess then the shroud wouldn’t belong to a dead man anymore but he was definitely dead when we wrapped him in it.”
“Do you think someone brought him something else to wear?”
“Don’t even think about it. You’ll start rumors you don’t even want to dream of.”
Gentle steps, as light as a feather duster’s brush, approached the tomb. The rose stood erect in the ray of light highlighting its dazzling crimson. A voice like a bubbling brook floated into the crypt. “Nicodemus, Joseph, I’m here.”
“Nic, who is that?”
“Joe, I think it’s the gardener.”
“Listen, if you have something more than rumors about where the body went, then please get back to your work. We’re busy trying to figure out what happened here.”
“He isn’t in there,” the voice declared.
“Now, that’s obvious. Did you move his body somewhere?”
“Did you see anyone else move his body somewhere?”
“Big help you are. So, what do you know?”
“He’s alive!” the voice said clearly.
“I see the women got to you as well,” Joe said. “Listen, I don’t know who you are but we’ve got to make an important decision here and it can’t all be based on scuttlebutt from people who know nothing. Now, do we touch this shroud or don’t we?”
“I think it’s clear we’re defiled. Now, we need to be purified. It would sure make it easier if he was alive.”
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