Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
- TITLE: The Snaps He Bore
By Joshua Janoski
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The man cried out in agony as the leather knots struck, leaving behind streaks of blue and purple as they pulled back into the air. Each streak, like a hurtful word poured out from a mouth filled with malice, leaving behind scars and pain beneath the surface.
The braids returned for a second swipe, this time across his shoulder blades. His face fell forward as his body throbbed with the pain of every aborted child that never got to experience the life that had been gifted to them.
The sheep bone and metal tips dug into His back, ripping into the contusions and pulling away pieces of His flesh with them as they retracted back to the side of the lictor. A crimson flow of blood began to seep out and run down His body, carrying with it the burdens of drug and alcohol addiction. The wicked weapon was passed on to another guard who resumed the onslaught, this time attacking his left leg.
Then proceeding to rip into his right leg.
His cries grew louder, stealing away the miniscule amount of air that remained in his lungs. He looked up into the sky, and all He could see was darkness as the weights of adultery, fornication, lust, and pornography poured out of his limbs and onto the stone floor. The Roman soldier laughed at his victim, oblivious to the fact that every drop of crimson that lay splattered across the ground had been released to forgive him for heinous acts such as the one that he was committing at that very moment.
Muscle tissue was severed, causing deep ribbons of ripped flesh covered in red. His capillaries and veins were torn, releasing even more blood onto the ground. The deeper the wounds, the deeper the crimes, as He felt the pains of murder, hatred, bitterness, and idolatry surge through his nervous system, each one adding to His suffering and weakness.
Each lash became more brutal than the last one until He had received thirty-nine lashes in all. Each swipe across His body carried with it the weight of the world. The pain and loss of blood sent His body into circulatory shock. His tied hands finally gave way, and His body came crashing down to the ground, splashing into the puddle of crimson underneath Him. Though already close to death, this was only the beginning of His punishment.
His emotions lay scattered and broken as He carried the large tree over his shoulder. The crowd around Him spat obscenities and mocked Him. Their cackles of wickedness sounded so very different from the boisterous laughter that He heard from them when He rode into the city just a week earlier. The weight was no longer felt on His physical body only. His mind, too, was plagued with every bit of evil that man had brought into the world. He was led up a hill and laid across the wooden beam.
The bones in his hands broke apart as the spikes were driven deep into His palms. The tree was lifted and His Father turned away, unable to look at Him. He faced out towards the very ones who He had come to save, none of which showed Him any love or appreciation. His breathing became heavier as He slowly suffocated. Hours had passed…
Bolts of lightning struck the ground, dark clouds swirled, and the Earth shook with a mighty tremble, tearing the veil of the temple. His limp body was pulled to the ground and wrapped in spices and cloth. Several days passed, and on the third day, one final sound could be heard off in the distance…
The tomb’s stone door clicked open, and the figure of a man could be seen walking out. The price had been paid.
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