(Another brief excerpt from the upcoming Martuk … the Holy: Proseuche , the sequel to the award-winning Martuk … the Holy )
“So many lies.”
I knew this voice. Though I didn’t turn, my eyes stubbornly shut as I pretended sleep, my arms hugging my chest and my back turned, the cloak drawn close against the night, I knew who spoke.
And I knew it to be impossible.
“I am no dream,” the voice then said in answer to my next thought. “And what are you? What did you think you would be? At your end, what did you think awaited you?
“Turn and look upon me,” he then said.
Judas killed the Messiah …
He kneeled next to me in the sand, the familiar dark eyes watching me.
And then he killed himself …
But he was not real, this Judas who now leaned forward. He could not be.
Hanged by the neck from a tree …
Unless the words truly were lies and Judas still walked. I reached for him, my hand almost on his arm.
He no longer kneeled within reach. In a breath, he had moved, this Judas, this one who could not be real, now standing many paces away. It had been too quick, this small journey of his.
It had been too quick.
I was going mad.
The money from the Priests at his feet …
“Tell me,” I said to this man who could not be Judas. “Is that true? Was their money at your feet? From the Priests? From the Temple?”
My voice, though but a whisper, sounded so alone in the desert, the words lost in the emptiness of this sun-parched world and the endless blue of the too big sky.
And I was alone now, the lie that disguised himself as Judas gone with the breeze.
I closed my eyes.
Yes, I was alone, so alone, and I was going mad.