Hard-boiled Christian Detective Magazine: Blood of the Lamb (Part 1)
Jesus hid the sharp chisel under his robe and waited for the chance. He knew it was wrong to kill the Arab merchant but he needed the raw wood. Being a carpenter in the desert was frustrating and the hunger gnawed like Sumerian dung beetles in his craw.
There are many outcomes here, he thought, not all of them negative. Life is about healthy choices.
He thought of all those nights when his father would come home drunk and accuse his mother of sleeping with angels until she had to knock him unconscious with a shank-bone from a pascal lamb.
She needed new glasses, her eyesight was getting worse, now she was talking to lintel posts out in the yard and teaching the chickens the Kaddish. Jesus was beside himself, worried by Mary’s meanderings, her forgetfulness, her manic ranting about needing to paint over the doorway. He needed dough and he needed it fast. The Arab was loaded. Just another stranger passing through. Jesus knew it was wrong, but that load of cedar planks would be turned into ready cash. Some crimes can be forgiven in times of need. Nobody was ever crucified for helping his mother.
He felt his heart pound as his mark drew nearer.
He remembered something from the darkest shadows of his past: A dream perhaps?
A low voice coming from a dark-skinned man with a thick accent.
I’m pretty sure all three of us are gonna get in trouble for this, said Balthazar, rubbing his finger over the filigree of the scented box as the other two mooks tossed the stall, looking for clues.
Better keep a lid on it, the talking donkey whispered, the walls have ears.