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The Disciple

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by Dennis Carroll

Novellas and short stories are copyrighted by Dennis Carroll, 2013.
E-mail inquiries and comments to denniscarroll@denniscarroll.me
Criticism and comments may be posted on the Smashwords page.
All stories are published only in Ebook format and are published through Smashwords. The stories are available through most Ebook providers. "Seek" will be published in hardcover format after e-publication of all of the short stories.

Foreword

“The Disciple” is a 2165 word irreverent satirical farce short story. It is a tongue-in-cheek offering to people who take every word in the King James Bible as absolute literal truth and exclude the possibility that other interpretations and faiths are as valid as their own faith. The parody is not to be taken seriously because, otherwise, I would be disowned by everyone that I hold dear. That, plus my own view of the Afterlife includes the concept of the continuation of consciousness after the death experience and readily accepts the concept of the Christian soul's incorporation into the mind and body of Jesus.

But ... the fact that the devil walked up to tempt Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane never quite jelled in my young church-on-every-Sunday-morning mind. It took several years for me to look up the meaning of “Satan”. - it means “adversary”. The story now makes sense. I never lost the fascination that many people undoubtedly believe that it was the physical lord-of-the-underworld Lucifer who made Jesus his spectacular offer.

Another, far more serious theological concern is the story of Saul’s conversion. No New Testament codex, whether in the Canon or in other writings of the time, give any suggestion that such a figure as Saul would rise up to spread the Gospel of Jesus. There is no independent support that Saul actually was visited by the Christ, who had been crucified five years before this miraculous meeting. It is by Saul’s word and Saul’s word alone that he is speaking for the risen Jesus. In fact, Jesus himself named his brother James the Just as his (Jesus’) successor. It is established fact that Paul’s teachings were at odds with James and the Church in Jerusalem. Paul’s most basic concept of “by faith alone are you saved” was directly rejected by James with “faith without good works is meaningless.”

With these two thoughts in mind, I wondered - what if it really WAS Lucifer that night?”

 

The Disciple

The beautiful, continental man sat at the best table in the restaurant courtyard. He was impeccably dressed and had a thin, sophisticated mustache. Beside him, chatting away ever so amicably was the most beautiful woman in Damascus. Her long black hair, long black eyelashes and short black dress that exposed her ankles drew the attention of every male in the courtyard. Their respective females were not angry. They, too, appreciated the magnificent beauty of the couple chatting away at the best table in the courtyard.  A large, relaxed tabby lay on the brick fence taking everything in including the soft warmth of the afternoon sun.

“I bet you can work magic on a girl with that tail you have on you," cooed the woman.

“I try my best to make a big impression in the ladies," replied the man. The woman laughed with genuine merriment. “Such a man I have here," she said.

No one noticed, or if they did, they didn’t seem to care that the man had bright red skin and two nicely appointed horns on his head. Everyone noticed, the ladies especially, the beautiful long red tail with the nicely fluffed up tip that he continuously flicked and stroked.
The beautiful woman asked, “Sir, what can I do to give you a special welcome to Damascus? I want to make you feel especially good about visiting our fair city.”

The beautiful man suddenly became alert. “Do you see that short Jewish man walking hurriedly up the street toward us?” He did not wait for an answer. “I wish to speak to him. Go and tell him so. Here are twenty shekels for the pleasure of your company. Make sure that he comes and joins me.”

The woman hated to part from his company but she was a professional woman and twenty shekels was twenty times what a girl should expect. She rose immediately, said “Your will be done. Call me" and hurried off toward the short Jewish man.

The short Jewish man tried to brush her off but even the most pious Pharisee is not immune to the long black fluttering eyelashes of a woman enraptured with just breathing the same air as he. She repeatedly pointed to the beautiful man sitting at the best table in the Courtyard. Her pitiful moue finally convinced the short Jewish man to nod yes. The woman’s delight overpowered her pout and she bounced off down the street fingering her twenty shekels waving goodbye (for now) to the beautiful man at the best table in the courtyard.

The short Jewish man pompously approached the table of the beautiful man. Rising from the table, both hands extended, the beautiful man gushed “I would know you anywhere. Your reputation precedes you. It is you, isn’t it? Saul of Tarsus?”

The short Jewish man replied “Yes, yes. I am Saul. What business is that of yours? Are you a Christian? Who are you?

Laughing, the beautiful man replied “B. Lucifer Z. Bubb is my given name but my friends call me Bubba and heavens no. I am most certainly not one of the Christian persuasion.”

“Well, then, how can I help you Mister Bubb?”

“No, no, no, no. Bubba. Please.”

“Well then how can I help you Mister, I mean, Bubba?”

The beautiful man exclaimed “The question is how I can help YOU, Saul? Your amazing work has been noted in many high places. Your unrelenting dedication to stamping out this Christian scourge among the people is exemplary. No one has done more than you in attempting to eliminate this sacrilege.”

Saul modestly looked toward the ground and said, “I do what I can.”

“BUT,” said Bubba, ”there is a problem; a problem that can’t be solved by traditional methods of beatings and crucifixions. You may have noticed that more and more people are becoming Christians. You crucify one and two more pop up. This is not a problem restricted to Jews. This has become a worldwide problem reaching even into Rome herself.

“Well, maybe if I had more assistants‚Ķ”

“No, no, no, no.” replied Bubba with some consternation. “The problem is the more you kill, the more it spreads. Killing them is like spreading fertilizer to grow Christians. Another, more devious approach is needed to control this pestilence.”

”What can I do, Bubba?”

“I’m glad you asked that, Saul."

The entire short story is available for purchase online at Smashwords.com.