Thursday, April 18, 2013

Short Story Series - Part 3

This next part of the series was supposed to begin with Servius, the Centurion, but, sadly, nothing productive was forthcoming and, thus, you must settle for this little bit.
Thanks for your patience!


“Is it true?  Has He risen?”
            “The radicals?  Have they taken the body?”
            “—and what of the stone?”
            “Where is He?  What—“
            “—you saw!  Surely there is—“
            “—now tell us!  Speak!”
            Eitan clutched his ears in desperation then held out his hands helplessly, backing away from the bombarding mob of questions only to run into even more.
            “Please, I—I don’t know!  I can’t—I do not know!”
            Overwhelmed by the cries and demands for answers, Eitan found himself at a loss for words— how could he answer them when he could not answer himself?  It was as though the presence of his countrymen and their inquiries were a crushing force, pressing about him and making him struggle for breath.  The harsh, grating roar of their questions was magnified in his ears as face after face flooded his vision, each demanding an explanation.
credit xiaxinart deviantart

            Pushing past the people, Eitan  began forcing his way through the crowd, fighting to reach the safety of the temple before whose gates he stood.
            “Is He alive?  My cousin claims he saw—“
            “—and they are in hiding!  Are they truly responsible?”
            Suddenly, a cry sounded above the rush of all others, breaking its way through the noise to reach the ears of all present.
            “The Romans!”
            Eitan was bumped and jostled as the Jews warily parted for the horses of three Roman soldiers slowly and steadily moving into the midst of the crowd.  Their hooves clattered on the street in an irregular pattern, bearing their riders safely through the mass of people.  For a moment, Eitan’s breath caught in his chest, and he froze as the Romans drew nearer and nearer.  Had they come for him?  Did they know?
            “Here, now!  Here, now,” one the soldiers called out, reigning his mount to a stop.  “What’s this all about?”  He swept his hard eyes over the crowd, passing over Eitan without a pause.  Eitan fought to still his trembling hands as a sense of release swept over him.
            “Disperse yourselves!  And see to it that you cause no more trouble!”  As the Roman turned away, Eitan vaguely heard him mutter, “We’ve had enough of that these past few days.”
            Slowly, the Jews began leaving, murmuring and whispering to each other, Eitan forgotten.  With a start, Eitan realized he alone remained unmoved while people were brushing past him, the cover of the crowd rapidly disappearing.  He hurriedly made for the temple, then slowed his retreat after a moment’s thought.  Glancing back, the Jew felt a chill, his eyes locking with one of the Romans’, an intimidating warrior of a man in centurion’s armor.  His eyes were dark, cold, and suspicious.  Frightened, Eitan broke away and made for the open gates, not stopping until he had passed under their protective shadow.


            Servius’ intent stare followed the young Jew until he passed from view.  The soldier who had broken up the gathered crowd turned his horse about to face his fellow Romans, drawing the Centurion’s attention.
            “What do you make of that?” he inquired, exasperation evident in his voice.  Servius settled back in his saddle.
            “I believe I will find out soon enough,” he replied vaguely, lost in thought.


Click here to find:
Part 1
Part 2


Ashlin said...

I am so glad you are sharing this series on the blog, I get excited every time I see a new part!

You have very engaging writing, and the story just seems so authentic. . . that's not quite the word I'm looking for. . . what I mean is, the character's world really seems to come to life, like I'm watching it right where and when it's happening.

Julia Catherine said...

Thank you so much, Lady Ashlin!