Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Facts

This ... is the city.
Jerusalem, Judea.
A lot of people live here. A lot of people die here. But nobody lives here, dies here, and then lives again here. Nobody.
I carry a badge. It’s my job to make sure the decent people in this town don’t get misled by a lot of religious fanatics. You know the type. Spreading rumours—rumours about people rising from the dead.
My name’s Saturday. My partner’s Bill Sunday.

Monday, April 7, 10:20 am. 
We were at headquarters, making our reports on a small-time hood named Barabbas. The captain walked up. “Okay, boys,” he barked. “We’ve got another one.”
“Resurrection rumour?” I said.
“Right,” he said. “The chief wants you to drop whatever you’re doing and look into it. He wants you to get—”
“The facts?” I said.
“Right.” He gave us the details. A rabbi had been killed the previous Friday.
“Murder, eh?” Sunday theorized.
The captain shook his head. “Execution. Criminal. Claimed to be a king. Now the body’s missing. Rumour is he’s alive again.”
“That’s a 512,” I said. “Theft and concealment of a body with intent to perpetuate a rumour about a resurrected rabbi.”
The captain nodded. “The chief wants you to go the whole nine furlongs on this one, boys. Rumours are flying, and he wants them stopped.”
“We’ll do our best, captain,” I promised.
“I know I can count on you, boys.” He paused. “That’s because you always get—”
“The facts?” I said.
“Right,” he said.

Monday, April 7, 11:03 am. 
Our first stop was the morgue.
“Good idea, Joe,” Sunday told me. “Looking for a body in the morgue, I mean. Reminds me of how I looked for a needle in a haystack when I was a kid. Got straw down my back. Itched like anything. Ever have that happen to you, Joe? You just itch and itch until you think you’re going to go—”
“Crazy?” I said.
“Right,” he said.
We stepped into the morgue. The coroner was working in the corner. He looked up.
“Hello, boys,” he greeted us. “You must be here about the Potter’s Field case.” He rolled out one of the big drawers. “Name was Iscariot. Hanged himself. What do you want with him?”
“We don’t,” I said. “We’re after a rabbi. Approximately age thirty-three. Died last Friday.”
He shook his head. “Nothing like that here, Joe. We had two thieves last Friday, but no rabbis. Sorry.”
“Guess the morgue is a dead end, Joe,” Sunday said after we left. “Where to now?”
“The tomb,” I said.
“Why, Joe?”
I looked at him. He looked at me.
“To get the facts,” I said.

Monday, April 7, 4:13 pm. 
We pulled up at a rich man’s tomb outside the city.
“These places give me the creeps, Joe,” Sunday said. “Just like funerals. My wife went to a funeral the other day. They had those little unleavened crackers with olives and mustard seeds and things on them. She hates green olives. You know the kind, Joe? They’re too—”
“Salty?” I said.
“Right,” he said. “And—”
“Halt!” said a voice behind us. “This tomb is off limits, by order of the governor!”
We turned around. There were two Roman soldiers—one tall, one short. We flashed our badges.
“Cops!” gasped the tall one.
“Remember what we practiced,” the short one whispered. Their eyes shifted back and forth. “Uh—we don’t know what happened,” the tall one whined. “We were guarding the tomb. It was all sealed and everything. Then we fell asleep.”
“Right,” the short one broke in. “There was definitely not a man in a shining robe who appeared and scared us so much that we fainted.”
“Yeah,” said the tall one. “The rabbi’s disciples came while we were asleep and stole the body.”
“Right,” the short one agreed. “We know that because—because we were asleep at the time.”
“And nobody bribed us to say that or anything,” the tall one added.
“Makes sense to me, Joe,” Sunday said.
“How do you two know this rabbi was dead in the first place?” I asked.
“Oh, he was dead all right,” the tall one answered. “I checked him myself, right after the execution.”
“So he couldn’t have come back to life,” said the short one. “We know, because we were there.”
“Sleeping,” added the tall one.
“Well, Joe,” Sunday said, “there it is. The rabbi’s disciples stole the body. Guess that wraps it up, eh?”
“Not quite,” I told him. “We’re still missing one thing.”
“What’s that, Joe?”
“Proof,” I said.

Thursday, April 10, 2:14 pm. 
We ran down a lead in Emmaus. Two suspects had been seen proceeding down the road—right after the rabbi’s body had been stolen.
“You think they took the body, Joe?” Sunday asked.
“Could be,” I said. “They’re religious fanatics. Watch your step.”
We walked up to the door. When I knocked, a teenager answered. He smiled as we flashed our badges.
“Come in,” he invited. We did.
“Were you on the road to Emmaus the other day, son?” I questioned.
“That’s right,” he told me excitedly. “That’s when we saw the—”
“Mind if we have a look around?” I asked.
“Go ahead,” he said. “Anyway, we saw the—”
“There’s no rabbi in here, Joe,” Sunday said, peering into the closet.
“We saw the rabbi,” the kid claimed. “The one who died last Friday. I was on the road with a friend, and we saw him. He’s alive!”
I looked at Sunday. He looked at me. I shook my head.
“Consumption of new wine by a minor,” I said. “That’s against the law, son.”
“But I didn’t—”
“It’s a 427, Joe,” Sunday said. “I think.”
“It’s always the same story with you kids,” I complained.
“You go out and get yourself full of new wine and end up seeing dead rabbis walking down the road. It’s a shame, a real shame.”
“But we saw him,” the kid said. “We didn’t recognize him at first. Then right before he disappeared—”
“Disappeared?” I asked.
“That’s right. He vanished into thin air.”
I looked at Sunday. He looked at me. We both shook our heads.
“You—you don’t believe me,” the kid exclaimed.
I frowned. “There’s only one thing we believe, son,” I said.
“The facts, Joe?” Sunday said.
“The facts,” I said.

Tuesday, April 15, 9:48 pm
We staked out the upper room. Word was that the rabbi’s disciples had been hiding there—probably hiding the stolen body there, too. We parked in a nearby alley and watched as a sleazy collection of fishermen, women, zealots, and tax collectors went into the place, one by one.
“As long as we’re waiting, Joe,” Sunday said, “you mind if I have a bite?” He took a bag out of his pocket. “My wife made it, Joe. Barley cakes and figs. Don’t care for figs. Too wrinkly. I like those other things, those—”
“Dates?” I queried.
“Right,” he said.
“It’s time,” I told him. “Let’s move in and wrap up the case.”
“Can I finish my barley cakes, Joe? I’ll—”
I looked at him. He looked at me.
“Right, Joe,” he said. “After we get—”
“The facts,” I said.

Tuesday, April 15, 9:59 pm
It sounded as if a party was going on in the upper room. When I knocked, a young woman opened the door. “Yes,” she asked.
“Police officers,” I announced, flashing my badge. “We have a few questions.”
“Certainly,” she responded, smiling. “What would you like to know?”
My eyes narrowed. “Just the facts, ma’am,” I said.
“Well, come right in,” she invited.
We walked in. I held up my badge.
“Party’s over folks,” I said. “You’re all under arrest for the theft and concealment of a body with intent to perpetuate a rumour about a resurrected rabbi. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to—”
“Say, Joe,” Sunday said. “How come nobody’s listening?”
I stopped. Nobody was listening. They were too busy celebrating something.
There were all those disciples, talking and laughing with a guy in the middle of the room. A guy they kept calling “rabbi.” A guy about thirty-three years old, wearing a white robe. A guy with a nasty scar in the palm of each hand, just as if he’d been—
I looked at Sunday. He looked at me.
“It’s him, Joe,” he said.
“That’s right,” I said.
“He doesn’t look dead to me, Joe.”
“No, he doesn’t.”
“What do we do now, Joe?”
I sighed. “You know procedure,” I told him. “We make our report.”
“But Joe—”
“I know,” I said. “There’s just one problem.”
“What’s that, Joe?” he asked.
“The facts,” I said. “Just the facts.”

Wednesday, April 16, 10:17 am
We finished making our report to the captain.
“So, boys,” he said, looking it over. “The rabbi’s followers stole the body, eh?”
“Yes, sir,” I said. “Smuggled it out of the country. Way out. Out of our jurisdiction.”
“They did?” Sunday asked. “But Joe, I thought—”
“It’s just as well,” the captain said. “The whole thing will blow over in a week or two anyway.”
I nodded. “No doubt about it, sir,” I answered.
“But how about all those sightings?” queried the captain. “What made so many people claim to have seen this man alive?”
“Yeah, Joe,” Sunday said. “How—”
“Mass hypnosis, sir,” I explained. “Swamp gas. Hysteria. It’s all in the report.”
“Oh,” said Sunday. “I guess we were—”
“Mistaken?” I asked.
“Uh, right,” he said.
“Good work, boys,” congratulated the captain. “I knew I could count on you to get—”
“The facts, sir?” I asked.
“No,” said the captain. “Something far better.”
“What’s that?” I wondered aloud.
“A reasonable explanation.
“Makes sense to me, Joe,” said Sunday.
“It would,” I said with a sigh.

Taken from Joan 'n' the Whale by John Duckworth

p.s: Happy Easter!! :)


Arnan Koh said...

wow... i thought you wrote that.... it was nice to put the easter story that way...

way to go... woo hooo!

DaN said...

Its so interesting!!! I like it when you put it that way..liz o liz.. why didnt you consider being a writer?? xD

Lisa ^^, said...

Ahaha. Sorry la. I did not write that la. Wish I could write like that though. Sighs. >.<