Book of the Month – May 2021 – A Journey – Part 3

+JMJ+ A note on the writing. I’m writing a book And working my way into the writing, which is what this experiment is, a journey into the writing. So the journey in the title refers both to the story itself and to my writing my way toward the story.

A Journey – Part 3

At last we are on our way. Nico had last minute urgent business to attend to, and there was a mishap in my household, too, and so we made a late start of it, and had to stop before reaching our destination rather than travel on the road through the night. To be caught by thieves along here would be almost as bad as being caught by bored soldiers looking for someone to fight. That’s what we are to them, convenient victims for their barbarism and bullying, served up daily, or, in this case, nightly. Then there are those who say we should have no dealings with the Gentiles, any of them, and would waylay us for being who we are and doing what we do. They can be as vicious as, if not more vicious than, the soldiers. It’s bad enough in broad daylight. No need to ask for trouble. 

And these days trouble comes looking for us and won’t stop until it finds us. I spent too much time away from home and did not even realize this was happening. My right hand man was beaten yesterday. I want to file a complaint with the procurator but I am trying not to draw attention to myself. This could not have happened at a worse time. Perhaps I’ll have a word with the centurion and take him a little something. I’ll have to find out what he likes. I watched my father do this. My younger brother never learned this lesson of—shall we call it, diplomacy. He’s no longer with us. I’m only learning the lesson now and of necessity. One wrong move and I could lose everything and my family could lose everything they have, too. To end up destitute in Jerusalem is not my plan.

After our shared meal we went to our separate sleeping spots in some of the many caves carved out over the years by those with something to hide: either themselves, or property, their own or not, or even to hide their tired bodies from the sun. The community did not use these caves, they are much too near the road to serve their needs. But they are handy for the weary traveler.

I didn’t ask for it but Nico insisted that I take the larger one, so now I am sitting here writing by the flickering light of the fire and some small lamps, with only the sounds of our animals and the crackling fire—and occasional snoring from a too near cave—to break the silence. The sounds of the night usually fill me with peace but this night is different. Something is in the air, something I sense, something is headed for us and I do not know exactly what. Nico feels it, too. There’s the violence I mentioned. And we’ve both been hearing talk about the rabbi. Talk against him is nothing new, but it is happening more and more, and taking on a new ugliness, a viciousness that surprises me. Nico noticed it before I did. He’s worried and I’m sure this is the only reason he would reach out to someone he does not know well. We knew of each other but did not know each other. Well, that’s changing. I may even like him, but I don’t know yet that I fully trust him. It’s too early and there are not many people I trust. 

Getting a late start today was not good. The time of Passover is nearing and we both have much to do, many preparations to make. Well, truthfully, we have some preparations to make but we have others who will make more of them. Still, we have to oversee it and there are things that no one else can do that fall to us. My staff will have to handle extra work for a time. They shouldn’t complain. At least they have work. And a home. And wages. Things could be worse.

Tomorrow we will visit the community and I will have my scrolls and will present my friend with my gifts to him and to his brothers. I brought something for all of them but especially for him. 

I was planning another trip soon, up north, to Galilee, to visit the rabbi, after Passover. But Nico tells me that he is making his way to Jerusalem so maybe I will be able to see him then. The poor man cannot go anywhere without word spreading all over Judea and parts beyond. Every time he takes a step, messengers are sent out to tell everyone where he is, “Yeshua is coming, Yeshua is coming!” and where he is likely to be found next. This is convenient for everyone else but probably less so for him. 

So hopefully I will meet with him in just a few days. I am anxious to see him. Not just excited but anxious. I wasn’t worried for him before, but now I am. I haven’t mentioned this out loud to anyone, but I can tell that my friend feels the same way. He was distracted as we walked and all through prayers and our meal. I can’t imagine how the rabbi’s followers must feel. Excitement in the town builds, but underneath it something else waits. Something else moves in the darkness. I only wish I could see what it is. 

End Part 3

Now that this is going on past the May Book of the Month, ongoing story links will be on the Fiction page.

Catholic Book of the Month TOC, Annotated
All Series TOC, Annotated

A note on the writing

I have other bits of the story in my writing project (using Scrivener, which I use for all my writing, even preparing tweets, especially threads and especially threads like the Rosary threads) but the ones I’m publishing here on the blog in this series are something different. I’ve been writing these the day the post is due to keep myself from going down (too many) rabbit holes while I’m writing. There’s something about having a deadline, it forces me to stop researching, making endless notes about what I want to do, and just do it. 

And pay no mind to that word count in the sidebar, it’s for the project file that contains these posts and includes scenes and ideas for scenes and bits of writing that I want to put in the story somehow somewhere and a lot of other stuff, too. I’ll add a separate word count meter for the just the text part of the posts. (Edit, May 11: I went ahead and changed the progress bar in the sidebar. Now it only reflects the actual text I am posting on the blog. I’ll keep up with the notes and such separately.)

I still need prayers, if you don’t mind, if you’re the praying kind. I need all the help I can get, don’t ya know. You’re in my prayers, too. You, yeah, you, reading this right now, you are in my prayers. 

Thank you for visiting and reading my continuing experiment. I hope you’ll join me again wherever we’re going—and I have no idea where that is. Well, I have some idea but mostly I’m discovering the story as I go. It’s a rough draft, after all, and I do mean ROUGH. ;) Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy, and most of all, let the Spirit work in you so that you become who you were meant to be: a SAINT! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+

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Image in the banner: From the east, Nazareth, Holy Land, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

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