The Test of Time ..(bridge series #21)

He was torn, torn between duty and conscience, an occupational hazard for all soldiers and men of honor.

While he frets he unconciously stabs his sharp spear into the mud with every step he takes, back and forth back and forth, step, stab, step, stab, step,

            stab into the side of the man on the cross, the man that is hailed as a Savior , the man that has been nailed to the wooden beam for longer than the soldier can stand.

“Thankyou Longinus” the man named Jesus says.

“Why are you thanking me?” the soldier replies in shock.

“Because I made a mistake..” his reply interrupted by a brief coughing fit, “no God is infallible after all.”

The soldier is crying, he sees the blood pouring from the wound he has inflicted, he sees the pain in the man’s face, “Lord how can you say such a thing?”

“I can say it because I was dying painfully and wished it to end, and you showed me mercy.”

“I can’t believe that a God can be destroyed, I won’t!” Longinus shouts in anger.

“And yet you see me dying before you..” his words are barely a whisper.

Holding the accursed lance in his hand he shakes his head as if to make it all go away.

“Don’t worry my friend..huuuh..there are things that will ….uuhh..haa..we, both of us, will be remembered, .huuh..down to the very wood and metal that binds us both…be at peace.”

While the body is being removed Longinus considers the curse that has just been handed to him.

He knows he will be forever a villian in the eyes of man, an dutifully accepts that judgement. He is a soldier and a gaurdian after all, and with little thought he hauls off the crossbeam from the bloodied crucifix, a single nail still protruding from one end, and hides it away.

Over the next few months he reflects long on that last conversation as he whittles down the beam into a walking stick. The blade that sealed his fate is now so dull it will never kill anything again, but he is not willing to take the chance and hands the cane over to Helen where he knows it will be safe.

As an afterthought leaves the sphere and the nail as well.

Don’t give any of these things away” he pleads to the woman, “both are death to anyone who touches them” and with that he runs from the establishment.

Helen begins laughing as Longinus turns the corner, her laughter soon becomes raucous, she carved the symbol of the cross onto the wooden box a thousand years ago, she knew this day was coming, but she is surprised by her jovial attitude.

Her green eyes brim with tears. To think that Longinus truly believed that by giving her these relics they would kill no more was ridiculous, she has already seen the death of nations in the future to come, and it makes her laugh harder.

“Men and their infallible gods” she says aloud to no one, but directs it to the bridge in the distance.

When her laughter subsides she pulls out the wooden box and begins to carve the newest symbols, two flying machines colliding with two tall rectangular objects that reach to the heavens.

She wonders, not for the first time, if anything made by man will ever withstand the Test of Time.

The wind carries the news of the resurrection over the mountains and over the deserts and to all of the lands and ears in between.

A crocodile resting on the banks of the Nile opens her eyes and lifts her head. She listens to the wind and records the event, blinks once and glides into the only thing that is ever truly reborn.

.

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