fiction, stories, writing

A Brother’s Lament: The Hanging

Disclaimer

This story along with the others in this small series of stories is purely fiction. It is not meant to go against anyone’s belief in the Gospel. This is my own personal belief in the form of fiction and the “supernatural” parts are more -so true to life than they are in the Bible. It is another telling of what happened in the view of the so-called “villain.” My personal belief is inspired by the lost gospels of Judas, Barnabas, Mary Madeleine, and the belief that Jesus was a prophet and not the son of the Hebrew/Christian God.

The Story

I hated this. Why could it not be me that had to suffer? Or was it me who suffered the most? I went to the high priests and yelled at them to try and reconsider hurting him. All they did was laugh in my face. As if Peter or anyone else would understand. I would not be surprised if James had been dragged into his little fold. I sat on the edge and cried hearing them beat him and make him sound like a criminal. All we wanted was peace. Peace among our people and theirs. What if I…

“Betrayer!” I heard Peter’s voice from behind me. This scene felt all too familiar. It… was that nightmare I had. The one before we came into Jerusalem. The angry fisherman stood there as I turned to him. He had a noose in his hand along with my wife, Prima, being held by another Apostle. I had begged her not to come with us after that nightmare but, as she always did, she refused. Anger began to build in my gut.

“Let her go, Peter,” I said angrily.

“No,” the drunk spat. “You will pay for what you did to Yeshua.”

“I only did what he asked me to do!” I yelled. “What about you? Have you forsaken his name yet? You should be the one called betrayer.”

He glared at me and ordered the others to grab me. They beat me in tune with the beating my precious brother was getting from the guards. I saw James look from Peter to me not knowing what to do. “James, run. Run to mother,” I ordered weakly. Thankfully, I saw him run as I asked him to do. I could not let him see both of his elder brothers beaten like this. 

“Judas!” I heard Prima yell. “Please! Stop this! Let him go!”

“Let him go?” Peter seethed. “Why should I let someone who betrayed Yeshua go? He is the one who brought the guards. He is the one who kissed him as a mark of death.”

“He did what he had to. Please, just…” 

“Quiet Prima,” I said hoarsely after spitting out some blood. “Peter, do what you want with me, but let her go,”

“I do not think so. You will not get a swift death. I will make you suffer. Starting with her,” The other apostles grabbed me and tore my clothes off of my body. I was beginning to mimic what they had forced Yeshua into. Only rags to cover my bloodied and beaten body. Since the two of us had always looked similar one could not tell us part. 

They took us to a sturdy tree and threw the satchel of silver that I had obtained onto the ground. They forced me to kneel while looking up.

“First, I will make everyone believe that you were the coward everyone says you are. At the same time, I will make you watch.” 

If I had thought Peter was insane and evil before, I was wrong. He had no soul for a man who was trying to win over my brother. He forced a rag in my mouth stopping me from any kind of speech. It was still night time but I could see by the stars and the full moon what they were doing. They dressed my beloved wife in my clothes and strung her by the neck as if she were a doll that belonged to one of our daughters. When it was set they dropped her from a higher branch and her neck snapped like a fragile twig. I tried and tried to yell but nothing but muffle came from my voice. All I could do was cry. I was losing everyone I loved in one night. I felt a dark part of me awaken. Something sinister telling me I needed to get revenge. That I was strong enough to break from this hold and make them all pay.  

“You all should be ashamed of yourselves!” A stern feminine voice came from the side breaking me out of this fit of rage. I turned to see my stepmother Mary, my sister-in-law Mary Magdalen, and James looking horrified at the now corpse of my beloved wife, Prima. The voice came from my mother. She walked up and slapped Peter.

“Do you believe that my son would want you to do this? Do you even believe in him?” She asked. My brothers’ mother could be scary when she wanted to be. Imagine how it was raising us. 

Peter shook in my mother’s grasp. “N…no… I do not know him. I was simply teaching his follower a lesson.”

James and my heads looked up at this. You will deny that you know me three times before the rooster rows. Perhaps I was not the only one who had prophetic powers.

“Peter,” my sister-in-law said angrily. “After all that my husband had done for you, you would deny him?”

“I… do not know what you are talking about, woman.”

Two. I looked over the horizon where the light was beginning to peek. Soon a rooster would crow. This time, James went up to him. He was there when our brother said Peter would deny him. Neither of us believed it would be like this. 

“Peter, you do not know Yeshua like we do. Do you truly believe Judas would do what he did if Yeshua did not know as well? How can you even call yourself an Apostle? Do you know Judas and my brother at all?” He was angry like I was. He knew that if I could not get to him, he would.

“N…no, I do not know him.” He said this defeat and the rest of the apostles stood astonished. Both Marys came to my aid as I fell into their arms. A rooster called in the city below. All who were there at the supper stared at Peter. He cried as the two women and James led me down the hill. I was shaking with tears. So much loss. My wife, my brother… My brother. I stopped the women before they took me to where they were staying. 

“Wait, there is something I must do.”

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