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Jesus' fitful, drunken slumber was interrupted by the sensation of cold steel against his forehead. He opened his eyes to find himself staring up at the underside of a double-barreled shotgun. He panicked. His heart raced. He was not prepared to die again, at least not so soon, and he felt genuinely afraid until he realized who was on the other end of the shotgun. He relaxed.

"A bit dramatic, wouldn't you say?" he said to the scantily clad woman as she lowered the weapon.

"I had to be sure it was you," Mary Magdalene said.

Jesus stood staring at the lonely, unremarkable grave that housed his ultimate betrayer. He was angry, he was sad, and he was confused. "I called you, didn't I?"

"It could have been a trap."

"Fair enough," he agreed. "That's some gun you've got there."

She laughed. "You didn't notice it mounted above the front desk? It's an old-timey prairie dog blaster of some sort. The guy down there doesn't even know if it even fires anymore, but it's most certainly not loaded. He let me borrow it. I figured it was at least a little threatening."

"A little. You didn't sleep with him, did you?"

"I did what I had to do."

Jesus sighed. He knew a lost cause when he saw one. He saw her eyes glance toward the burgundy stain and the torn out pages shoddily arranged in an attempt to soak up the mess. "Party last night? You should have invited me."

"I did. You're here, aren't you? I guess you were just fashionably late."

"Speaking of fashion…you're looking good." He was wearing the tattered robe the motel had included as a "luxury item." He didn't remember putting it on.

"It's comfortable, and I spilled on my other clothes."

"Nice. Infallible indeed."

"Look, I've got a lot of shit I want to get done today, and I'm going to need your help. Are you going to help me?" He had a raging headache.

"I wouldn't waste my time coming to this hellhole if I wasn't going to help. No need to get testy."

"Fine. I'm sorry," he said. He meant it.

"Don't worry about it. You're in better spirits than I ‘d expected. Who's first on the list?"

"Judas Iscariot. You know where he is?"


"How long is he going to be there?"

"I'd say you've got a while."

"Take me there."

"Alright, but I don't think you're going to like it very much."

*  *  *

The sun was out, and a steady breeze blew throughout the cliff-side cemetery. Jesus stood staring at the lonely, unremarkable grave that housed his ultimate betrayer. The wind blew his unkempt hair in front of his face, and despite the comfortable temperature, he was sweating. He was angry, he was sad, and he was confused.

"Who did it?" he asked Mary, who sat on the ground next to him, playing with blades of grass.

"He did. He was dead before you were."

"Coward," Jesus said as he spit upon the cracked cement. It quickly dried. "Miserable coward."

"Yes, but you can at least cross him off your list. It doesn't matter how or why he's dead, it just matters that he is dead, right?"

"I think you're missing the point of revenge. It absolutely does matter."

"What, and you were going to kill him?"

"Yes, I was."

"Alright, Tiger, I'll believe that when I see it."

"You will."

"Is that a promise?"

"That's a promise."

"Okay. What now?"

"I'm hungry. I'm a stress eater."

"Then let's eat."

"Take me somewhere."

Looks like Jesus was going to be making more of his patented witches' brew. Jesus reached into the hideous motel bathrobe and pulled out the rusty dagger he'd planned to plunge into Iscariot's neck and drove it into the ground, directly in front of the grave. He didn't need it anymore.

They walked in silence back to Mary Magdalene's motorcycle. It was a Japanese model, and Jesus had turned his nose up at it slightly when he'd first seen it, and he found he enjoyed riding it even less. The hum of the engine was terribly obnoxious, and its zippiness was simply a feeble attempt to make up for what it lacked in horsepower.

As they sped down the two-lane highway he noticed a giant billboard advertising the local "Lebowski Fest" the following month, with Jeff Bridges clothed in a robe similar to the one he was wearing.

"Hey, he kind of looks like you."

"I think that's kind of the point."

"Oh yeah, I guess I never got that." It seemed like she never got a lot of things.

They pulled into the dusty parking lot of one of those standalone diners Jesus thought only existed in movies. He slunk into the first available booth. He needed a drink to get rid of his hangover.

"Jack. Straight up," he said as the waitress approached.

She laughed as though he'd joked. "Coffee, tea, milk, OJ, soda. That's all we got."

"Water, please," he said, disappointed. Looks like he was going to be making more of his patented witches' brew.

He ordered a Denver omelette with a heaping side of bacon. He also asked for an English muffin and some fresh jam, but all they had were those little packets. He hated those little packets. Nevertheless, he ate like someone who hadn't eaten in quite some time. He hadn't eaten in quite some time.

He and Mary didn't say much of anything to each other during the meal, but they didn't really have to. He was happy to see her again, and she him. He had business to attend to, but he was glad she was along for the ride. She smiled at him, and he attempted to smile back, even though his mouth was almost constantly stuffed with food. At the end of the meal, her face turned serious.



"Do you have any money?"

As they sped off down the highway, satisfied that they'd both completed their first successful dine and ditch, Jesus felt a sense of optimism, something he hadn't felt in a very long time. Maybe everything was going to be alright.