The Savior, Just in Time
Christ upon the cross
looked out upon Calvary.
The sweat on his brow mixed with dirt
from his face, and it dripped down to flop
on the Centurion's helmet. The soldier
backed away. He was bored.
He hated crucifixions. They were the worst duty;
he should have a better billet, maybe more salt for his beans,
a higher grade of wine.
There was a sound, suddenly, quite loud. It was harp music.
It did not come from the small group of devotees
who claimed that the convict was some kind of messiah.
Yeshu Ben Joseph tilted his head as far as it would go.
"Could you get my iPhone?" he asked, looking down at the soldier.
The Centurion did not understand this request.
He had been squatting, using his spear to support his weight,
both hands wrapped around its polished wooden handle.
"It's in my loincloth," said Christ. "I think it's stuck to my skin."
There was confusion in the Centurion's face. He pulled himself up
wearily, hands clutching the spear.
The harp music continued.
"Mithras' Balls, make that go away!" the soldier cursed.
"Just get my iPhone out of my loincloth and hold it near your face." said Christ,
"Follow the sound. As you can see, my hands aren't free."
The Roman, shrinking from his gory task,
nose all wrinkled, found a gleaming rectangle of mystery.
He held it at arm's length. His face twisted with confusion.
He looked up at the criminal on the cross. The crown of thorns
was causing blood and sweat to drip down the man's chest. Perhaps the criminal was really the Messiah.
The Centurion shook his head, as if to dispel madness.
He inspected the alien rectangle. He flinched
when a voice came out of it.
His voice, his whole body trembled.
"It says it's your mother."
There was a pause.
Christ called down from the cross,
"Ma, I'm kinda busy right now."
The soldier held the device, but now terror
caused his eyes to blur. His heart pounded in his chest.
The strange device was near his face and the voice
was audible even to Christ on the cross.
"You haven't called me in a week!" the voice complained.
"What's wrong with you," said the soldier, "don't you revere your own mother?"
He looked at the small box, polished to unnatural sheen like
a jade mirror. He had not noticed the figures on its surface, the many hieroglyphs.
Now they moved of their own volition. The Centurion dropped the box as if scalded.
"It's a demon's toy! I must fetch the Tribunaris!"
Before the soldier could move, his knees buckled.
He put his hands to his face and began to weep.
"I don't know why I feel this way!" he wailed.
Meanwhile, the object continued to make squawking noises.
"Ma!" Christ called down from the cross. "Ma! I'll call you back.
I promise. It might take a couple days, but I promise I'll call you back!"