Cletus sat in a cave pondering how his life had reached yet another confrontation. The Olympian Zeus had long ago promised Cletus a life of adventure. Cletus blamed Zeus for many of the Neanderthal’s issues. Clearly, the Olympian’s idea of adventure boiled down to nothing more than sex and bloodshed.
Two soldiers entered the cave but kept their distance from Cletus. One soldier eyed the caveman cautiously. The other said, “Lord Judge, we’re warriors of Judah. Three thousand warriors have been sent to capture and return you to the Philistines to be tried for your crimes.”
“That so?” Cletus asked.
“If I refuse?”
“We’d have to take you by force.”
“If I escape, forcing you to return empty-handed?” Cletus asked.
“We would be killed by the Philistines,” the soldiers said.
“You’ll die either way then?”
“That seems the most likely outcome,” one soldier said.
“Can’t have that.”
The caveman held his hands out to the soldiers. “Go on,” Cletus said, “take me to the Philistines.”
Using ropes, the soldiers tied Cletus’s hands together and led him out of the cave. The entire army of Judah marched Cletus to the Philistines. An official approached Cletus and said, “You are to be killed for your crimes against the Philistines to include murdering thirty men and using foxes to set fire to the crops of the Philistines. How do you plead?”
“Guilty,” Cletus said. “Although, you have to admit the thing with the foxes was pretty ingenious. Who else would have tied a bunch of wheat to a fox’s tail and set it on fire?”
The Philistine official scoffed. The army of Judah handed Cletus over to the Philistines. As soon as the official grabbed the caveman, Cletus burst from his restraints. Cletus pulled a pin from his ear and shook it out into a small baton. Cletus laughed wickedly as he slaughtered the Philistine army, killing at least a thousand men.
Years later, Cletus had married yet again. His interest in women had diminished through the centuries since all his wives and lovers had the tendency to die. He and his new wife, Delilah, spent their time passing days away with sleep and sex. Between bouts of rest and activity, Delilah constantly questioned Cletus about the source of his strength. He explained that having more muscle mass than a human and the blessings of the Buddha made him strong. Delilah insisted Cletus hid the secret to his strength from her. Cletus continuously teased her about it. “If you tied me up with fresh bowstring, I’ll lose all my strength,” Cletus told Delilah.
Cletus awoke the next day bound head to toe in bowstrings that snapped off as he stretched. Delilah snarled and chastised him, demanding to know the real secret of his strength. Since he had told her the truth, Cletus assumed Delilah wanted to play some sort of game. “Ropes,” Cletus said. “You have to tie me up with brand new ropes. Use at least four of them, or I’ll break free.”
Cletus tore apart the ropes when he woke the next morning. “You misunderstood,” Cletus said to Delilah. “You have to weave my hair together before you tie me up, or it won’t work.”
The next morning, Cletus woke and untangled his hair. “This is getting annoying,” he said to himself. He stared at Delilah. “Listen, I don’t like this game. I’m done playing around with you. Let me be frank. Nothing can take my strength from me. It’s just not how this works. It is as much a part of me as the thing you lust after every night. Stop playing around. Granted, I’m sure you’re ignoring everything I’m saying because you’re apparently an idiot. Next, I bet you’ll do something stupid like try to cut my hair to see if that works.”
Cletus found himself lacking his glorious mane the next morning. “You have got to be fucking kidding me,” he said. “I was making fun of you. It was a joke.”
Cletus rolled over to face several spears pointed at his chest and throat. “Hi guys,” Cletus said to the soldiers with a bright smile. “I bet you didn’t come here to go for a swim.”
“We’re here to arrest you for your crimes against Philistine.”
Cletus nodded. “Figured as much,” he said. “It’s been like ten years. Can’t you guys just let it go?”
“Not so long as you breathe.”
“I’ll go quietly, but you guys should tell a badass story about fighting me.”
The Philistines bound Cletus with brass shackles and led him to Gaza. Stories spread far about the imprisoned Israelite Judge. The tales told how Delilah cut Cletus’s hair to steal his strength, and then, the Philistines stabbed out Cletus’s eyes in his sleep. While he still had his eyes, the Philistines imprisoned Cletus and forced him to use his strength to grind grain.
Months later, Cletus slept on the cold earth of his cell.
“AWAKEN,” a voice boomed.
Cletus opened his eyes. Flames coated his entire cell, but no heat came from the fire. Cletus rolled over and went back to sleep.
“DO NOT IGNORE ME,” the voice said.
“You want to know the easiest way to not be ignored?” Cletus asked. “I’ll tell you. You don’t set people’s homes on fire and shout at them. Level with them. Don’t be a dick.” Cletus sat up after a relieving stretch. “So, which god are you, and what do you want from the great and powerful Cletus?”
“I AM THE ONE TRUE GOD,” the voice said. “I AM THE LORD.”
“Oh,” Cletus said, “you. Yahweh. Hashem. Jehovah. The God of Abraham. You’re not the only god, you know.”
“I AM THE ONE TRUE GOD.”
“I’d argue there are no true gods,” Cletus said. “All of you are overzealous creations of the human imagination. Also, you never answered my question. What do you want from me?”
“I WILL HAVE A HUMAN SON,” Yahweh said. “I WISH FOR YOU TO PROTECT HIM THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE. YOU COME HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY ZEUS AND BUDDHA. IN RETURN, I WILL GIVE YOU INFINITE STRENGTH.”
“I’m already as strong as ten men,” Cletus said. “I don’t see more helping all that much.”
“Got it. What if I refuse?”
“YOU WILL BE KILLED BY THE PHILISTINES. THINK IT OVER.”
The flames disappeared from Cletus’s cell. Several Philistine guards rushed in. They shackled Cletus and led him out of the prison. Massive crowds of people lined the streets, cheering as the guards marched with Cletus.
“What’s going on?” Cletus asked.
“We’re taking you to the temple of Dagon as a sacrifice to thank him for your capture,” one guard said.
“Doesn’t that seem to defeat the purpose of taking me prisoner?” Cletus asked. “I mean, you’re going to thank him for capturing me by killing me. Shouldn’t you have just killed me from the start?”
The celebratory parade took Cletus to the temple entrance. Cletus doubled over and asked, “Can I just rest here on these pillars? I’m really tired from grinding grain all the time.”
The guards allowed Cletus to relax. Cletus leaned against the nearest pillar. “Yahweh, you there?” he whispered.
“THE LORD IS ALWAYS PRESENT AND ALWAYS WATCHING.”
“That’s not creepy at all,” Cletus said. “Listen, I’ll do it. I’ll protect your kid. Just hook me up with that strength right now.”
“I STRENGTHEN THEE.”
Cletus tore out of his shackles and toppled the pillar he had been leaning against. He watched the entire temple crumble as the pillars around the entrance crashed into the main building. Cletus slipped away in the chaos created by the temple’s destruction.
Years passed with Yahweh’s voice ever-present in Cletus’s head. Yahweh instructed Cletus to find a man in the wilderness near a river. Cletus traveled into the wilderness and searched for days. Several miles up river, Cletus found a man in only a loincloth. “You,” the man said to Cletus, “have you heard?”
“Heard what?” Cletus asked.
“The Son of God?” the man said. “The Son of God is coming. The last prophet, the Messiah shall arrive. One thousand years of peace on Earth heralded by Him. Only through Him shall you be baptized by the Holy Spirit and fire.”
“I’ve heard so much about the Son of God that I just cannot wait to meet this guy,” Cletus said. “Who’re you?”
“They call me John,” the man said. John smelled awful, even by caveman standards. “Would you like some honey? How about a locust or two? I got plenty to eat and plenty to share.”
“I’m good,” Cletus said. “I prefer to get my protein from meat. Besides, I’m just here for the baptism.”
“Not ‘til tomorrow,” John said through mangled, rotten teeth.
“Yeah, I’m aware,” Cletus said.
The next day, a crowd gathered around the riverbed. John baptized several people before a man with shoulder length, curly hair and a thick, dark beard stepped forward. John placed his hand on the man’s head and said, “Let this child now receive the blessing of God. Fill him with the Holy Spirit, and cleanse his soul with the lake of fire.”
John dumped the man into the water, holding him there for a few moments before letting him up.
“THIS IS MY SON,” Yahweh said to Cletus, “THE BELOVED.”
“Awesome,” said Cletus. “We can finally take care of this shit.”
“TAKE THE BOY TO THE WILDERNESS. HE WILL BE TESTED.”
“We’re already in the middle of nowhere,” Cletus said. “You told me to come to the wilderness to find this place. Where do you want me to go?”
“TAKE HIM TO THE WILDERNESS.”
“Sure,” Cletus said.
Cletus approached the son of Yahweh. “Hey, I’m Cletus,” he said. “I’ve been sent by your father to protect you.”
“Yeah, man, that’s awesome. I’m Jesus. What’s up, buddy?”
“I’m good,” Cletus said. “Let’s get this show on the road.
Cletus, using his iron pole as a walking stick, wandered with the soaking wet Jesus father out into the wilderness. Trees became fewer and fewer, until rocks and sand surrounded the men. Only small, dry shrubs dotted the landscape.
“Man,” Jesus said, “I wish I would’ve met you when I was younger. Would’ve been a huge help. Like, when I was really little, my family ran into a cave full of dragons. My mom and her husband were all weirded out and stuff. I just had to use my magic powers to kill those poor dragons, man.”
“You have magic powers?” Cletus asked. “Magic powers that are strong enough to effortlessly kill dragons? Why do you need me?”
“I don’t know, man,” Jesus said. “It’s all in His plan. I got these magic powers, but they’re water based. I can do anything as long as water is involved. I can kill things and even heal things because living stuff is something like mostly water. I can do all sorts of neat stuff with water. Speaking of which, check this out.” Jesus grabbed the waterskin from Cletus’s waist. After a second, he handed it back to the caveman. “Merlot, man.”
Cletus took a swig of the now smooth, fruity wine. “Damn,” Cletus said. “You turned that shit into wine. How often do you do that?”
“Like all the time,” Jesus said. “I haven’t drank anything other than wine for as long as I can remember.”
“You are a crazy drunk,” Cletus said. “No wonder you need protection. You need to be shielded from yourself.”
“That is so true,” Jesus said. “When I was a kid, I got into so much trouble. I like, started this street gang that would force people who came to my hometown to come and worship me. If they refused, I’d just kill ‘em. Like, whatever. Screw you too, dude. I’m the Son of God. Finally, though, shit just got too real for me. Had to back out of it. Got out of most of the trouble by bringing all the peoplethat I killed back to life.”
“You’re a fucking lunatic,” Cletus said.
“I know, right?” said Jesus. I can’t wait for us to party together. It’s gonna be so crazy.”
Cletus stayed with Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus lay in the sand writhing in pain. From time to time, Jesus screamed out streams of pained gibberish. After a fortnight, a man approached Cletus. The man’s gold and red robes bathed the land in beautiful light. His golden hair waved in the wind. The man’s smile melted Cletus’s heart. The man held out a strong hand to Cletus and said, “I’m the seraph Lucifer. Pleased to meet you, Old One.”
“You’re Satan, “ Cletus said, grasping Lucifer’s hand as tightly as possible. “Are you here to kill the kid?”
“Oh, Heavens, no,” Lucifer said with a slight flick of his wrist. “I would never consider hurting this little guy. He’s way too important for the future. Also, could we not use the S word? It is just distasteful.”
“Could you call me Cletus instead of Old One?”
“Of course, of course,” Lucifer said. “I just wanted to be respectful. You are much older than I am, after all. I mean, sure, some incarnation of ultimate evil as always existed; however, the way that I am now is a fairly new concept created by the humans.”
“Oh yeah,” Cletus said, “there’s always been someone to blame shit on. The Grecians had several gods and beasts. The Egyptians had Set. the Sumerians had Pazuzu, among others. The Buddhists have Mara. The Jews have you.”
“I’d really rather not be lumped in with all of them,” Lucifer said as he sat beside Cletus on a large boulder. “I’m not nearly as bad as any of those fools. Not to mention that I’m not even evil. I’m just a liar and a tease. I did like, one wrong thing. That’s it.”
“You’re the supreme tempter though,” Cletus said. “Aren’t you the King of Hell? A fallen angel? The big bad to Yahweh’s greater good?”
“We need drinks,” Lucifer said without answering the question.
With a flick of Lucifer’s wrist, a massive mug at least a foot tall appeared in Cletus’s hand. A dark brown liquid sloshed about inside. “What the hell is this?” Cletus asked.
“Beer,” said Lucifer. “Technically, it’s dunkel. A very dark, German beer. Hasn’t even been invented yet. I love it.”
Cletus took a huge gulp, filling his mouth with smooth, cold fluid that tasted strongly of vegetables. “This shit tastes like wheat,” Cletus said before taking another drink.
“Don’t you just love the massive mugs it comes in?” Lucifer asked. “It’s great. Anyway. Yes, I’m the ruler of Hell. The fallen angel bit is kind of iffy. Lots of humans believe in it, but plenty remember the old stories where I’m just the tempter. Honestly, I still don’t know where people got the ridiculous idea that I was fallen. I hope it doesn’t catch on though. I literally love Yahweh more than anything else in existence.
“We should visit Him. He really loves making pancakes. Just don’t speak to Him unless He asks if you like the pancakes. Even then, only say, ‘Yes, my Lord,’ in the most dignified way that you can.”
“I’m not ridiculous,” Lucifer said as he finished his beer, “I’m fun. You’re still drinking? Why are you so slow? Anyway, I rule Hell because I’m the only one He trusts to keep all that rebellious filth in line. The only thing I did was give that damn woman a fig from the tree of knowledge of what’s-its-fuck. But honestly, what was He thinking? Did He just want them to be worthless slaves for eternity? I turned that shit around with a single conversation.”
“So, you aren’t evil?” Cletus asked after wiping the last of his beer from the corner of his mouth.
“No, I’m marvelous,” Lucifer said. “Seriously, I’ve killed so few people you could count them on one hand. I understand human nature; therefore, I do not judge humans for simply being human. I accept all of His unwanted children, whether it be because they are indeed evil or because they don’t worship Him. I love them unconditionally regardless. Yet, people think I’m the evil one despite being their watchful protector.”
“What are you going on about?” Cletus asked. “I forgot already.”
“I was about to go into a monologue from a movie, but you ruined it.”
“No, the other thing.”
“Movie? You know, movies?”
“You really don’t know what movies are? Seriously? I thought you knew the future? It’s obvious in your speech and mannerisms. How do you not know what fucking movies are?”
“I have a very limited knowledge of the course of the future,” Cletus said. “I wouldn’t say I really know that much about it at all. I have no idea what you were blabbering about.”
“You’re hopeless,” Lucifer said. “We should dance.”
Lucifer jumped down from the boulder and held his hand out to Cletus.
“I’m not dancing with you,” Cletus told him.
“You get your ass up right now and dance with me, Neanderthal, or I will end you,” Lucifer said. “I will travel the time stream and end each of your offspring. I will declare a fatwah upon your entire bloodline unless you dance with me.”
Cletus obliged and slowly waltzed with Lucifer.
“Have you ever danced with a dragon before, Cletus?” Lucifer asked as he led the caveman about.
“I’ve killed a few,” Cletus said, “but I’ve never danced with them.”
“Well, now you can say that you have.”
“You’re a dragon?”
“All seraphim are,” Lucifer said. “The word means flaming serpent. What else would a flaming serpent be?” Lucifer stopped dancing and pushed Cletus away. “You are a horrible dancer, and you should feel ashamed of yourself. We should get food.”
“What’re you thinking?” Cletus asked. “Might be some snakes or lizards around here somewhere.”
“I was actually thinking something from the future like a cheeseburger or döner. However, time’s up for Yeshua there. It’s my time to shine.”
“It’s already been forty days?” Cletus asked. “There’s no way. We’ve been talking for an hour at most.”
“Supreme being,” Lucifer said. “Space-time bends around me.”
Lucifer kneeled beside Jesus. “I’m so hungry,” Jesus said. “My stomach feels like it’s eating my insides.”
“If you are the Son of God,” Lucifer said with a smile, “tell these stones to become bread.”
“Man shall not live on bread alone,” Jesus said, “but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
“All this I will give you,” Lucifer said as he gestured to the air around him, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
“Away from me, Satan. For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord, your God, and serve Him only.’”
Lucifer stood and brushed the dust off his hands. “That’s it for me, darling,” he said to Cletus. “I’m going to the twenty-first century Italy to drink wine on a riverbed. Have fun with the crazy drunk. Ciao.”
Lucifer disappeared in a burst of light and smoke.
Cletus helped Jesus to his feet. Cletus gave Jesus water, which promptly turned into wine. “Angels, man,” Jesus said. “Angels are taking care of me right now. Are you one of the angels?”
“Sure,” Cletus said.
From there, Cletus and Jesus traveled. They left Nazareth for Galilee. Everywhere they went, Jesus urged people to repent because “the Kingdom of Heaven draws closer”. Jesus gathered followers, mostly fishermen. As Jesus explained to Cletus, “If they can fish, I’ll teach them to fish for people.”
Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching in synagogues, healing people, and spreading the good news of the coming kingdom. People brought to Jesus those who were ill with diseases, pain, demon possession, seizures, paralysis, and blindness for the prophet to heal. Everywhere Jesus wandered, crowds followed him.
Jesus led his crowd to a mountainside, where he sat with Cletus. Taking a massive gulp of wine, Jesus said, “Blessed are people who are depressed and sad. You’ll be comforted because the Kingdom is yours. The weak will inherit the earth. Great are those that desire righteousness because you’ll get it. The merciful will be shown mercy. The pure of heart will see God. Peaceful people will be the children of God. Blessed are those who are treated bad because of being good.
“And you know what, blessed are you when people treat you poorly because you believe in me. Ignore them. You’ll be rewarded in Heaven just as greatly as prophets before you that were also persecuted. Because you are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. People don’t just light a lamp, and then stick it under a bowl. They set it up high on a stand so it lights the whole place. You have to be like that lamp. You have to shine. Let people see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.
“Do not be confused though. I have not come here to abolish the old laws or to abolish older prophets. I’m here to enforce all the laws that came before me. Until the end of time, no the smallest thing of the old law will change until we’ve accomplished everything we can. You must follow all the rules and do everything right. Otherwise, you won’t enter Heaven.”
Jesus continued his rambling speech. He told the people about murder and adultery. He banned divorce as it was the same as adultery. Jesus said revenge was foolish. He instructed those on the mountainside to love everyone and to be courteous. He encouraged them to give all their possession away to the poor. Jesus explained that only hypocrites worship in the open, and that everyone should pray indoors alone. Jesus insisted that prayers should be short and to the point and that people should keep it to themselves when they fast to not look like hypocrites. Jesus advised never storing treasure on earth, but rather sharing wealth to bask in the great treasures of Heaven.
Finally, Jesus ended his speech by saying, “And stop worrying about everything. Don’t worry about your lives or what you look like or the food you eat and drink or the clothes you wear. None of that matters. Life is so much more than that. Look at birds. They don’t worry about any of that, yet God still takes care of them. You’re no more important than the birds. Worrying isn’t making you live longer. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow has too much to worry about itself. Just be righteous, and life will take care of you.”
Cletus thought Jesus had finished. The crowd slowly started to disperse, but Jesus took another swig of wine and continued. Jesus talked about not judging others and striving to achieve things one desired. There was talk of narrow and wide gates, a lot of discussion on false prophets and disciples, and even on those who are wise and those who are foolish.
After Jesus actually finished, the group left the mountainside. The crowd following Jesus grew considerably. A man with leprosy approached Jesus. Cletus stood between them, holding up his iron pole and growling at the man. “Be calm, man,” Jesus said to Cletus. “Brother, what is it that you desire from me?”
“Oh please, Lord, can you heal my leprosy?” the man asked.
Jesus lay his hands upon the man and said, “Be clean.” Jesus cleansed the man of his illness. “Don’t tell anybody that I did that.”
The man sprinted away into the city. “You realize that he’s going to tell every person he knows, right?” Cletus asked.
“Yeah,” Jesus said, “I know, but it looks better if I’m humble about it.”
A demon eventually attacked Jesus and his disciples.
“We are Legion, for we are many,” the possessed man said. “What do you want from us, Son of God? Have you come to destroy us before the appointed time at the End of Days?”
Jesus leaned in close to Cletus and said, “Hey, man, I need a favor. I can’t do anything to demons but cast them out of a person’s body. I don’t have anywhere to send ten thousand demons though. Why don’t you handle this guy while I create a distraction?”
Cletus sighed and trudged off.
“Everybody, over here!” Jesus shouted. “I’ve cast the demons into that herd of pigs over there.”
The crowd of people watched as Jesus controlled the herd of pigs, forcing them to run down a hill and throw themselves into a river to drown. While Jesus put on a show, Cletus battled with the possessed man until the man spit out a massive ball of eyes and tentacles. Cletus slammed his iron pole into the blob of filth, sending disgusting things flying in all directions. Cletus extended his pole and twirled it about as fast as he could to catch and shred all the demonic debris. With the demon defeated, Cletus shrunk his pole and rejoined Jesus. The congregation had moved into the village without noticing Cletus’s fight.
From there, Jesus and Cletus continued to travel and gather followers. Jesus continued to heal people and even brought some back from the dead. One night, Jesus gathered his most trusted followers and named them his twelve apostles. They were Simon (who was called Peter), Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, another James, Thaddaeus, Simon (who was actually called Simon), and Cletus (who was called Judas). Jesus sent these men out to preach. Jesus said to them, “Don’t go among the Gentiles or the Samaritans. Go to all the black sheep of Israel. Proclaim to everyone that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Freely you have received. So, freely give.”
Jesus instructed the apostles to take nothing but the clothes on their backs with them for the pilgrimages. The disciples stayed in the homes of people and blessed those that deserved it. Jesus commanded the apostles to help the sick and fight demons. Jesus warned them to be both shrewd and innocent, for they would be arrested, jailed, and flogged for teaching of Jesus. He assured them that when they were brought in front of governors and jailors, the disciples would know what to say, for God would speak to them. Before the apostles left, Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge them before my Father in Heaven. Whoever disowns me, I shall disown before my Father.”
The apostles left Jesus to preach the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven.
“You just sent those guys to their deaths,” Cletus said. “All of them will be tortured and killed for trying to get people to worship you. Not to mention contradicting half of what you said on that mountain before. What happened to being private with worship and not worrying about what other people thought?”
“Don’t be fooled,” Jesus said to Cletus. “I did not come to bring peace on earth and goodwill to man. I came brining a sword. I will turn men against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be the ones sitting at his own table. Anyone who loves their father or mother or son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
“You are a twisted, sadistic, megalomaniac,” Cletus said. “What the hell is wrong with you? You’ve been preaching peace, love, and humility to these people. Now, you’re going to demand they devote their every waking thought to you and only you? No one will do that. Anyone who claims to do that is full of shit. You’re setting them up for failure.”
“Then, they’ll fail,” Jesus said.
With time, Jesus became more tyrannical. Cletus watched as the loving, happy man from the wilderness dissolved into an angry fiend. Jesus cursed people and called them children for not listening to John the Baptist. Jesus doomed many cities. He insisted that Sodom and Gomorrah would have a better fate than any city that did not welcome him. All because people of the cities did not worship him. Jesus claimed that Yahweh hid things from the intelligent, only revealing the truth to children. Jesus said that only he knew his Father and that only his Father knew him. “All things have been committed to me by my Father,” Jesus said. “Come only to me, all that are weary. I shall give you rest. I will cast upon you my yoke, for I am humble in heart. You will find rest for your souls for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
Cletus grew more disgusted with Jesus’ change of heart. People asked for a sign, for proof that Jesus was the son of Yahweh, but Jesus cursed and mocked them for asking. His own family came to see him. His mother, brothers, and sisters came to Jesus. Jesus refused to meet with them, saying, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Whoever does the will of my Father is my only brother and sister and mother.”
Jesus began to speak to his followers in riddles and parables, refusing to directly explain anything. “You’re being a massive asshole to everyone,” Cletus told Jesus. “I think you should stop drinking. I’m pretty sure you’re an alcoholic. Actually, you’ve gone beyond functional alcoholic to like total trash. None of this is going to end well for anyone.”
“The knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven has not been given to them,” Jesus said. “Whoever has, has more. They have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they do have will be taken from them.”
Jesus continued to speak in riddles as he traveled with Cletus to his hometown. Jesus preached to the people there, but they would not listen. All refused to believe that the carpenter’s son could perform such feats or wield such power. Out of anger, Jesus refused to perform any miracles because of the people’s lack of faith.
Jesus heard tales of the death of John the Baptist. This saddened him, so Jesus took Cletus by boat to a remote location alone. However, people still heard of his coming, and crowds followed Jesus. The other disciples slowly returned to the group as well. Jesus preached compassionately to the people and healed this sick. As night approached, his disciples came to him, asking to release the people so they could go eat.
“No,” Jesus said. “All will stay here with me. You shall feed them.”
“But, Lord,” said Peter, “we have only five loaves of bread and two fish. We can’t possibly feed thousands of people with that little. We can barely feed ourselves with that.”
“Bring them to me, on the grass,” Jesus instructed. Once the disciples left, Jesus turned to Cletus and said, “I need you to go and get as much bread and fish as you can possibly find. Steal it if you have to, I don’t care. Just get enough to feed thousands.”
Cletus traveled about, catching fish and stealing bread until he had enough to feed all the people who had gathered on the hillside. Despite there being thousands of people who happily ate that night, several baskets of food remained the next morning.
After the feast, Jesus instructed his disciples to get in his boat and go to the other side of the vast river without him. While the disciples sailed, Jesus dismissed the crowds. Jesus went up a mountainside to be alone. Shortly before dawn the next morning, Jesus approached the boat, walking across the water. Everyone but Cletus began shouting in surprise. They thought Jesus had died, and his ghost approached them. Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage. It is I.”
Peter called to him, “If it is you, Lord, tell me to come onto the water with you.”
Jesus said, “Come.”
Peter stepped out onto the water, walking for a few moments before falling into the water, begging Jesus to save him. Jesus grabbed him, pulling Peter up and said, “Why did you doubt me?”
Jesus and Peter climbed into the boat. Peter said, “You truly are the Son of God.”
“Duh doy,” Jesus said. “We’ve been saying that this whole time. Nobody’s listening.”
Jesus continued to travel and preach and defy religious customs. His attitude and hypocrisy disturbed and angered many people. Yet, Peter declared Jesus as the Son of Man, the Messiah in flesh.
After the declaration from Peter, Jesus sat the disciples down and said, “I must soon travel to Jerusalem, where I will be tortured and killed.”
“Never, Lord,” Peter said. “This shall never happen to you.”
“Get behind me, Satan,” Jesus said to Peter. “You are a block in my way. You do not have the concerns of God in your heart, only the stupidity of man. Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross to follow me. The Son of Man is going to come into this Father’s kingdom with his angels, and then he will reward his followers according to what they have done.”
Six days later, Jesus left to climb a mountain with Simon, James, and John. While the four were gone, Yahweh spoke with Cletus. “SOON, MY SON WILL DIE, AND YOU WILL BE FREED FROM YOUR BURDEN,” Yahweh said.
“How’s that going to work out?” Cletus asked.
“ALL WILL BE REVEALED IN TIME.”
Jesus and his disciples arrived in Jerusalem. Jesus called his twelve disciples fools and insisted they should be like children. He repeated things he’d already told his followers and continued to speak in riddles. In Jerusalem, Jesus entered a temple and ran everyone from it. He flipped tables and threw things onto the floors, shouting, “You’ve made my house a den of robbers.”
Jesus continued to curse things, killing a tree for not having fruit and threatening his disciples. He talked and went on endlessly about ridiculous and obscure things. Jesus talked about the end times. He spoke about how the day and hour will be unknown to anyone. When Jesus finally finished ranting, he said to his disciples, “Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
“OLD ONE, IT IS TIME,” Yahweh said to Cletus soon after. “YOU MUST GO NOW TO THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND BETRAY MY SON TO THEM.”
Cletus left Jesus and the disciples to seek out the priests. Upon finding them, Cletus said, “I know where Jesus of Nazareth is hiding. He’s the one claiming to be the Son of God. What’re you willing to give me if I hand him over?”
The priests traded Cletus thirty pieces of silver in exchange for the whereabouts of Jesus. Cletus accepted the payment.
Passover came. Jesus and his disciples sat at a table together when Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
One-by-one, all the apostles questioned, “Surely not me, Lord?”
Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand in the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to the man who betrays the Son of God. It would be better for him to have not been born.”
“Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” Cletus asked.
“You have said it.”
While they continued to eat, Jesus broke bread and said, “Take this; this is my body.” Jesus filled and cup and said, “Drink from this, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured for the forgiveness of sins.”
All the disciples listened.
Then, Jesus told them, “This very night, all of you will fall on account of me, but after I arise, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
Peter said, “Even if all fall from you, I never will.”
“Please,” Jesus said, “before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
“Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”
Jesus led his apostles to a placed called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here and let me pray.”
Jesus took Peter and two other disciples with him. While Jesus was gone, Cletus went to the chief priests and led them back to where Jesus prayed. As Cletus arrived at Gethsemane, Jesus pointed and shouted, “Here comes my betrayer!”
A massive crowd followed Cletus, carrying swords and clubs. Cletus turned to the mob and said, “The man that I kiss is the one called Jesus. That is the man you arrest.”
Cletus ran forward, kissing Jesus’ cheek and said, “Greetings, Rabbi.”
Jesus replied, “Do what you’ve come here for.”
The mob rushed forward and seized Jesus to arrest him. One of the disciples drew a sword. “Put that away,” Jesus said. “People who draw their swords die by their swords.”
The crowd dragged Jesus away. All the disciples fled, with only Peter following after Jesus.
“ALL THAT SHALL BE DONE, IS DONE,” Yahweh said to Cletus. “HIS BLOOD WILL REDEEM THE SINS OF ALL PEOPLE. HE SHALL RISE AND TAKE HIS PLACE AT MY SIDE.”
“Wait,” Cletus said, “hold up. You had me protect your kid just so you could kill him? That’s as retarded as the Philistines begging their god to help them capture me just to sacrifice me.”
“HE MUST SUFFER THROUGH LIFE TO BE REBORN.”
“He’s going to come back to life? Doesn’t being reborn pretty much make the whole sacrifice part of dying pretty meaningless? You gods are fucking stupid. Do I still get to keep the super strength that you granted me now that this is over?”
“Good enough for me.”
Cletus whipped out his iron pole and began to trek away from the city. In the days that followed Jesus’ crucifixion, mobs formed searching for the disciples of Jesus. The groups killed anyone accused. Cletus faked his death and wandered as far away as he possibly could before anything could happen to him.