|Too Small A Price (standard:other, 1628 words)|
|Author: A.M. Snead||Added: Oct 10 2002||Views/Reads: 2046/1255||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|When a man is condemned to death, he witnesses the vilest side of mankind. Yet also discovers what man was meant to be in the most unlikely of persons- a man condemned to the same fate as himself.|
I huddled in the dank corner of the dark cell. The shouts of the crowd roared in my ears, freezing my heart with cold fear. It was a frenzied sound that made my skin crawl with something other than the filthy bugs that shared my cell. I winced at the nastiness of the slimy muck that had long since filmed over the cold floor, as I pressed my palm down to aid in shifting my aching body to a slightly different position. The roaring crowd outside at least took my mind off my impending fate, momentarily, and placed it on another's. Their cry was for blood- but not mine. I was a simple thief, and my death would be routine. Perhaps it was Barabbas' blood they screamed for. But I'd heard Barabbas had been pardoned- by the people themselves. Crazy, I thought. To release a man like Barabbas was to smite one's self. Who had taken his place? Who could be so vicious, so evil that Barabbas was the better of the two? I'd heard rumors, but they made no sense to me. Why would a people choose a madman over their own king? But they were just rumors. Who knew the stature of the man passed over in favor of a murderer. His sins, I thought, must be great to warrant such radical movement from the same people who had condemned the killer Barabbas to death. My own fear crept back in as I heard the heavy footsteps of the guards nearing my cell. I shifted again, pressing back into the corner, this time not noticing the filmy muck that smeared beneath my hands. Every nerve in my body tensed and focused on the sounds outside my cell. A loud clanking echoed through the small confinement and through my head as one of the guards unlocked the door and jerked it open. I fought their hands as they tried to drag me out, though such resistance was useless. A sudden agonized scream exploded from me as I was struck hard across the back of my neck. My head swam and dizziness washed over me. The guards grabbed me beneath the arms with rough hands and half walked, half dragged me out of the cell and up the stone steps. The roaring of the crowd exploded in my head. The guards dropped me on the ground and before I could move, a fierce weight was dropped on my back, driving me down closer to the earth. The smell of the ground was strong in my nostrils as it mingled with the odorous stench of animal droppings and the sweat of the frenzied crowd. I gasped for air and clawed at the dirt as I struggled to get my feet under me and lift this unbearable weight. "Move!" The stinging tip of a soldier's leather whip lashed my hip, cutting my skin. Blood, like a serpent's flickering tongue, trickled down my thigh. "Get up!" My jaw clenched. Pressure settled in my temples as I pressed hard against the ground with my palms and somehow stood to my feet. But the weight of the wooden cross hunched my form as I stumbled forward, piercing slivers burrowing deep into my back and shoulders like tiny insects. A burning heat scorched my lungs. I sucked for air while my naked feet scuffed the surface of the hill that led up to my place of death. The place of a skull, it was called. Calvary. The soldiers threw me down on top of the cross they'd taken from my shoulders. Fear cut through my heart as a centurion grabbed my right arm and stretched it out the length of the cross beam. He stomped his foot down on my wrist, pinning my hand while he picked up a large, steel spike and mallet. Cold sweat dampened my face and stung my eyes as the tip of the spike pressed against the skin in the center of my palm. I gasped sharply Click here to read the rest of this story (124 more lines)
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