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Too Small A Price (standard:other, 1628 words)
Author: A.M. SneadAdded: Oct 10 2002Views/Reads: 2481/1591Story 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

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 

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. 


The soldiers threw me down on top of the cross they'd taken from my

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 

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