- Iscariot: Chapter 1 – In which we meet Pontius Pilate and learn about an obscure Goddess.
- Iscariot: Chapter 2 – In which we meet Jesus of Nazareth, his brother James, Simon the Zealot, and Donny, one of King Herod’s slaves
- Iscariot: Chapter 3 – In which Judas splits a bottle of wine with Mary Magdalene, daughter in law of the almighty.
- Iscariot: Chapter 4 – In which we learn that Jesus is not scared of lightning. Also Kelsey, the formerly barren lady from Chapter 2, has become fertile and now it’s a whole thing.
- Iscariot: Chapter 5 – In which we learn that just because you have love for all things, doesn’t mean you can’t get annoyed by certain peoples antics.
- Iscariot: Chapter 6 – In which Menahem asks, “Are you there, God? It’s me, Menahem.”
- Iscariot: Chapter 7 – In which Pontius Pilate learns who King Herod is and what King Herod do.
- Iscariot: Chapter 8 – In which we meet Martha, wife of Judas, and she’s a delight.
- Iscariot: Chapter 9 – In which we meet the remaining apostles at the Passover feast.
- Iscariot: Chapter 10 – In which Pontius Pilate reminisces about the good ol’ days.
- Iscariot: Chapter 11 – In which there’s a bit of exposition until the angel Lucifer shows up and has a brief chat with Judas.
- Iscariot: Chapter 12 – In which we are made aware of the political situation in Rome.
- Iscariot: Chapter 13 – In which the Passion of the Devil.
- Iscariot: Chapter 14 – In which we meet the rice goddess Inari and a fox named Mrs. Noodles.
- Iscariot: Chapter 15 – In which Mary, Martha, and Kelsey meet a Behemoth and the story passes the Bechdel test.
- Iscariot: Chapter 16 – In which Judas and Jesus travel through India and learn about road building.
- Iscariot: Chapter 17 – In which (much like in Game of Thrones, Season 3, Episode 8) there’s a wedding.
- Iscariot: Chapter 18 – In which crucifixion shmoosifixion. Jesus and Judas are back, baby!
- Iscariot: Chapter 19 – In which we extrapolate upon the Ascension a little bit.
- Iscariot: Chapter 20 – In which Judas and Mary have a pre dinner drink, and we leave them there.
I want to tell you a story about Lucifer.
Not the devil. Just this kid I knew one time.
Lucifer was so named because his mother was crazy. This was a fact I learned when I met her at a dinner party.
Although. Actually let’s go back a bit.
A few months before the dinner party, I was throwing a regular party with my former roommate and Bizarro Fiction legend, Bradley Sands. At the party someone came up to me and asked me why there was a child in the living room. I thought a child was an odd thing to bring to one of our events, (What with all of the debauchery and sin) and I investigated the matter.
Upon review, I determined that yes, there was a 15 year old in the living room. I didn’t want to get arrested for some kid drinking at my party, so I introduced myself and asked if I could speak with him outside. I wasn’t mad that he was there but laws being what they are I felt I had to intervene.
Lucifer explained that he had been walking home from the gas station where he had purchased his dinner and told me that he had heard some KMFDM (Or some other mid nineties goth/industrial music) coming from my house, saw revelry, and wandered in.
He apologized for causing trouble and in a sad voice, said that he would leave. So I’m looking at this twinky little goth kid who bought dinner at a gas station and who probably got a ton of shit from people at his school. I could see a little bit of desperation in his eyes. This look which said, “everyone has turned their back on me for being who I am and I just had twenty minutes of fun for the first time in years.”
I decided that I couldn’t kick him out and he seemed to be in good spirits by the end of the party.
He started coming over on weekends to hang out and play video games. It was like that movie “About a Boy” but with a lot more eyeliner and black lipstick. (Oh and as an aside, I was only 19 at the time. He was younger than us, but he wasn’t THAT much younger.)
At one point he slept on our couch for a week straight and I started to wonder if maybe he had a parent that was going to be upset about the situation. He assured me that his mother didn’t care that he was sleeping on our couch but to make me feel better, he invited us all over for dinner at her house.
That dinner party (And dinner party is used in the loosest sense of the phrase.) was where I met the Daughter of Lavey.
A woman who was very well known around the crazier and more seedy areas of town. She was particularly famous among the town witches, who warned me against going to her home. (They were spot on. It is unwise to not heed the advice of the witches. ((The area has lots of them. They have some sort of Wiccan club and they all hang out and drink tea. The ladies tend to form little poly families with one woman as the leader and like, two or three subby guys as their harem. It sounds weird but that’s Western Mass for you.)))
Anyway, at dinner, Lucifer’s mom tried to explain to everyone that she was the daughter of Anton Lavey and Jayne Mansfield. She had been sold into white slavery as a child and been rescued by the Rolling Stones who kept her on their bus as a sex slave for a tour. She claimed that she was a student of the Pharaoh Amenhotep and had been studying for a thousand years about the land of the dead. She told us that she had a book, where she decided who would live and die and because we were friends with her son, we would be allowed to live. I sat there, trying to eat spaghetti that Lucifer had made and listened to this crazy woman. I was trying to be polite but it was getting weird. (Glass houses and such, I know. But that’s my point. If it’s too weird for me, then it’s way too weird.)
As we were planning our escape a local punk came over and knocked on the door. He asked if he could have his tarot cards read. She excused herself into the bedroom and in short order started having sexual relations with the punk kid. This caused Lucifer to sort of curl into a ball in the corner of the living room and cover his ears and although I realized that I had my escape window, I saw Lucifer. My friend. Our little mascot. In distress.
I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Sweetheart? Hey. Do you want to come over and we can turn the walk in closet in the living room into a little room for you and you can stay with us for the summer? I know it’s not much, but there’s a light in there and it’s big enough for a single bed. No rent. Just…Maybe let’s not stay here. Let’s go home.”
The look on his face was one of pure relief. He packed a bag and off we tromped through the woods back to our apartment where he stayed until the Fall.
Years later I saw him. He told me that before we had invited him to live with us, he had been considering suicide. He couldn’t deal with the tiny apartment and a prostitute mom who was balls crazy and constantly talking about pharaohs and shit. And everyone at school hated him for being gender non-binary. But then he found one place. One fucking place where he was accepted. And he realized that maybe shit could get better than the fucking madness that he was enduring.
Plus he brought over a ton of Playstation games. So that worked out.
I have no idea where I was going with that story. I guess. Just. If you see someone hurting, you should try and help out where you can.
Now, where were we in the narrative? Iscariot and Jesus and such. Right.
I’m not going to make you relive the torture and murder of Jesus, so instead we’ll check in on Lucifer, Menahem, and Kelsey.
In which the Passion of the Devil.
“I was wondering. Now that we’re here. Would you let us in on the plan?”
“Well, it’s just that you sent my father and James to the Palace, but wouldn’t say why. Then you led us out here to this house in the middle of nowhere and you also wouldn’t say why. Now that we’re here…I thought you might.”
Lucifer lit one of his cigarettes and took a deep drag. “Oh. Umm. Sure. We’re going to burn down this stately manse. We’re gonna burn it all.”
“Awesome!” cheered Kelsey. “How?”
“Excellent question, Kelsey. First, we’re going to need a lot of sticks and such for kindling. Luckily there’s plenty around. Why don’t you get started? Collect things that can catch fire.”
Kelsey dropped her satchel and began scanning the area for wood.
“Wait, we’re burning this house down? Why?”
“We need to distract the Romans and the mob soon and a giant bonfire will do the trick.”
Kelsey already had her arms full of small sticks when she yelled out. “Will this do, Lucifer?”
“I like the enthusiasm I’m seeing here, Kelsey. You’re going to go far in this world with that kind of self starting attitude,” Lucifer said with a grin.
“Arson aside for the moment,” Menahem interjected, “What about the plan to save Jesus?”
“You sent my father and James to try and save Jesus, right?”
Lucifer looked inquisitively at Menahem before speaking. “Brah, that was never the plan. I just needed Judas and James to be safe in the palace. By now I’m guessing that your house is currently a pile of ashes and you and your pops would have been burned right along with it if we didn’t all leave.”
“Our house is burned down?! Is my mother ok?! And, what’s going to happen to Jesus?” Menahem panicked as he tried to get the questions out.
“Your mom is fine. I’m guessing Jesus is currently dead or dying. Though, that depends on how long it took him to drag his cross up the hill.”
“Jesus is getting crucified?” Menahem cried out in alarm. “We have to go back, we have to try and save him!”
“Dude, I’m sorry, but that’s not possible. We can’t save his life.”
Menahem turned and started running back towards the city.
Lucifer sighed and began running to catch up to him. “Menahem. Menahem!” he yelled. “There’s no time. We can’t save him, but we can help save everyone else. That’s the plan. Our part of this plan is to start a big fucking fire.” Lucifer finally caught up to him and grabbed his arm. “I need you to calm down.”
“Why? What’s the point of this? What are we doing this for?”
“We’re doing this because many years ago, I tried to help out your species by teaching them how to think. It’s a long and stupid story, but the point is that God was pissed because I got one over on him and what does he do? He cursed every human alive from then until eternity. Well that all ends now. I found a loophole named Jesus and now we’re going to fix everything. Or at least fix the curse.”
Menahem didn’t understand what Lucifer was talking about and sunk to his knees.
Lucifer put his hand on Menahem’s shoulder. “Look man. I’m sorry you’re going to lose your friend. Just keep in mind, that Jesus knew what he was getting into. He agreed to this. The only thing he asked for was to keep his apostles and their families safe. It took some doing but if everything goes according to plan, we’ll succeed. You and your family will live a long life. If you go back to the city now, they’ll kill you and they’ll kill your fiancée as well. I need you here, and we need to finish the plan. So, let’s burn this house to the ground and finish it, Ok? I promise that it will all make sense in the end.”
In the distance, Kelsey was dragging a sack of sticks and putting it into a pile. When she saw Menahem looking towards her, she smiled and waved. Menahem waved back.
“There’s a good lad,” Lucifer said and rubbed Menahem’s head. Lucifer trotted off to join Kelsey, and after a some contemplation, Menahem stood up and walked over to join them as well.