Peter, Andrew, Jesus, and I are sitting in one of those new eateries that have popped up like mushrooms after a rainstorm and Andrew remarks that it looks like Judith was hanging out with Abimelech.
Peter takes a piece of the bread and says nothing more than: "It's good bread."
"What's so good about this bread?" I ask, and he replies, "Nothing. But it's good. Taste!" and he pours some wine into my glass.
“Judith, what did you say about her?" he asks his brother.
"I saw her with that guy," Andrew says.
"And what else do we know?" Peter asks.
"Not much, If I knew anything, I’d say it here at the table."
Peter takes more of the bread. This is his favorite bread. It does not matter to him that it is so dry. He simply takes a piece of it and chews it.
I see Andrew smiling at me. Could he tell us anything about Judith and Abimelech from the way they went together?
Andrew reads my thoughts: "Like what?"
"Have they been going together for a long time, or is this the first time they went together?" I ask.
"I'm not sure," Andrew says. "Maybe somewhere in the middle."
Andrew takes a piece of fish, Peter a piece of meat, and some more from the dry bread. I take some wine. Jesus takes none of these things. His hand is on his head and this makes him think.
Our friends eat from the same food as us. While I, Jesus, Peter, and Andrew stop eating to talk or think or breathe, they continue eating. Always eating, always drinking. These are our friends.
Peter points to our friends and says, "Isn't that sad? These are our closest friends."
Then I signal to Jesus and he takes the wine jug from the corner of the table and hands it to Andrew and Andrew hands it to Peter, and Peter hands it to me. I have all the wine with me. I drink from it and give it to Peter, who gives it to Andrew, who gives it to Jesus.
"Did this all happen a few days ago?"
"Three to four days, I think. Close to this place."
"Who is Abimelech? Do you know him? Does anyone else know him?"
We watch our friends swallow what they have put into their already overstuffed mouths. There are some who smile at Jesus, some who wave their hands, and some who ignore us as if we don't exist since we do not eat with pleasure.
Andrew sneezes just as Peter coughs. A blessing is offered by Jesus. I tell Jesus that if he wants I can wash his feet now.
Peter gives Andrew his handkerchief so that he can blow his nose in it; Andrew returns it politely to Peter. Despite being disgusted about blowing his nose with someone else's handkerchief, he thanks him anyway.
"You're welcome,"Peter says.
Jesus yawns loudly.
“I have a dream."
"What did you say, Jesus?" Andrew asks.
"He says he has a dream," I say.
For a moment, Jesus pauses. He is the master of silence. Since I've lived twenty years, I've met people who talk nicely, who walk or run nicely, and even those who carry food on their backs for their horses. Someone once told me he knows someone who chews grapes nicely in his mouth, but our Jesus - he understands the art of quiet.
Jesus pours the wine from the pitcher into the glass. His face appears to be gazing at something in the air in front of him.
"My dream is to have a motorcycle someday."
"A motorcycle?" I repeat.
"Are you referring to a kind of horse?" Andrew asks.
"A horse? He's talking about a motorcycle," Peter exclaims with joy.
"Why are you raising your voice, Peter?"
"It's Andrew. He does not hear so well."
"What have you not heard, Andrew?"
The whole motorcycle thing," Andrew says. "I didn't hear that at all. Did you say motorcycle?"
"Yes, that is what I said. A motorcycle. And do you know why I want it?"
"We have no idea, Jesus," Me and Peter say together.
"When I get my motorcycle, I will ride it around here ..."
"...Isn’t it dangerous, like riding a wild horse?" Andrew interrupts.
"Let him speak!" his brother says.
"They'll see me riding the motorcycle, they'll see the motorcycle's miracle, and by that I also mean the women who walk out or sit alone on top of a hill."
I know what Jesus is talking about. Since it is customary for women in our village to sit alone in silence and reflect on life, for example on the top of a hill, they are generally more skeptical of miracles than men, and this may be due to the fact that they have more time to think about things.
Andrew looks at Jesus with admiration. “Then… she… she, like everyone else, will witness the miracle.”
“Who’s she?” Peter asks and I say without hesitation: “Judith!”
Jesus leans back in his chair. Even when he has not eaten anything, he is still full of food, and he yawns for the second time in the afternoon. Seeing Peter eat more of the old bread, Jesus and I look at him as he chews it slowly. With his mouth full, Peter tells Jesus that he understands precisely what the dream means.
"I agree. It's a great dream," I say.
"What are you saying?"
"In my opinion, it's not a bad idea. I mean the motorcycle miracle."
"Can you see it in your eyes?"
As Peter stares at me, his cheeks bulge with bread. He closes his eyes. "I'm trying to see. I don't know what I should see. Still, I think I see. What do you see?"
"It's a red motorcycle."
"Red?" Andrew says.
"I see red. I have already imagined it," Peter says, still with his eyes closed. "The problem is, how do I imagine the motorcycle?"
"Imagine a horse!"
"A wild horse?" Andrew asks. He looks anxious.
"Do you all have a horse in your head?"
"There's a horse. Red," Peter says.
"Excellent. So there's a horse."
"Quick, Jesus,” Peter urges. “Give me some more of your magic words because a red horse is a bit hard to imagine, It keeps turning brown or black or white even."
"Okay, so now take off the long tail and throw it away."
“Are you sure you want to get rid of the tail?” Peter yells. "Fine, I took it off. Why not? A red horse without a tail."
"Hold on! Don't get rid of it completely. Take the horse's tail and divide it in half. Hold two strands of hair in your hand."
"You got me!" Peter says. "Now what? Quickly, before I forget everything."
"Now place one strand of hair near the horse's right ear, and another near his left ear. Do this so they flutter back, one on each side. OK?"
"Yes, I believe they are fluttering backward," Peter shouts.
"What now?"I ask because I also find it hard to imagine Jesus’ first motorcycle.
“Now keep watching as I ride it down the hill."
"I see it!" I hear myself saying.
Everyone sees it. It's impossible not to see it," Peter says. He has no food in his mouth now.
"What an amazing spectacle!" Andrew says. "If only I was brave enough to do the same."
"Now that’s a motorcycle! That’s a miracle!” Peter exclaims.
Jesus looks me straight in the eye as he falls silent. Andrew and Peter also look at him. Neither of us looks at our friends. They are eating.
"So what do you think?"
“I still think it is too dangerous,” Andrew says. “We've seen miracles that were much less risky.”
"How about we give it a try?"
“Jesus! Are you sure about it?” Andrew looks at him with worried eyes.
A moment after Peter finishes whispering something in Jesus' ear, Jesus gets up from the table. Peter and Andrew follow him up. I follow them. Our friends stay seated at the table. They like it around here. The main course should soon be served.
We follow Jesus as he leaves the eatery. Peter says we should consider new friends rather than those we left indoors.
Jesus leads us to the hill, and when we arrive at a place from where we can see all the houses, yards, and roads, he shows us with his hand which way the motorcycle should go.
Kneeling down, Jesus picks up a stick. His first sketch of the motorcycle appears on the ground.
"What a beautiful piece!" I say.
He points again in the direction the motorcycle should go.
“All the way to there.”
Jesus asks us to assist him in finding and assembling the motorcycle parts.
While Andrew runs down the hill in search of the motorcycle parts he can find, Peter and I stand for a moment next to Jesus before we too get off. In the midst of a beautiful silence, Jesus mumbles something to himself. His gaze lingers again in the air. He does this often. Peter tells me that Jesus sees many things in the air when he looks into it. When I tell Peter that I sometimes see things in the air, Peter smiles at me and says: “But you’re not Jesus!”
On my return to the hill, I find Jesus sitting on the ground at about the same spot where he stood when we left him.
"Too dark to see," I tell him.
Then I hear voices approaching us.
"Who's there?” I ask.
"It's Andrew, I think. It's either Andrew or Peter. What did you bring, Andrew?"
"I brought most of the motorcycle,” Andrew says.
We put our motorcycle parts together in the darkness of the evening to make one huge machine. We can easily be impressed by the power of the new miracle even in the darkness that surrounds us. Our attention is drawn to the object that sits next to us, as still and as charming as anything else we know. As the moon emerges from the clouds, we see the motorcycle illuminated in white light.
Jesus says we need to sleep well before we wake up the following morning and see if our motorcycle is running like in our dreams.
"In my dreams tonight, it will run," Peter assures us.
Our night on the hill with Jesus feels so pleasant, unlike the nights spent in the houses, which are warm and disgusting. From the moment we lay our heads on the ground until the moment we wake up to the touch of Jesus' hands, we are enveloped in a cool summer breeze.
"Get up! It’s late."
"What happened?" Andrew wakes up, frightened. “Where are we?”
“It’s morning,” Peter says in a loud voice. “We are ready!”
"Hey, never scream into my ear, did you hear?"Andrew yells back at his brother.
Peter sits down beside me as I crawl out from under the blanket of clothes I made for myself the night before.
"Look there, Andrew!" He says.
Jesus walks over to the motorcycle, which looks so brand new in the early morning light. Peter approaches the motorcycle and Jesus. It looks natural for them to shake hands, even though Jesus rarely does that. When Peter steps back, this is the moment Jesus' motorcycle moves. It moves downward. Then, Jesus raises one hand. He waves at us. He waves at me, Peter, and Andrew.
Andrew fully awakens. As he stands near me, he cries out, "Jesus! Look at him!"
Jesus' motorcycle rapidly descends to the point at which Jesus pointed.
As I watch Jesus, I notice how tightly he wraps his legs around the motorcycle. He first kicks the sides of the motorcycle to feel the huge body beneath it and then presses his legs with all his might. You can clearly see the muscles in Jesus' legs, hands, and neck from a distance.
Peter says this Jesus motorcycle is the fastest motorcycle he's ever seen, and it doesn't matter at all if it's the only motorcycle he's ever seen.
When we look at Jesus, he raises both hands in the air. The motorcycle body no longer clings to his hands. When I recall those moments, I can still feel the strained muscles of Jesus in my legs.
A shout is released by Jesus, and the shout ascends the hill, passes over the small and large stones, among the shrubbery around, and wriggles in the sand until it reaches us. It is a joyful shout.
"So much happiness," Andrew says.
"Look at him, he's going down all the way," I add.
Without hands, Jesus rides the motorcycle. The wind enters between the shirt he is wearing and the body, waving the shirt like a sail on one of these Roman ships. When Jesus raises his head in a shout, I imagine the sky passing over his face with great speed, telling Andrew that I have never seen anything like it.
Andrew puts his hands in his pockets and sighs. This seems to be how he intends to tell me that he has never seen anything like it either. Neither does Peter put his hand in his pocket nor does he claim he has never seen anything like that. It's evident from the way his eyes are now placed inside their little holes that he has never seen anything like it before.
"Look at Jesus!" Peter says.
Jesus' motorcycle finally comes to a halt. The stopping point will be named soon. As Jesus gets off the motorcycle slowly, we start to walk down to him.
Peter bends his leg on one of these stones while on his way to Jesus, and Andrew bends his leg shortly after Peter. They both twist their legs, while I step on a pile of sheep feces. We reach Jesus when Peter and Andrew are lame and I drag a pooped sandal in one hand.
We see Jesus kneel before us. He leans on his bruised knees even though they hurt.
Andrew jokes that as it looks now, we have all been hurt in some way. I understand that he is mostly making fun of me as he jokes. Andrew screams in pain when I kick him in the ankle, where it hurts. Peter also shouts, because Andrew's pain reminds him of his own pain, and Jesus looks at us with his big, round eyes and thinks of the question he would like to ask.
Andrew states that in two or three days, all of the people will hear that Jesus rode a motorcycle this morning.
"It may take a little longer than two or three days, but in the end everyone will know," Peter says.
Jesus asks Peter and Andrew to repeat what they just said and points in the air as if pointing to the words themselves.
Peter is excited. “The message can take a few days to reach everyone,” he says again.
When Peter says these words, Jesus stands up. His knees no longer hurt. Neither Peter nor Andrew are in pain now, and I, in any case, am not in pain.
"God bless the holy words of Peter."
As we stand near the still motorcycle of Jesus at the end of the field, we become as one body and one soul. All of us are not impressed by the fact that everyone will know within days that Jesus rode a motorcycle, but we shudder when we acknowledge that everyone includes the woman named Judith as well.
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Very entertaining idea - the vision of the disciples sitting around the table eating and drinking, and then the horse...all very descriptive and easy to see in my mind because you were able to vividly write about it all. Well done!
Francis, thank you so much. That means a lot to me. Whenever someone manages to vividly envision my characters, I'm happy to hear it, and I'm sure my characters feel the same way.
Hi Tsvi, oddly entertaining, had to laugh, always a pleasure to read stories with a funny idea wrapped round them, good job buddy. :)
Thank you, Paul. I appreciate it.
I enjoyed your story so much! Immediately reminded me of Lamb by Christopher Moore. I love stories like this that imaginatively fill in some of the gaps in Jesus life. So creative thanks for sharing!
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Mae, thank you so much! That's also a fun comment. This is the first time I've heard this song (listened to it twice now!) but since I'm Jewish and new to the USA, I guess I'm forgiven. In addition, being Jewish made me more responsible for dealing with this sort of hero, so I hope I didn't let him and his followers down. Perhaps I had more of a Jerusalem image in my mind when I thought of this story, but both have wonderful hills for a setting, so why not? A lot of thanks to you. I'm looking forward to reading your stories as well.