Over the next few weeks and months, I will be laying out for you, my dear readers, a story I am writing real-time.
Those of you who know me know I have a love of tabletop roleplaying games--especially those from White Wolf Publishing. Vampire: the Masquerade has been a great outlet for my creative urges for a while and recently I've decided to in Second Life pursue running a roleplay sim, based on this fantastic system.
I've decided that I'm going to add a new villain to the already-rich world White Wolf has written for me, and the protagonist/antagonist of this story is going to be the oft-misaligned Judas.
The story will start simple, and will probably piss some people off, but I'm going to lay it out on the line. Judas will be a man who follows his heart and does what he thinks is right until his heart is betrayed and his whole world crumbles around him. I will torture my readers with his suffering. I will make you love him.
I will kill him.
I will bring him back.
We will start, my darling ones, here and now.
It was a dark and stormy night.
How the fuck else do you start telling the story I have to tell? I mean, it was a dark and stormy night. Well, dark and drippy, thanks to the climate. We could ramble on about convergence zones and shit, but that would be boring. Let's just say "Welcome to Seattle, here are your galoshes".
There I go, rambling.
I promise you I have a story in here somewhere. I'll stop fucking around and begin at the beginning.
Hi. My name is Desma, and I'm a writer. Usually, I write this bullshit fluff crap about whatever I can get the local paper to pay me for. Sometimes I get to work a real story and make a bit of money, but in a city like Seattle, creative types are a dime a dozen and we have to be pretty fucking cutthroat to make that dime.
Anyway, that's me. There are other facts, but they don't matter.
I was doing my usual thing, walking around in Seattle, trying to stay dry and people watching. It doesn't sound exciting, but this town's alive with the crazy, and that's more fascinating than any TV show. On top of it, sometimes something interesting and worth writing about happens.
I was in the line to buy my coffee (Yeah, I know I'm doing nothing for the stereotypes, but when it's true it's not a stereotype. It's the middle of the goddamn summertime and it's 58 degrees. I want coffee.) when this guy got into line behind me.
There was something odd about him. Middle eastern, handsome, and yet possessing this air to him that gave me both the creeps and drew me to him. I jargoned out my order (venti quad nonfat caramel macchiato, please and thank-you) and slipped to the side to let Mr. Force of Personality behind me order, lingering just to the side to listen to him. He ordered Earl Grey, and then turned his attention on me.
Ever have the urge to hide under a table when someone glanced at you? Yeah, me either. I stayed though, and locked eyes with the man, after taking a minute to take him in. He wasn't tall, but he felt like it. He wasn't beautiful but he was attractive. When he spoke, his words came with a richness and calm self-assurance that left me both comforted and terrified.
I was enthralled. He didn't look away.
"You are a bold woman". He sipped his tea, managing to make the little white cup seem worth more than it was. I immediately craved the bergamot fragrance of the tea far more than my own bitter disappointment in a cup.
"This is a bold town". I offered him my hand, half-expecting him to do something silly like kiss it. "I'm Desma". He looked at it, then at me, and then with an almost sheepish smile held up his hand.
"Jay. Sorry, I don't shake". Like I said, this town was weird. "Well, at least not on hello. Do you live in this city?"
"Yeah. Visiting or new?"
"I travel a lot." The non-answer caught my attention.
"I used to". Finding myself steered by the desire to keep talking to this man, I followed him as he began to walk and talk to me.
"I like this place. I think I may stay here". Why'd that sound ominous?
I shook my head. "Don't let the shit weather put you off. It's a really great town. The job market's sort of shot right now, but for the self-starter, there's a lot of opportunity".
"Self-starter. I like that."
"I've got a way with words. I'm a writer."
"Interesting. You know, I've got quite the story to tell."
Suddenly, I wanted to know this story. "Oh, yeah?" I grinned. "Well, let's find a dry spot and get it written down."
"You are very bold."
"No rest for the wicked."
He laughed, knuckles coming to his lips to stifle it after a moment. "You have no idea."
Now I know this is beginning to proceed like Interview With A Vampire, so you know how that goes. We found a quiet place, I pulled out the recorder, and we began to discuss.
He began to tell me a story then--a beautiful tale of friendship and of love, and of betrayal. He wove a story that brought God to life and then cast Him as the villain of the piece. In a little grotto near the Harbor Steps, in a quiet little alcove away from the flow of traffic, Jay spun me a tale so fantastic as to not be believed.
Sitting beneath the canopy on the sun-warmed stone, he began, that rich voice telling his story into my recorder.
The bible is not a popular topic anymore. People take what they want from it and throw away the rest. People were doing that before there was even a bible--twisting the words and actions of the heroes and villains to suit whatever political message they wanted to tell. Not everyone gets their fair trial. Not everyone gets to say their piece.
I'd like to start off by telling you that the Jesus you know was not the perfect lamb. He was born perfect as any child is, and through the raising of his mother and his stepfather, became a fairly well adjusted boy. This isn't his story, though. I'm pretty sure everyone knows his story. People kill for his story. Empires have lived and died on his story. I assume by your little golden cross that you are well acquainted.
There are figures in the Bible that are nothing more than morality tales. Jesus is one. Both of the Marys are. Mary the Mother is a story of love and obedience, but Mary Magdalene is the story that's been mis-told for the entire rise of the Western world. The Magdalene was more than simply a woman who followed Jesus.
You have read stories recently, in this enlightened age that posit that Mary was his lover, his wife, the mother of his children. There are stories that tell that she was Apostle to the Apostles.
Mary Magdalene was so very, very much more. She was his sun and his moon. His love for her was eclipsed only by his love of the Lord, and their faith in each other drew all of us together and in the end was what cursed me and tore us apart.
Us? Ah, that grabbed your attention. I'm sorry, I'm afraid I wasn't entirely honest my dear. Jay is a shortening of my name as it has fallen out of favor. Allow me to reintroduce myself.
My name is Yehuda, but you will know me better as Judas Iscariot.