Sample Exerpts from The Wild Christ Nobody Owns
A Novel
by Blake Steele


     Mary was young and innocent as a cow’s eyes. Her life had been good, for she grew in the sweetness of her love of Life. Perhaps it was this Love shining in her heart and bones that attracted angels and birthed the visions in her that came to be.
     She dreamt many dreams, each fantastic and more alive than day. In one she saw a child riding on winds, laughing and swimming through music as if in a stream. In another she saw the same child with countless different colors in his hair, and with luminous eyes and smile. He held a great sword by which he slew a serpent. And the serpent was as long as the sea, and its skin as rough as desert, and its eyes like coals in the sacrificial fires of Jerusalem. In another she saw a young man with hair the color of the sun, and eyes many times as bright, who sang the stars and rivers, and breathed in water and poured out floods from his belly. Everywhere the waters flowed green life grew and trees flourished: and each tree bore a hundred kinds of fruit; and the birds that flew amongst their leaves had the appearance of women in pleasure who sang songs that made men drunk with Light and brought them into the shade of the trees. More dreams came, which she would not speak of, but would only say when all had come to pass — the things I most feared came true.
     When Mary was fourteen she was given to marry a young carpenter named Joseph from Capernaum. His hands were calloused and rough, but his heart as tender as the first leaf of a seed. Then a great darkness came upon them; and after it passed they settled in Mary’s ancestral home in Nazareth, and in the first year had a son whose eyes were full of laughter from his birth. It is from here that our story unfolds.

Chapter 36

The Lavender Color of Queens
Age 17

     Jesus was seventeen and growing in wisdom, both from his daily washing in the Light and the pain of his foolishness that made him human. The fuzz of his youth was darkening into a patchy beard: still soft as young men’s beards are. He was at his workbench cutting wood when Abigail came in with one arm full of flowers and a basket of golden plums in her hand. She set it all down in front of Jesus, right on top of his work so he had to stop. Then she smiled at him brightly. “Do you have time to admire the work of Adonay as well as your own?” she asked.
     Jesus spun her around and slapped her on the bottom. “How dare you come in here laden down with beauty as if you were some angelic donkey and disturb a man’s serious work.” She shouted, then laughed and threw her arms around his neck. “Let’s see what you have brought,” Jesus said, as he hugged her. “Ah, roses: this one yellow as the morning sun; this one lavender, the color of queens; and here, one far redder than your frail, pale lips my dear.” She punched him, and then leaned her head against him. “And here is a little blue wild flower, a tear drop of blue shed by the blue sky. And here: a weed? Ah, to honor every young maid who is not married. Speaking of that, you are ten, almost eleven.      Shouldn’t you be married off to some fat merchant in Tiberias by now so you can breed him a hundred little brats?”
“I don’t know why I like you,” she said. “In fact, I don’t think I do. Give me all the flowers back except for the weed, which you may keep to remind you of me. And I’ll take these plums to my good brothers, who love and respect me and think I’m much prettier than you.”
     “Oh, there is no doubt about that. You are the prettiest sister I have.”
     “But I’m your only sister!”
     “Then it is safe to say it as truth, no matter how ugly you are,” he said, and she hit him again. He grabbed her by the waist and twirled her around, then lifted her high and set her down on his table. “Ah, Abigail, how I love you,” he said. And she hugged him passionately.      “When are you and I going to go out and change the world together?” she asked.
     “When I see the neighbor’s donkey fly to town,” Jesus answered.
     “Why? Don’t you think a woman can travel around and tell everyone they only have to change how they think and feel and act and then they can be truly happy?”
     “Oh, I think you would last about one week and they would nail you to a fig tree.”
     “So? It would be an honor. I would do it gladly for the sake of Love and laughter. Wouldn’t you?”
     “I don’t know. I’ve never seen anyone crucified, and I don’t think I want to.”

Chapter 131

Death Is The Story's End
Age 33
(an except)

     “All my life and every vision tells me this is the time. And the forces of darkness are fighting it, Mary. They want me to believe I’m crazy. And my heart would agree with them, for it is crying out to stay and love you and have many children with you. You must know this. You sense so many things I think and feel.”
     “Listen to your heart, you fool!” she said. He sighed, and she felt him drawing back, leaving everything that made their lives beautiful. “Oh Jesus, I sense death in you, and its shadow growing!” she shouted and took the blanket by her and threw it over the lamps. He reached out to her in the dark and drew her to him and felt her flesh trembling.
     “But what is death…?”
     “It is you not here!” she shouted. “It is me here alone! It is no more us! It is complete, final, the story’s end. I know death! I have seen it twisting beloved faces as they fight with every breath to escape it. But it comes like a black tide that will not turn aside and squeezes fearful souls out of their bodies. I have seen it like a cold gray snake inside the skin, twist a face and suck the color out of it until only an empty eyed mask remains. And we sit in its shadow and weep until we can weep no more, and take the stiff body and cover it with earth so worms can eat it. Don’t ask me what is death!
     “Are you sure, Jesus? I have never seen your sense of truth fail you — but this? Is it possible that the Light can enflame us with dreams that are too high to be real — and so our own trusting heart at last deceives us?”
     Jesus sighed deeply. “Yes, it is possible,” he said quietly.
     “Then give up this dream! Let’s leave here. You can’t compromise the truth that flows through you and they can’t hear it. Let’s go now, while we still can!”

Chapter 129

The Garbage Man
Age 33

     Jesus went with his disciples out the Golden Gate, then down into the Kidron Valley called Gehenna, where they burned the city wastes. The place reeked of rotting food and carcasses, and the air swirled with crows and buzzards. There they saw a man crawling on all fours, huffing like a bull and eating rotting things. The disciples gathered around the man, and some of them started gagging from the smells and held scarves over their faces. Then Jesus nodded to Andrew who went and took the man by the scruff of his neck and brought him before Jesus. The man did not resist, but groveled at Jesus’ feet, and looking up with wild vacant eyes said, “We have been waiting for you to come.”
     Jesus said, “Who are you?”
     The man answered, “Many, and we know you. We have always known you.”
     And Jesus said, “Be still!”
     The man whimpered and rolled on the ground until Andrew began to lift him. Then a great force suddenly entered the man and he threw Andrew back and stood up tall. A dense darkness covered his face and he shouted, “We have brought you here for this! Now the truth of you and your lying El shall be known — you twister!”
     “You are the liar and deceiver!” Jesus shouted.
     “No! I am the face of Alaha he does not want to see! You will cast me out now, but I will come back a thousand times stronger and devour you, for how can Alaha cast out Alaha’s own living shadow? This is not the way of truth!”
     “Lies! I command you to be silent and come out of him!”
     “It is you who are deceived and shall be deceived until the end, you poor ignorant fool. You do not yet understand the true nature of the Light to deceive itself and all who trust in it. And when you are awakened, how great will be your horror!”
     “The Light is truth. I trust the Light! Come out of him!” Jesus shouted again.
     “A house divided against itself shall not stand,” he shouted back. “Today I give you your will. Tomorrow I will eat you alive!” With that the spirit screamed with such terror that some of the women burst out crying with fear. Then it threw the man down and came out of him with a great rush of breath that left the man senseless.

Chapter 144

Save Yourself And Us
Age 33
     Then Pilate said, “I give you Jesus and Barabbas. Today one of them will die and the other go free.”
     Then Barabbas shouted, “I will die! You must let Jesus live! He has done nothing wrong. He is our Messiah who shall lead us in the ways of Alaha!” A soldier moved towards Barabbas to restrain him, but Pilate stopped him. Barabbas shouted again, “You have seen the miracles he does: swords crippled my legs, yet look at me! Here I stand, for last night in the prison cell he healed me. This is the work of Alaha. Release him!” Mary gasped and looked at Salome who did not respond for she had no trust in Pilate.
     When the crowd saw that Pilate let Barabbas speak they were emboldened and a man cried out, “What he says is true! Jesus healed my son.” Another cried, “And my wife!” And another, “Look, he healed me for I could not hear and now I can hear you all.” And someone shouted, “This is the one we have been waiting for!” Then the crowd began to cry out, “Jesus, Jesus, release Jesus,” in one voice. Mary began screaming, “Show mercy Pilate! Release Jesus!” And Abigail, Leah and John were jumping and shaking their arms and crying out with her.
     Pilate smiled and turning back to Jesus said, “If you want to be their king, now is the time. Don’t worry. I will back you! The leaders of the Sanhedrin are a bunch of fools. You have vision and power over the hearts of these people. You can teach them to love their enemies and together we will bring in a new era. Do not think Rome is against you, my friend, for though our methods are different we both seek the peace of this land of vipers and scorpions.”
     Jesus stared at him in shock. And he remembered the Speckled Trout that he found with Mary when he was young and how he did not kill and eat it and thought, ‘Did I misunderstand? Am I wrong? Has Alaha given me another chance to fulfill my true destiny?’ He looked at Barabbas who was pleading, “Master, save yourself! Let me die for you! You are our Messiah!”
     Pilate slowly smiled and turned to the crowd, then hit the great cymbal again and they all grew silent except for Mary who kept crying, “Release Jesus!” until a Roman soldier came and stopped her. Jesus heard her and his eyes desperately searched the crowd to find her.
Then Pilate said with a loud voice, “It is my judgment to let Jesus decide before you who shall live today and who shall die.”