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Gospel of Luke

by alohajuice

I once knew of a sinner who would carry his cross with the slowest building agony. He would sometimes throw it down to the ground and spit on it in anger. Kick dirt over it and mark it with the sharpest stones he could find. Scratch obscene words into it, not caring what anyone would see. He knew God would, and that amused him. But then he would pick it back up onto his back and continue where he left off. He was on the passage of the sinner and his cross.

Where he was from, every sinner had to carry his cross up to the rose covered mountains outside of the town. All of the sinners had to do this at one point in their lives and they had the freedom to choose when. Some believed God told them when to go, others decided to pick up and console the evils inside them, while there were others who never went until they neared the grasp of death; some were forced out of their death beds to carry their cross to the mountains. It was a day long journey for everyone; no one ever returned past sundown. After the first step on the road was made, the rest felt like eternity. For all those on their way, the dirt road to the mountains was one of hopeless anguish.

The one I knew took up his cross to battle the demons within him. Throughout his journey, this man walked on the sands of Inferno, scorching his feet. Blisters opened on his soles. Blood rolled in droplets from the scratches on his back. Deep black bruises lined up and down his spine. Pieces of wood were splintered into his skin. The weight of the cross pushed them further in to his hands so that when he carried it, he tried to keep his face away. Not once did he fall, but he threw his cross many times and paced in frustrated circles. He often put his hands to his face but remembered to keep them away from his eyes so that he would not splinter them. When he finally resolved to complete his passage and continued some steps forward, he almost immediately stopped in his tracks. The mountains were only a few miles away but he stopped in front of a tree he recognized. It was a small tree with willow like branches and lavender colored blossoms. He took one from the tree and absorbed its fragrance. His mind flashed back to joyful memories and moments of innocence and the ocean. He then began to tread away from the dirt road of the sinners with the cross still on his back and proceeded down the valley below, towards the nearby sea. The cool long grasses soothed his feet as he passed. The coolness of the soil also seemed to heal his aches and relax his mind. He felt his energy slowly restore itself with each step he took in the valley. The air around him was no longer overbearing, it refreshed him. The sun was no longer sweltering or deadly to endure; it was a delightful jewel in the sky that made everything look entirely familiar. He no longer squinted or felt the splinters in his body or the slices on his back. He gazed at the friendly clouds and almost smiled at the sunlight that touched everything around him until he reached the water’s edge. Then with all his might, gathered from deep within all his pain, glory, and suffering, he tossed the cross that he carried into the water as far as he could. And as he watched it float where it landed, he felt his soul being washed over, absolved from torture. Tears did not come. Blood did not fall. The sun did not go down. He was washed anew. Not cleansed from his sins but cleansed from the dark. His cross disappeared under the water. Though he did not make it to the rose covered mountains, he was fine. God had heard him. He remained watching the lapping waves of the ocean. The one that he knew.

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662 Reviews

Points: 52441
Reviews: 662

Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:15 am
dogs wrote a review...

"had to carry his cross..."

Unless from where this character came from there were only boys. This line should be: "had to carry their cross..."

I like your second paragraph, your opening is a tad bit choppy but that just because of the language you use. Try to omit all useless words whenever you can. Your second paragraph flows nicely and you use good imagery. Although, I think you should probably describe how big it is, because at first thought when I think of a "cross," I think of the cross that people wear around their neck. So definitely give us some dimensions.

"so that he would not splinter them"

This is a little awkwardly worded, and I certainly think that you could phrase this a better. "but careful not to touch his face so that his splinters wouldn't impale his eyes" Sounds a little cleaner that way.

I think your best writing is when your character goes and smells the blossom and walks down to the sea. Excellent excellent writing there. Extraordinarily smooth and it sounds amazing. I commend you for that great writing. I do find the ending strange, I was certainly expected something more along the lines that your character hurled his cross away and just became consumed by the devil and taking the easy path off the road of righteousness. I am certainly not religious, nor am I an expert on God and his judgement, but in my opinion and from the lectures I've heard, God isn't the most compassionate to those who disobey his will and requests. So I wouldn't think that your character would be thrown in a good light after basically disowning God's will and throwing the cross into the sea. Of course that's just my opinion, correct me if I'm wrong.

Great piece all and all. I would cut out the first paragraph and just go straight into the second, it'll help the flow a little bit better. Let me know if you ever need a review, keep up the good work!

TuckEr EllsworTh :smt032

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289 Reviews

Points: 30323
Reviews: 289

Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:43 pm
Caesar wrote a review...

Hi there! I would say welcome to YWS but you joined so long ago... welcome back to YWS, then!

Now, let me start off saying I don't get the message of this. Recall your past and God will forgive your sins, no matter how bad they are? Hmmm no, that doesn't sound right. Now, you may have had a completely different message in mind, but of course, the readers would have no idea, because this piece lacks all form of thought and introspection. Like, I have no idea what's going on in this person's mind, I don't even know his name. I just know he's a generic sinner (and even then, I don't know what he's done) in a generic redemption location.

Now, I liked the description here, and I'll give you that. It was okay, making this piece a rather descriptive one. However, I do not believe descriptiveness was the aim here, rather, something introspective, something to make the readers reflect, maybe even think about a moral or another, yes? Unfortunately, there really wasn't one here, as far as I could tell. See, you need thought. You need for the readers to get into this character's mentality, perhaps even show us what he's done in his past, or have him reflect on it. And of course, an upbeat, hopeful finish. Or even a dark and depressing one. Just a finish, an understandable and possibly less-than-occult finish. The readers should go 'oh, I totally get that. This is cool! Bravo to you sir/madam'.

One more nit-pick, before I wrap this up. Are crosses really that heavy? Is carrying them really that difficult, when you're not being whipped or thrown stones at? Like, the damage dealt to him seems a bit excessive -- though in this case I do get the juxtaposition with Hell and such.

To recap, good description, but this fails as an introspective piece. Do revise and message me if you edit it and such.

Hope this helped

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
— Oscar Wilde