Excerpt of Christ The Lord Out of Egypt by Anne Rice
(Page 2 of 3)
Printer Friendly Excerpt
Then in came my mother's brother Cleopas, always the talker, who was the
father of these cousins, except for Big Silas who came in now, a boy
older than James. He went into the corner, and then came his brother,
Justus, and both wanted to see what was going on.
"Joseph, they're all out there," said Cleopas, "Jonathan bar Zakkai, and
his brothers, they're saying Jesus killed their boy. They're envious
that we got that job at Philo's house, they're envious that we got the
other job before that, they're envious that we're getting more and more
jobs, they're so sure they do things better than we do."
"Is the boy dead?" Joseph said. "Or is the boy alive?"
Salome shot forward and whispered in my ear. "Just make him come alive,
Jesus, the way you made the birds come alive!"
Little Symeon was giggling. He was too little to know what was going on.
Little Judas knew, but he was quiet.
"Stop," said James, the little boss of the children. "Salome, be quiet."
I could hear them shouting in the street. I heard other noises. Stones
were hitting the walls of the house. My mother started to cry.
"You dare do that!" shouted my uncle Cleopas and he rushed back out
through the door. Joseph went after him.
I wriggled out of my mother's grasp and darted out before she could
catch me, and past my uncle and Joseph and right into the crowd as they
were all waving and hollering and shaking their fists. I went so fast,
they didn't even see me. I was like a fish in the river. I moved in and
out through people who were shouting over my head until I got to
The women all had their backs to the door, and they didn't see me as I
went around the edge of the room.
I went right into the dark room, where they'd laid him on the mat. His
mother was there leaning on her sister and sobbing.
There was only one lamp, very weak.
Eleazer was pale with his arms at his sides, same soiled tunic, and the
soles of his feet very black. He was dead. His mouth was open and his
white teeth showed over his lip.
The Greek physician came inhe was really a Jewand he knelt down, and
he looked at Eleazer and he shook his head.
Then he saw me and said:
His mother turned and she saw it was me and she screamed.
I bent over him:
"Wake up, Eleazer," I said. "Wake up now."
I reached out and laid my hand on his forehead.
The power went out. My eyes closed. I was dizzy. But I heard him draw in
His mother screamed over and over and it hurt my ears. Her sister
screamed. All the women were screaming.
I fell back on the floor. I was weak. The Greek physician was staring
down at me. I was sick. The room was dim. Other people had rushed in.
Eleazer came up, and he was up all knees and fists before anyone could
get to him, and he set on me and punched me and hit me, and knocked my
head back against the ground, and kicked me again and again:
"Son of David, Son of David!" he shouted, mocking me, "Son of David, Son
of David!" kicking me in the face, and in the ribs, until his father
grabbed him around the waist and picked him up in the air.
from Christ the Lord by Anne Rice Copyright © 2005 by Anne
Rice. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House,
Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or
reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.