Excerpt of Christ The Lord Out of Egypt by Anne Rice
(Page 3 of 3)
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I ached all over, couldn't breathe.
"Son of David!" Eleazer kept shouting.
Someone lifted me and carried me out of the house and into the crowd in
the street. I was still gasping. I hurt all over. It seemed the whole
street was screaming, worse than before, and someone said the Teacher
was coming, and my uncle Cleopas was yelling in Greek at Jonathan,
Eleazer's father, and Jonathan was yelling back, and Eleazer was
shouting, "Son of David, Son of David!"
I was in Joseph's arms. He was trying to move, but the crowd wouldn't
let him. Cleopas was pushing at Eleazer's father. Eleazer's father was
trying to get at Cleopas, but other men took hold of his arms. I heard
Eleazer shouting far away.
There was the Teacher declaring: "That child's not dead, you hush up,
Eleazer, who said he was dead? Eleazer, stop shouting! Whoever could
think this child is dead?"
"Brought him back to life, that's what he did," said one of theirs.
We were in our courtyard, the entire crowd had pushed in with us, my
uncle and Eleazer's people still screaming at each other, and the
Teacher demanding order.
Now my uncles, Alphaeus and Simon, had come. These were Joseph's
brothers. And they'd just woken up. They put up their hands against the
crowd. Their mouths were hard and their eyes were big.
My aunts, Salome and Esther and Mary, were there, with all the cousins
running and jumping as if this were a festival, except for Silas and
Justus and James who stood with the men.
Then I couldn't see anymore.
I was in my mother's arms, and she had taken me into the front room. It
was dark. Aunt Esther and Aunt Salome came in with her. I could hear
stones hitting the house again. The Teacher raised his voice in Greek.
"There's blood on your face!" my mother whispered. "Your eye, there's
blood. Your face is cut!" She was crying. "Oh, look what's happened to
you," she said. She spoke in Aramaic, our tongue which we didn't speak
"I'm not hurt," I said. I meant to say it didn't matter. Again my
cousins pressed close, Salome smiling as if to say she knew I could
bring him back to life, and I took her hand and squeezed it.
But there was James with his hard look.
The Teacher came into the room backwards with his hands up. Someone
ripped the curtain away and the light was very bright. Joseph and his
brothers came in. And so did Cleopas. All of us had to move to make
"You're talking about Joseph and Cleopas and Alphaeus, what do you mean
drive them out!" said the Teacher to the whole crowd. "They've been with
us for seven years!"
The angry family of Eleazer came almost into the room. The father
himself did come into the room.
"Yes, seven years and why don't they go back to Galilee, all of them!"
Eleazer's father shouted. "Seven years is too long! That boy is
possessed of a demon and I tell you my son was dead!"
"Are you complaining that he's alive now! What's the matter with you!"
demanded my uncle Cleopas.
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.