(#) Afuna 2005-05-29
Wow, that made my hair stand on end.
I must confess that, though it was short, I had to read it several times before I figured out what was going on. Not because the writing was unclear -- indeed, it's very good: the images are vivid, the language crisp, and the pain hurts -- but because it's coming at things from such a different angle that I basically had to hit the reset button on my mind before I could make sense of it.
I loved the repetition of the lines about the cross -- hanging from necks, ears, inked into flesh and all that. I especially liked the way you used "damning symbols" the first time (foreshadowing without sounding coy) and explicitly stating that it's a cross the second time (subtly reinforcing the image through repetition without sounding as if you were stating the obvious).
However, what really stood out for me was the middle paragraph "Could a god be that petty?...A man could grow tired of living as a slaughtered lamb."
In one paragraph -- and again, props for not overdoing it, as would have been too easy to do -- you managed to explain the premise behind the story and put the story of Christ in a new light, again giving just enough explanation that I can figure out the /why/, without feeling as if I were being patronized.
One nitpick: "tatooed" distracted me, because what came to mind was "Tatooine", and not "tattooed". Mild wtf-moment there, before I caught myself.
The ending was very good. I can imagine the hush surrounding the "Christ has died..." line, and then the sound of cliched background music swelling as the camera pans up past the crosses, past the bodies, up to the blue blue sky until the sun hits the lens and everything just disappears into a golden glow.
...okay, so I didn't really imagine that last part, but I felt as if I had, with the corresponding feeling of shut-up-soak-in-the-moral-lesson-and-be-awed-damnit!, that usually accompanies endings like those.
I find it mildly ironic that right now, the Google text ad is asking me "Why did Jesus die?" ;)
Shall end this by going back to the last part of the middle paragraph. Love your use of the "slaughtered lamb" metaphor -- good, clear image that even non-religious folks can get, and yet filled with double-meanings for anyone who's part of any Christian religion. Yummy, everything a metaphor should aspire to :)