Excerpt from Daybreak

(Jonathan. the main character in my novel Daybreak from on High. returned to his home after celebrating Passover with a group of friends including a Roman Soldier. During the Seder he felt the presence of his deceased wife, Sarai.)”

When I came to the arbor of my outdoor area, something inside me refused to open the door. Once inside, I felt Sarai would leave and loneliness overcome me. I sat down on a crate and placed the lantern on the table. Despite the wine and food I’d consumed, my mind was clear and alert.

I recounted times spent with her, from the first moment we were alone in my home when she dropped the pottery in the kitchen, and her attraction to me was revealed. Finally after some hours, I grew weary and rose to enter my dwelling.

Distant voices echoed through the Kidron Valley. Was it my imagination? I strained to hear them, but thought it might just be the wind. There were lights barely visible near a garden called Gethsemane at the bottom of the Mount of Olives. By then my eyes were heavy. Entering the dwelling, I stumbled to my cot as the lantern ran out of oil. I fell into a deep sleep and awoke near dawn, but rolled over and fell asleep once more.

During this early morning lapse, a nightmare invaded my rest. Columba was striking a Roman soldier pounding a nail into the wrist of a bruised and bleeding man about to be crucified. The blade of a sword severed my friend’s arm and blood splattered over everything. I must have cried out and suddenly someone was shaking me.

“Jonathan, it’s all right. You’re dreaming,” Columba shouted, embracing me with one arm.

The shock of seeing him brought on hysteria, and I could not stop screaming. Finally, exhausted I fell back on my cot sobbing.

“You scared me Jon. Let me get you some water. What frightened you so?”

“I’m fine now. But I can’t talk about it.”

“Let’s get some fresh air out under the arbor.”

We sat for a while, and Columba brought me water from the well nearby. Then he told me why he came. “I am sorry to be the bearer of some disturbing news. How are you feeling now?”

“I’m fine. Go on, tell me.”

“Simon came back to the apartment of Josephus late last night. I had decided to sleep there and was awakened from a peaceful slumber. In fact, everyone was roused by a pounding on the door. It seems Simon heard from a servant in the Palace of Ananias that Yeshua had been seized in Gethsemane, the garden near the Kidron Valley. A contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple Guards brought Him forcibly to the palace. They struck His head and spat on Him accusing Him of blasphemy. Ananias sent Him to Caiaphas. That’s all Simon could tell us.”

“They will kill Him, Columba. By crucifixion,” I said immediately regretting my words.

“I cannot bear it. I’ve seen it once. How could they do that to one so innocent? I know He is the Messiah.”

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