What is truth?

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“Herod’s compound looms ahead, towering over The Harbor as a plague. Lights show, here and there, in the old refinery. The wind howls like the unseen demons that shriek throughout the complex. I hated this place I’ve brought the Christ to, but my masters demand such.
I look at Immanuel. Her wrists are bare once more. I sigh and shake my head. I exit the car, and come round to the passenger side. I open the door and help her out. She seem so small to me, deflated. I can no longer sense her abundant power. She is drained, leeched…ordinary.
Immanuel stands beside the car, saying nothing. Herod’s cops pull up and park behind Pilate. They file out of their vehicles. I see a small glint of shiny metal, the cuffs returning to Immanuel’s wrists. I look at her and she not back. She’s staring out of focus at the ground. She appears to be praying.
“Spare me this cup of suffering,” I hear her whisper. Immanuel then says: “Not by my will, but Thine, be done.” And then she is silent.
Herod’s cops align themselves in a concave wall in front of Immanuel and me. They do not take eyes off me, their guns only a quick snatch away. No matter what Matthias told the cops about the Pharisee-imposed truce, I know without a doubt that if I even so much as think about pulling more shit like I did at the chapel, they are going to punch my motherfucking card. Dear God in Heaven do the cops look like they wish I would. The police are all smiling to themselves knowing they would get their chance to give my vampire ass what they’re sure I got coming to me.
Sensing this, I grip Immanuel’s bicep. I very carefully proceeded through the hole they make in their cop wall. I guide a subdued Immanuel toward the entrance. The cops follow close behind us as we all enter Herod’s Compound.
Immanuel remains a passive prisoner as we make our progressive way through the layers of security to Herod’s Throne Room, deep in the sub-basement of the refinery. I know the bastard is waiting there for us there.
I am bringing the Herod of The Harbor Immanuel the Christ. I feel as though I am drowning a puppy, but tried my level best to shake it off. Thining like that will get me nowhere but dead. My entire existence depends on the next few hours.
Immanuel moves slowly, walking in her gallows gait like guilty prisoners whom have made their peace and are resigned to their fate. But, I know she hasn’t done a fucking thing to deserve what’s to be done to her. It is making my hands burn again.
We are nearing the Throne Room entrance. We can hear Herod’s laughter right through the

wall. It is well-oiled, Herod’s evil. I can feel its thickness and depth. Herod is completely insane and his evil is true. I can feel all of the unseen things whipping all around us, their shrieks I can plainly hear. I do not fear the unseen, but with my crazy itchy hands being shredded by the talons that are making no difference whatsoever, I am getting scared at what I’m about to do.
It is becoming quite plain. Immanuel leans into me, bumping me slightly. And with that simple gesture, the burning has gone away. I now realize that this tiny preacher has scared Herod and the Pharisees. She means much more to them than even reversing the downward selling trend of Plata. This is not going to be a simple execution. It’s much more than a business decision to correct an errant bottom line. It is making my heart lurch. The Pharisees are going to allow Herod to have his wicked way with her. I remember the chapel parking lot. The police were ordered by Herod himself to damage Immanuel. I see that now. If the lower ranks were ordered to run a train of pigs on the little preacher, then what in holy hell does Herod have in store for her here and now?
Our group makes it to the Throne Room with Immanuel’s cuffs still fixed firmly in place, her head lowered. She slumps submissively and with trapped resign. She makes not a sound. Wicked hatred fills the entire vicinity. It settles into the cracks and dark corners like a steamed mist. If the Throne Room is entered, it can not be avoided. It seems to be waiting for us.
We stop at the threshold. The big iron door is closed and it gives to me the impression that it is breathing. I reach out for the long handle to slide the door open, but stopped myself.
This is wrong, I think. I turn back to the cops behind us. They have their hands on their guns, taking no chances. They’re aching for an excuse to end me. Immanuel remains impassive.
It is now, at this exact moment, while I am on the verge of handing her over to Herod, that I finally stop fixating on revenge. I stop worrying about the business that was stolen from me. I stop using grief as the spark for my vengeance and rage. And I finally stop brooding about my pilfered millions.
Even though it was in my best interests, I can’t refrain from thinking how off beam this shit is. This thing I’m helping to do to Immanuel is immoral and all the way wrong. I cannot rationalize it away.
I remove my hand from the door. I bend down and brush away the hair from Immanuel’s face. She is downtrodden, appears defeated.
“Who are you, little preacher?” I ask her, “Who are you, really?”
Immanuel then raises her head, straightens to her full height. A quick flick and hair falls behind her shoulders and down her back. Her eyes are full and gleaming at they stare into me. A fog forms around the two of us as her power heats the brisk, dank air. She looks right at me, straight and eye to eye.
“Know this, vampire,” Immanuel states, “I am the Son of God.”
Her hand cuffs open and fall to the floor.
Herod’s cops draw their weapons. The guns clear leather as one and I step between them and Immanuel. My back is fully exposed as I scoop Immanuel up and hugged her tight to me. I cover her and her heat hisses against my cold vampire flesh.
I grit my teeth as the fangs drop. The talons burrow into my arms enveloping her. I fully expect to be buffeted with countless bullets in the back for the tiny Christ, but they never come.
I hold on to her for a bit longer and was shaking with adrenaline when I finally put her down. I turn back and see Herod’s cops. The cops still have their guns tightly clenched in white-knuckled fists.
I feel an immense wave of relief, followed abruptly by confusion. Herod’s cops are on their backs on the floor of the passageway. They’re less than ten feet from the Throne Room door and almost posed in their positions. The cops are a triangle of heavy pins, knocked flat by a deaf bowler. It is a silent and deadly strike.
I look from the cops to Immanuel. She graces me with a miniature smile.
“That,” she says, indicating the fallen pins stacked neatly on the floor, “that has not been written.”
I glance back and see that they are, all of them, dead. I stare at her and see the hand cuffs gone again. I look at the door that separates us from the Pharisees desire. I think I see hope in her eyes. A choice now has got to be made. What’ll it be, nigga? Am I in or am I out? Make me decision and make it now. There are only seconds left.
I made mines.
I reach out for Immanuel’s hand. “Let’s get the hell out of here,” I tell her with a harsh whisper.
Immanuel puts her naked wrists up before my face and the cuffs reappear. They close on their own with a snick-snick and snap into place. She lowers them and regards a nigga with her gaze.
“C’mon,” I repeat in a whisper both harsh and impatient, “what the fuck’s wrong with you, let’s go!”
“We stay,” she states emphatically, “The both of us.”
Immanuel’s words stunned me. She really isn’t leaving and I can’t leave her. I can’t believe this is happening. She really isn’t leaving. What possible reason can she have for wanting to stay? I am certain she knows what’s coming. She knows full well that they are going to kill her. Still Immanuel insists on staying. Why?
Their window of opportunity is closing fast.
“We can make it,” I plead. Motionless, she remains. “Why,” he try, “won’t you let me save you?”
“Why won’t you let me,” asks the Christ, “save you?”
Before I can consider that, the door slides open with a pounding metallic bang. There is Herod, himself. He stands in the threshold of the open door.
He bids us welcome.
And now we are too late.”



PILATE: A BRUTAL Bible Tale, Undiluted, foul and profane original in KINDLE format! Read PILATE in Print, or on Kindle and on the cheap.


This is The real Harbor. This place gave me the idea for Herod's Compound.