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Mount of Olives

by Elbowsnitch 

Posted: 28 February 2007
Word Count: 473
Summary: My response to Prosp's Another Time, Another Place challenge...

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He looked a bit like Dylan in the sixties, without a guitar. On a clear blue day in Palestine, two thousand years ago. We’d got the time and place nearly right, only missing the main events by a year or two. Still, it was great – resting in the shade of a fig tree on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. The air was fantastic! This had been my suggestion for the young offenders’ outing and an inspired one, I thought – or at least, less disastrous than last year’s choice.

I was just reminding them for the enth time to stay close – “Are you listening to me, Patrick?”

“Yes, Miss” – meekly mocking. The others snorted.

“It’s me that’ll be held responsible if you bugger up history!”

Patrick wasn’t a bad lad, at heart – or in fact, at all. He’d just never had a chance. Violent stepfather, then his mum taken by cancer. Drugs and petty crime; the usual. Trinity House. Out, back again. “Oh Patrick, what are we to do with you?”

“Dunno, Miss.”

Anyway, so Jesus – I forgot to say, he was accompanied by five or six young men, I suppose his disciples, well they all stopped and looked in our direction. I had the Visiquell safe in my pocket and it was working fine, so they couldn’t see us, I was sure, but still... One of the disciples gestured impatiently. Something about the fig tree. I tried to understand what they were saying, but without a translataid (budget cuts) it was hopeless.

Then a breath on my cheek – “Sorry, Miss. See yers.”

“What are you doing? Patrick! Come back!”

Too late – he was already out of range, visible. Walking with that limp he turns into a swagger. The disciples moved as though to protect Jesus, to cut him off, but he wouldn’t let them. Then Patrick knelt and kissed the hem of Jesus’s garment. It was actually – although at the time I could have throttled him – quite moving. Our Patrick’s always larking about, taking the piss. Not now, though.

He got to his feet. Jesus embraced him. I knew then, we’d lost Patrick. So – damage limitation. Take everyone you can, and go.


I should be filing my report, instead I was reading the Bible. Patrick spat in the face of a centurion. Flogged, then crucified. History changed as I riffled back through the pages. Here was the fig tree. Jesus cursed the tree because it – no – no – the words shimmered and dazzled. I was back on the Mount of Olives, Jesus looking at me over Patrick’s shoulder. He saw.

The word barren vanished from the page. Jesus blessed the fig tree. I put my hand to my belly, above my womb. And praised God’s mercy.

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Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 08:53 on 28 February 2007  Report this post
This is fantastic - utterly gripping. I really love it and wouldn't change a thing. Also very moving at the end.

Can we have more time stories from this point of view?!



Elbowsnitch at 09:11 on 28 February 2007  Report this post
Thanks very much, Anne!



rosiedlm at 19:17 on 28 February 2007  Report this post
Fantastic time story, Frances, and a beautiful ending. Loved the idea of history changing as she skipped back through the pages of the Bible.


roger at 19:25 on 28 February 2007  Report this post
I'm with Anne & Rosie, Fran - great story, yes, and beautifully written, too.

Elbowsnitch at 08:26 on 01 March 2007  Report this post
Thanks, Rosie and Roger! Comments much appreciated.


SOOTYSMUM at 22:50 on 01 March 2007  Report this post
Very inspirational, I loved the mixture of modern science fiction and ancient history....you have a wonderful creativity and the most fantastic composition. I would love to be anywhere near as talented.


Elbowsnitch at 17:49 on 03 March 2007  Report this post
Thanks Susan - but I'm sure you are!!!



SOOTYSMUM at 14:43 on 04 March 2007  Report this post

Thanks for the vote of confidence. Unfortunately, I'm unable to view your comments on 'Colours'...this is due to a technical 'glitch' so Dee tells me. Could I trouble you to re-iterate in this stream please, I'm keen for feedback.

Many many thanks


Elbowsnitch at 08:46 on 05 March 2007  Report this post
Sure Susan, here you go -

Hi Susan - a lovely prism of colours, especially the 'intense and sundrenched yellow' and the 'spellbinding and deadly' white (interesting to associate these words with 'virginal'!). I also really like

wandering through prismed light and shadow

- and the subtlety with which you convey the poem's meaning, in that stanza - introducing a note of poignant sadness.


SOOTYSMUM at 20:52 on 05 March 2007  Report this post

Thank you so much, I feel really inspired now to write more after your comments. Sometimes it hard to get the enthusiasm, especially when you see so much really good stuf on this site. Wel, even the greatest writers had to start somewhere!!

Thanks again SO much!!

Susan XX

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