Find part one of this continuing fiction story here:

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Josefa closed her eyes against the growing brightness of the rising sun.

There was only so much she had been able to remember from the day the man they called Jesus brought her back to life.

The rabbi, the teacher, the man who people in the city said was performing miracles, had performed one in her.

She had been dead, no heartbeat and pale, cold to the touch.

But at his word she was warm again, breathing, heart racing in her chest.

That first breath was like breathing for the first time. The air had never felt so fresh, so crisp, so new. She wished she could remember the words he had said when he brought her back or had even heard them. Her father told her days later what Jesus had spoke.

“ Talitha koum!”

Little girl, I say to you, get up!

Josefa still could not understand how it had all happened. She asked her father question after question that night when everyone had gone home.

The lamp had been extinguished. Only the moonlight lit the small home. Her mother had drifted to sleep, next to her, holding her close, afraid if she let her go Josefa would be gone again. One of her brothers was asleep on his mat in one corner. The other brother had gone home with his family, vowing to return in the morning to see her, make sure she was doing well.

“How, father? How did he bring breath back to me?”

“He is as He has said,” her father whispered as he answered her questions. “He is the son of the most high God. I never would have believed it until he brought you back to us.  Just a teacher can not do these things. A simple man does not have this power. He is the Messiah, Josefa. The one the prophets spoke of. We must believe now and live our life as He would.”

How would Jesus live life? She didn’t know. Should she pack her things and follow him? Maybe she could learn more about how to be like him. She was scared. Now that she had been given a second chance what would she do with it? It was the uncertainty that scared her. Yet something in her had been ignited. She felt a rush of anticipation as she pondered her future days.

Whatever she did with her life it had to be something meaningful, something magnificent, maybe even spiritual, something worthy of the Son of God taking time out of his teaching to bring her from the darkness of death to life again.

The whole world looked different in the days after he’d come.

Colors were more vivid.

Sounds were more beautiful- all sounds – even the sounds that once drove her to the brink of insanity- people passing in the street, donkeys braying, men arguing in the market, women gossiping, children laughing when they should be working.

Smells and tastes were different.

Oh, the tastes of all the spices and the softness of her mama’s bread against the inside of her cheek.

She savored food now, held it against the roof of her mouth, and soaked in the flavor with her eyes closed.

Always now she let her sounds of pleasure at life escape her and while her parents once chided her for what they called her exploits they now smiled and laughed, simply overjoyed she was still here for them to love and be loved by.

“Josefa, come with me to the market,” her mother was gathering baskets to carry any fish or fruit they might buy.

The market was crowded but Josefa didn’t mind. It was exciting to see the different fabrics, smell the food, hear the laughter of those trading and bargaining.

“Did you hear about the man Jesus healed?” She heard a man behind her talking and tilted her head so she could hear better.

“I heard he spit on him,” laughed the other man. “Are we to really believe this man is the son of God? Spitting on people to bring healing?

Both men were laughing now.

“I don’t know about his ways, but many are speaking about his miracles. Who am I to say he is not who he says he is?”

“But if he is, then we should be gathering an army, Levi. An army to finally overthrow the Roman rule.”

“I don’t know if he is here to lead us out of rule,” one man said and shook his head slightly. “He said in the temple we should give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

The other man snorted. “What does that even mean? This Jesus speaks in riddles. He’s not even a real leader or teacher. Why do people follow him? We need a warrior, not a storyteller.”

“Josefa!”

Her mother’s voice startled her.

“Josefa, hand me that basket for the fish. We have to get back soon for supper. Pay attention.”

“Yes, mama.”

She handed her mother the basket and turned to see if the men were still there but they were gone.

_____

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Written by Lisa R. Howeler

As a writer, photographer and former journalist, Lisa R. Howeler writes a little bit about everything on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She's a wife and a mother and enjoys a good John Wayne movie and a cozy Jan Karon book. She's also a freelance writer and photographer who is a contributor to various stock agencies, including Lightstock and Alamy. Her photography work focuses on documentary and photojournalism.

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