by Stoney M. Setzer

Awakening. With a start and a gasp, as one wakes up out of a nightmare.

Panic. Confusion. Terror. Disorientation.

Not waking up out of a nightmare, but rather into one.

No idea where he is, or how he got here. No memories. As if life had only just begun.

Can’t move. Can’t see. Wrapped from head to toe in something tight, constricting. All is darkness. Nothing is quiet. The sounds of an earthquake and people screaming. So far away.

A smell. The smell of spices, familiar somehow. Like the kind used for...


...wrapped from head to toe, like a mummy...

...buried alive!

Frantic struggles against the wrappings. Seconds take years to pass. Free at last!

Looking around. Still hard to see. So very dark outside...

...outside this tomb.

Never been so scared, so confused, before.

The entrance to the tomb is wide open. No hesitation. Only fleeing out of the tomb...

...and into the graveyard.

Other tombs are open as well. Not all, but some. Their occupants are rushing out. An alarming sight to behold. How much more alarming if he himself were not coming out of a tomb?

The skies are pitch black. Thunder booms. Rain falls.

He is not staying in the graveyard. He runs with the others, neither knowing nor caring where to. He is only interested in away from.

More people running scared, outside the graveyard. Are they afraid of us?

These are coming down from a hill. Running away from.

What is on the hill? Hard to see in the darkness. He stops, straining to see. He does not notice that others from the graveyard do the same thing.

Men in armor. Roman soldiers.

Three huge crosses.

Lightning flashes. Seeing becomes easier, only for a second. Long enough for him to see all he needs to see.

On the crosses hang two men...

...flanking one Man.

Closes his eyes for a moment, overwhelmed. All at once, it comes back.

He remembers now, everything from before. And he knows. He knows more than he ever knew before.

He knows who the Man is.

The Levite straightens himself and walks, this time with the dignity of a member of the priesthood. He has an appointment to keep. An appointment in the holy city of Jerusalem.

He chuckles. He will arrive later than he had planned. Seventy years later, to be exact. Death has a tendency to change one’s schedule.

Only this time it has not prevented. It has only delayed.

No more delays. He has important business. He strides to the holy city to tell the people there about the Lord...

...and about the Man.

© 2007 Stoney M. Setzer
Original fiction debuting at Residential Aliens.

Stoney Setzer is a middle school special education teacher near Atlanta, GA. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys writing, reading, watching old movies, and cheering for the Atlanta Braves. Stoney has had stories published in the "Southern Comfort" anthology and "Dragons, Knights and Angels" magazine. He'll have a few more published later this year. The idea for Awakening was inspired by Matthew 27:52-53.

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