Apocrypha 2: Joseph in the North

Joseph (father of Jesus) sort of gets a raw deal. He’s cosmically cuckolded and then not much happens with him – you’d think that at least he’d be able to hang around. Such is the life of a surrogate.UNLESS:There are the unwritten Adventures of Joseph. He’s got no special powers and not much more equipment than a hammer and a chisel. But no doubt he’s got to fend off hordes of demons who are after the Baby: a bundle of clothes magicked to appear Christ-like to those who would seek Him out to destroy Him. Thus Joseph of Nazareth is a decoy, wandering the continents and crossing paths with historical leaders of the time, all the while staying one step ahead of the demons who hunt his son…

A whaling kayak off the western arm of the Ukluk Principality pulls a hypothermic and dehydrated Joseph of Nazareth from the Arctic Sea. The whale he’s been riding lolls in bloody froth a few yards away, and the Ukluka men have already started the work of breaking down the huge animal. Judging from his clothing, there is talk that he might be from the Takata empire in the west, although his skin color and eyes are not of those people.

The commander of the whaling team leaves two boats behind to haul in the harvest. He personally takes the half-drowned Joseph to his prince. The court healers soon have him revived and in dry furs. He sips oily tea in the receiving chamber. Soon the massive bulk of Ukluk the Magnificent enters the room.

Joseph of Nazareth: Greetings, proud leader.

Ukluk: Faar naktuk, pluur gagaal!

Joseph of Nazareth: Come again?

Ukluk: Ha ha ha ha ha!

Ukluk beckons to his servants, who bring forth a leather bag of fermented narwhal milk. All drink deeply of the foul concoction.

Joseph of Nazareth : Disgusting!

A seal starts barking. Ukluk and his retinue are suddenly sober, and unsheathe ivory blades. Outside the leather tent the ice begins to crack. Two serrated tusks burst through the ice, and an ice water demon claws its way forth. Its face is a cluster of pus-dripping eyes with a lamprey-mouth surrounded by sucker-laden tentacles. A brace of praying-mantis claws lines its belly, rippling as it clatters across the frozen glacier shield.
Joseph of Nazareth grabs for his satchel. Two of Ukluk’s guards hurl spears at the demon. The spears clatter off of the demon’s carapace. The demon impales a guard with one of its fore-claws and drags him under it, where the smaller claws shear and slice him to ribbons in a flurry of bloodletting. Two more guards run forward and are similarly slain. Ukluk brandishes a huge two-handed tusk-sword, inlaid with meteoric iron and jade from the western trade flotilla. He rushes forward, certainly toward death.

Joseph of Nazareth steps onto a hillock of ice and levels Ixlatchl at the demon. The alien artifact hums with power and a green bolt of energy lashes out from the rod, tearing steaming furrows in the ice before it locks on to the demon. The demon rears back, screeching in insectile agony, limbs furiously scratching at the air. A stench like burning hair billows from the demon as it is incinerated. Its carapace blisters and then explodes with steam pressure from within. Shrimp-like organs shower down on the snow.

Joseph of Nazareth (sighing): I’m getting too old for this sh__.

–Steve Kilian
The Polar Turtle
The Dawn of Language

One Response to “Apocrypha 2: Joseph in the North”

  1. […] Apocrypha 2: Joseph in the North […]

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