Gathering storm clouds obscured the sun as a small crowd gathered at the foot of the low hill. The sky darkened, distant thunder rumbling across the arid landscape as the crowd spoke in hushed tones.
“Some say he’s the son of God” said a portly bearded fellow wearing a long brown robe.
A crooked shrew of a woman picked up a and threw it towards the hill. “I heard he’s a dirty boy that likes prostitutes” she shouted. The crowd grumbled their disapproval.
The man on the cross lifted his head, blood trickling down his face. Sallow eyes scanned the crown and he attempted to speak.
“Speak up boy we can’t hear you” shouted the portly chap shovelling a handful of olives into his mouth. A legionnaire moved towards him to hear what was being said as lightening again lit up the sky.
The man on the cross spoke again, his face contorted in agony. The legionnaire stood for a moment listening then turned to the crowd as another stone landed at his feet. The shrew of a woman elbowed an elderly man at her side.
“Stop throwing stones” she said sharply.
“Philip” shouted the Roman as he scanned the crowd.
No one moved.
He shouted once more and a young bearded man raised a hand cautiously. The Legionnaire beckoned him forward and he pushed through the crowd as lighting flashed again.
He approached the man on the cross, pulling down the hood on his robe
“Philip” said the man on the cross smiling, life ebbing from his body.
“Yes my friend” he replied.
“There is something you need to know.”
“Please tell me” Philip said.
He mustered a final breath, his lips dry and his voice hoarse.
The crowd listened intently.
“I can see your house from here.”