“I met a man today,” said Clark to his companion, Alexander, “who was baptizing people in the river Jordan.”

The orange sun was setting over Samaria. The dust kicked up by their sandals seemed golden as they walked the streets of Bethany. The mud and stone homes cast long shadows that grew slowly in a blanket of night. The air cooled dramatically, as it always did in the desert region, but their camel-hair cloaks worn over their robes provided warmth.

“And did you partake in the service?” asked Alexander curiously.

“I did,” replied Clark. “I was required to remove my garments and brother John laid hands on me and baptized me as he once had Nehemiah, Ezra, Moses, and Daniel.”

Alexander frowned. “Are you certain he did not wish only to touch your person?”

“You sound jealous.” Clark smiled and put his hand on Alexander’s arm. “You need not be.”

“It is a folly I cannot control,” said Alexander, placing his hand over Clark’s. “You are a very beautiful man, my young friend, both on the outside and the inside.”

Clark’s olive skin colored pink. “You flatter me unnecessarily, Alexander.”

Alexander smiled slyly. “Perhaps it is that I wish to lay with you this night.”

“You are slick-tongued, sir, and seductive,” said Clark. “Are you a temptation that I need resist?”

“Nay,” replied Alexander. “I am your loyal companion, bound to you as I am bound to no other. Our friendship will be of legend. Oh, we have arrived.”

Alexander squeezed Clark’s hand and then knocked on the door of one of the homes. A servant boy answered the door. “Good evening. We are here to visit Anthony Thomas.”

“Who is calling?” requested the boy.

“Alexander Judas Iscariot and his companion, Clark Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”


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