“Take Up Your Cross”: An Excerpt

I was reading “That Hideous Strength” when I wrote this, so the style is intentionally very “Lewis” in nature:

The time for planning had ended. I had checked my nerves and came to realize that if I didn’t go that day, I would never go. My courage would falter. So I took a deep breath, strapped myself into my Time-Buick, mentally double-checked that I had every necessity packed, and set the time to 10:00 PM, April 2nd, CE 33, at the top of the Mount of Olives in Israel. I was to end the Agony in the Garden.

For some reason the quote from Lewis’s “Perelandra” came to mind: “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, here goes–I mean, Amen!”

It took about a minute to bring my car up to speed, but when it did the transportation was immediate and painless. One moment I was speeding down a back road in a Houston suburb, and the next minute I was in first century Israel. I looked at the horizon in front of me and stopped my car as quickly as possible, alarmed. I was not on the Mount of Olives. In front of me was a relatively blank stretch of desert. There were mountains in the distance, and I was fairly confident one of them was the one I was looking for. But something else was wrong. It was not night, when I had intended to arrive. The sun was out and still high in the sky. It was, at worst, early afternoon, and more likely mid-morning. I checked the travel clock, and my fears were confirmed. It was not April 2, 33 CE. It was 10:00 AM on April 3rd. I had arrived not on the day of the Agony, but of the Crucifixion.

…And if you want to know what happens next, and why he’s decided to strap himself into his trusty Time-Buick, you’ll have to get Sci Phi Journal issue # 4. If you don’t like e-books you can also get a paper version here for eight dollars. The kindle version is only four.

Once again, I know I’m biased, but this is a seriously fantastic issue.

[I am reliably informed that more paper copies will be available soon.]

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2 Responses to “Take Up Your Cross”: An Excerpt

  1. Ilíon says:

    Actually, your story is totally unrealistic: everyone knows that time-travelers always find themselves unable to go back any further than Sunday of that week. There have been several scholarly papers lamenting the sad fact that the years BC are (apparently, forever) “prehistory”

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