There was a noble effort made by the staff of the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to keep the autopsy of Cassidy Templeton private.

Noble but futile.

A mere ten minutes after it was posted in the hospital records, the system was hacked, and the conclusions of the autopsy were spread abroad across the world in the matter of an hour.

In the report, was decided that Cassidy Templeton’s death was from natural causes–even though there was nothing natural about the discoveries. In the report, one doctor commented that it appeared that his internal organs had been burned–worn out like an old tire. There were systems that were non-funcitoning, and others that should have been connecting up to create life, which were dangling without purpose. So at the end of a very lengthy probe, the conclusion was that Cassidy Templeton died because there were no real systems keeping him alive. Of course, this further added to the mystery of the awakening.

When Matthew was asked by a reporter what he thought about the findings of the autopsy, he quipped, “I don’t give a shit about any of this shit.”

He was drunk at the time and probably shouldn’t have answered the question, but he had grown weary in his mediocre doings. This idea had begun so simply–some music, some food, some gentle words. Now it was growing into an international phenomenon, with many promoters seeing the potential for profit and struggling to get their piece before the pie was gone. Also, because there was a softening of the hearts of the American public, a desperate attempt was being made by those who preferred the darker portions of human existence to intrude.

Mother Rolinda’s church in Baltimore was fire-bombed by an organization called “Catholics for Christ’s Church.” Taking responsibility for the incursion, their statement explained that since Jesus was a man, God expected all of his preachers to be male.

About sixty of Prophet Morgan’s friends and followers began an organization called “The Morganians,” who immediately accused Merrill Handerling and the B.I.F. (Believers International Fellowship) of foul play in the murder of the prophet. At first it was just nasty letters and law suits, but finally ended up in violence when five “Morganians” were ambushed by ten members of B.I.F., resulting in a street brawl, leaving two dead by stabbing.

What once was a jet stream of spiritual love across the world via Jubal Carlos and the band had now splintered into different representations, traveling groups who sprang off the original concept to develop their own rendition, complete with erroneous theology.

Everyone was claiming to have the “true Jesus.”

A year earlier, nobody gave a damn about Jesus, and now everyone was trying to market their favored clone.

Matthew continued to dwell in Las Vegas and find more and more perverse ways to separate himself from anything that resembled religion. To him, it seemed like the paradise they had envisioned had been tossed aside in favor of a return to man-made, ecclesiastical mayhem.

But Jubal continued to travel–matter of fact, Matthew made one journey with him, deep into the south, to Jackson, Mississippi. It was a piece of curiosity for the cynical marketer. He had never been to Mississippi before and was curious what the response would be.

Yet the town square and the park nearby was jammed with people, and it seemed like just another wonderful day on a heavenly Earth.

Except for one thing. There was something different.

Matthew picked up on it immediately. It was Jubal. Although he retained the presence of his faith, the energy was gone. He was surrounded by adoring and rejoicing disciples, but he, himself, had taken a portion of his being and removed it for his own private thoughts.

Matthew asked him about it and Jubal just smiled and mouthed the classic, “I’m just fine.”

That afternoon, when it was time to return to Las Vegas for the evening rally, Jubal was late for takeoff. He texted Matthew, saying he would catch another flight and be there for the evening, but revival time arrived, and Jubal was nowhere to be found.

He wasn’t there the next morning or the morning after that. Many of the members of the staff feared there was some sort of foul play–after all, death threats had come in from people who were less than thrilled at a second resurrection of a once-dead carpenter. After seventy-two hours of absence, the FBI was called in to investigate.

There was a squabble among the troupe as to whether to continue the nation-wide schedule without Jubal buzzing along with them. It actually wasn’t very problematic–Jubal had gradually reduced his activities in the journey, opening the door to new people, new acts, and new possibilities, so replacing him onstage was not as much of a problem as trying to imagine the work and mission going forward without his soul.

After much discussion, Matthew insisted that the tour should resume, and within a few days, the cast of characters was so involved that they had to remind one another nightly to pray for their old friend.

It was two weeks to the day the disappearance that a telegram–yes, a telegram, of all things–arrived at Matthew’s office. It was from Jubal. It read:

“Sorry for the mixup. Got an invite from the Dali, to come and enjoy a sabbatical. Seemed right. Love, Jubal Carlos”

It took Matthew a second to realize that the Dalai, in this case, was the Dalai Lama. It was a strange time. It actually comforted Matthew to remain in his iniquity.

After all, those who seemed to be righteous sure looked screwed up.

Join us every Sunday for another sitting of this wonderful novel in the making.

Published by Jonathan Cring