Author: Shari S Levine
Miriam opened the door of the caravan-turned-time machine. Dry, hot air blew in. She shaded her eyes against the brightness. They had landed where they had planned: at the base of a range of hills, nothing around them but arid land that matched the red sun.
A scream pierced the air. Miriam rushed out to find a young woman shouting.
“Yeshua, oh, Yeshua!” the woman cried out in Aramaic, her hands flung in the air, going to her mouth, going back to the air again.
Miriam turned around to see sandaled feet sticking out from beneath the time machine. No, they couldn’t have.
Suddenly, she heard a thud and spun around to see her husband and lab partner Josh with a club in his raised hand, the woman now lying on the ground.
“What on Earth have you done?” Miriam kneeled beside the woman and checked her vitals. She wasn’t dead, thank God.
“She was hysterical! She would have totally blown our cover.” Josh’s throat bobbed. “Did you hear what she was shouting?”
“Yeshua.” Miriam shook her head. “This isn’t good.”
“We killed Jesus.”
“We didn’t kill Jesus.”
“We killed a guy named Jesus, then.”
Miriam closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. Their trip wasn’t supposed to go like this. Everything she had planned depended on them *not* killing Jesus.
“What do we do?” He sounded like a child.
“We need to think.”
* * *
Miriam and Josh sat against the caravan-turned-time machine. She passed the now half-empty bottle of wine back to Josh. They were supposed to be saving that for the journey home. She wondered what lasting effects on the timeline their little adventure would cause.
“That’s it!” she exclaimed. “We need to impersonate Jesus.”
“What on Earth are you talking about?”
“We can’t just go back in time and kill Jesus without having lasting repercussions on the timeline.”
“And how are we going to do that?” He hiccuped. “You don’t think everyone is going to recognize Jesus has changed?”
He was pale, blond, and had blue eyes. “Alright, so we’ll put some makeup on you.”
“Oh, for the love of God.”
“You can’t be serious. We can’t impersonate Jesus fucking Christ!”
“Can’t we?” Miriam raised her eyebrows. “We kill the man who is supposed to be the Son of God, and you’re telling me that we need to go back and hope for the best?”
“There are going to be lasting effects, no matter what!”
“Maybe not. Maybe this is originally what happened. Maybe those miracles were just some time travelers trying not to mess things up.”
“I want you to hear what you’re saying. You’re asking me to impersonate Jesus on the off chance this fixes everything.”
Miriam frowned. “Not everything, Josh. Just the timeline.”
Josh stared at her. His cheeks were flushed. Was it from the wine or anger?
“You still don’t forgive me.”
“No.” Miriam looked away. “I’m sorry.”
“I apologized a million times.”
“I know. But fixing the timeline or not won’t change the fact that you cheated on me.”
Josh squeezed his eyes shut. Miriam was worried he would only help if she promised to forgive him. She would lie if she had to, but she didn’t want to.
Josh sighed and shook his head. He looked young. She yearned to reach out to him, to forget everything and go on as if nothing had happened. But that would have been as useless as ignoring the fact that they had just killed Jesus.
“Alright,” Josh said. He reached for the club. “Let’s fix this, then.”