[Millennial Gospel Special Feature: The Temptation of Jesus Christ] for an ongoing project co-created by shakespeareandpunk and moreorlesstouched.
I’m a big deal, you should kneel, crawl when you approach me.
I got big bucks, big cars, bigger than the universe and its stars.
I could buy your life whatever it costs.
Name your price, give me what I need then get lost.
I could buy the blue from the sky, I’m a rich hog.
Gimme it now, I’m not the guy you want to piss off.
By any means, I get what I want and I want it all (x)
Three days after John dunks his God-touched baby cousin into the Chattahoochee river and the holy ghost descends as a flock of doves, Satan comes calling in a souped-up Rolls Royce. Wearing the skin of a businessman, he spirits the prophet away to his inner-city high rise, a vast spiritual wasteland of rampant materialism. There are Swarovski chandeliers, jade and onyx inlaid into the pool tiles, and the city’s most in-demand call girls adorning the furniture in every room. The archdemons snort coke with hundred dollar bills, buy and sell companies like children playing at Monopoly, and bribe state senators with private yachts and sexual favors. Yeshua is shown off at every dinner party, where the guests try to cajole him into turning beer into vodka and Satan haunts his every step, whispering promises and sweet half-truths in his ear. It’s the closest the Father of Lies will ever have to having God in the palm of his hand, and he thrills at it. Still, every girl sent to slip in the boy’s bed emerges the next day a born-again virgin weeping over the goodness of God, the Devil’s elaborate gifts of Rolexes and imported cigars don’t arouse interest, and the sumptuous meals laid out to entice the boy to break his self-imposed fast go cold and enjoyed. So Satan gives up on sweetness and confines Yeshua to his room, insisting that he can call on angels to deliver him, command the walls of his gilded prison to collapse. The Son of Man is patient, however, and when Satan’s forty days of free reign are up, he brings the kid into his office and makes his final offer: all the financial, media, and political support Yeshua could ever want, a complete patronage of his cause, if only he will abandon this divinity nonsense and take his cues from the master of this Earth. “No,” Christ says, soft as a prayer as he worries at the hem of his hoodie with calloused carpenter’s hands. “Do we have to be at odds over everything?” Satan begs, nails digging sharply into his palms behind his back. “I only ever wanted to be friends. I can help you. We are brothers after all, by half at least.” “Wow, what a touching spin on the whole thing. We’re a regular Cain and Abel. Give you one guess as to who’s who.” “You may be the Son of God, but you are one smart-mouthed son of a bitch,” Satan snarls, forgetting to be nice for an instant. “Must run in the family,” Yeshua deadpans, and just like that he is escorted off the premises and dropped back off at John’s house, unscathed and ready to start his mission.