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The jesus twin, p.1
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       The Jesus Twin, p.1

           Wright Forbucks
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The Jesus Twin

  The Jesus Twin

  By Wright Forbucks

  A Short Story

  (7,000 words)

  Rated: PG-14

  Mild Profanity

  Twitter: @wrightforbucks

  Email: [email protected]

  All rights Reserved.


  Table of Contents

  The Jesus Twin

  About the Author


  The Jesus Twin

  In 1962, in a cave in a land once known as Samaria, a crypt was discovered. Inside the crypt were three clay jars. Inside each jar was approximately two hundred grams of papyrus dust. Particle sizes varied. The largest fragments were eight millimeters in diameter. The majority of particles were the size of a pinhead. Using carbon dating, scholars concluded the papyrus was two thousand years old. For the next fifty years, the jars sat on a shelf in the semi-interesting-shit closet of the ancient history department of a venerable university located near the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  This story is upon us due to a conversation between two colleagues, a proper classics professor who could read ancient texts and a Nobel laureate scientist, a man who figured out how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Together, it is fair to say, this odd couple discovered the most startling document in the brief history of mankind, The Gospel According to Jessup of Arimathea, the younger brother of Jesus Christ…

  "Margaret, I love you, babe, but you could not be more wrong. If Jesus was really the Son of God he would have invented the Internet, or at least indoor plumbing."

  "Matthew, the resurrection of Jesus is, without a doubt, the single most important event in the history of the world. There is eyewitness proof that Jesus rose from the dead."

  "Give me an f'n break, Margy. The whole Jesus story is total bullshit. The guy ran his mouth and got crucified, end of story."

  "Matthew, your problem is you simply do not understand faith. To you everything has to have an answer. Faith is what happens when humans need an answer to unanswerable questions. Faith is what keeps the gun out of our mouths."

  "Margy, pardon my French, but I can never figure out what the fuck you scholarly types are saying. What unanswerable questions are you talking about?"

  "Hmmm, I don't know, Matthew. Who are we? How did we get here? Why do we die? Hmmm, let me see, how can we even exist?"

  "Who cares? We're here. I have tickets to the Celtics game tonight. My kid needs braces. Tacos are tasty. That's what's real. That's what matters."


  Matthew Shortsleeve grinned. "Yes, dear?"

  "Is that a Fluff stain on your shirt?"

  Matthew looked down at his shirt, touched a white sticky patch on its front pocket, and then put his finger in his mouth.

  "Yum, as a matter of fact, it is."

  "How am I supposed to have a serious conversation about religion with a middle-aged guy that still eats Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter sandwiches?"

  "The term is Fluffernutter, emphasis on the 'nutter,' my lady. And their deliciousness is the sole reason I'm the slightest bit open to the existence of a higher power. In fact, if Jesus invented the Fluffernutter, I'd be all in, Mass on Sundays, a trip to Rome, rosaries, corporal mortification, the works."

  "Matt, let's face it. God exists. How else could a slob like you win the Nobel Prize? It's a total miracle."

  "Ouch!" Matthew Shortsleeve laughed. "Now, Margy, I won a Nobel Prize because I found a new way to convert light into electrons using a semi-conductor. It's called physics. You pathetic Classics-Theology profs will never win a Nobel Prize because they don't give out an award for total hogwash."

  "Ouch!" Margaret chuckled, imitating her rotund colleague.

  Despite the constant bickering, Matthew Shortsleeve loved his best friend, Margaret Theoshasky, and vice versa. They had been colleagues for twenty years. Matthew was an imaging physicist, one of the guys who figured out how to use silicon to see nano-scale structures. He was also an expert in vector calculus, which he used to virtually reassemble broken things, like fossils, bomb fragments, shredded documents, and papyrus dust…

  Matthew met Margaret due to a broken tablet, a three-thousand-year-old broken tablet. Margaret wanted to translate it. The problem was, it was in one thousand pieces. Her solution trail eventually led her to Matthew Shortsleeve who, at the time, was an assistant imaging professor for our unnamed university. Margaret was initially put off by young Matthew Shortsleeve, who, when asked if he could fix the tablet, responded, "Is the bear Catholic? Does the Pope shit in the woods?"

  Matthew and Margaret were an odd couple. Matthew was agnostic, and Margaret was a deacon. Matthew was a bear. He was furry and wore coke-bottle glasses. Margaret was an ostrich. She looked anorexic, but was simply thin. She had a long neck, blue eyes, and natural blond hair. Matthew ate things like Pop-Tarts and downed at least thirty-two ounces of Mountain Dew every day. Matthew married his high-school sweetheart and had three kids. Margaret married a concert pianist named Hal. They had a son named Rudolph. Rudolph hated his parents because he was so f'n smart. He was also a heroin addict.

  Matthew and Margaret never made love, or wanted to. The attraction simply wasn't there. It was not something they ever even considered, and the impossibility of such a hookup was obvious to others, including their respective spouses, who were not the least bit jealous. Margaret was the godmother to one of Matt's kids, and Matt once kicked the shit out of Rudolph for hitting his mother. (It was something that had to be done.) There were no secrets between Matthew Shortsleeve and Margaret Theoshasky and no possibility, ever, of betrayal. In short, Matthew and Margaret had something special going on; they were true friends.

  It was a rare day when Matthew and Margaret did not meet for coffee. Usually they met in the mini-cafeteria that connected the Classics Building to the offices of the Science Department. The place served good muffins, but had tiny tables and tinier stools. (The chairman of the university's architecture department designed the "cafe.") The conversation usually started with a review of family matters and then a discussion of their respective workdays. It was during one of these "coffees" that Matthew revealed the technology that made this story possible.

  "Margy, I'm so excited today!"

  "Why's that, Professor?"

  "Dis boy gotta new toy."

  "How wonderful. Pray tell."

  "You are looking at the owner of the world's first ten-gigabyte image sensor."


  Matthew laughed.

  "The university paid for it. But, I own it."

  Margaret snickered.

  "Just being precise."

  "Nothing wrong with precision."

  "So what's this giga whatchamacallit?

  "It's simply the largest digital image sensor in the world. It is capable of imaging nanoscale structures with unparalleled, uh huh, precision."


  "Super tiny shit."

  "I see."

  "I'm hooking it into my new massively parallel computer today…"

  "Massively parallel?"

  "Super fucking fast."

  "Hmmm, and what is your giga sensor and super-duper computer going to do?"

  "Look at tiny things and figure out how to fit them together. We're going to study how proteins and viruses attach to cells. Our plan is to cure cancer and the common cold."

  "What about world peace?"

  Matthew chuckled. "That too!"

  Margaret hesitated because she had an idea. She had a great use for her friend's new sensor, but she did not want to ask Matthew for a favor, for she knew he would never say no.


  "Oh God, not professor."

"Professor, I have three jars."

  "Only three?"

  "Only three."

  "And what, dare I ask, is in these jars?"

  "Papyrus dust."


  "Actually, it's more like microscopic confetti."

  "And you want me to reassemble this confetti back into the scroll from which it came?"

  "Has anyone ever told you, you are smart?"

  "My mother mentioned it once."

  "She was a perceptive lady."

  "I like to think so."

  Matthew smiled. "So?"

  "I'm not going asking you to do anything."


  "But, I have a project you might find fun to do."

  "Fun to do?"

  "Yes, like going to a water park?"

  "A water park."

  "Exactly." Margaret smiled.

  "Okay, babe, what's the deal?"

  "We found the jars in the hometown of Jesus."

  "Jesus Christ."

  "Yes, and the jars carbon date to 40 AD."

  Matthew smiled.

  "40 AD. Huh?"

  "Yes, Professor. Can you do it?"

  "Do it? Is Lassie a republican? Does Richard Nixon lick his balls?"

  Matthew claimed the task would take a couple weeks. It took two years. The process involved using a 3D scanner to image each particle and then fitting the pieces together using Matt's massively parallel computer. It wasn't the Manhattan Project, but twenty-five grad students were needed to execute the virtual reassembly of the "pap pieces." When the confetti in jar one was finally knit back together, Matt, as was his way, sprung the results on Margaret in a casual manner, during one of their countless morning "coffees."

  "Hey, Margy, I gotta show you something.

  "What is it?"

  "My new Mac Book. It has one of those new 'Retina' displays."

  "I heard about those."

  "They're insane," Matt said as he turned his Apple toward Margaret.
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